Monthly budget recaps have been integral in helping me reduce my spending – and therefor increase my savings and my ability to invest, which are critical (to me) in my FI journey.  The terrible irony of budget recapping is I am able to see where my money went – and I inevitably ask the question “I spent that much on THAT?”

Budget Recap

2018-August

Looks like we spent about $1000 less in August than in July!! Woohoo!! Part of this is due to a significant reduction in food spending and health-related services – let’s dig in, shall we?

Vacations

With the summer now ending (at least up here in the Great White North) I see vacation spending going down to almost zero. $111 isn’t bad for the whole month, though, right?

Potential Savings: $110

Personal Care

There was a sale at Sephora. I spent money. It made me happy (when few money-things do). That said, it will go down next month to the regular-budgeted expenses.

Potential Savings: $50-$80

Pets & Monthly Bills

Every few months the pets head off to the groomers – it’s an expected, though not monthly, expense. We’ll probably see this one come up again in December/January. Monthly Bills are within a dollar of last month

Potential Savings: $0

Transportation

Our gas bill was up this month due to all the driving we did. I enjoy going places, but not necessary hurting the environment in the process: I’m actually saving up to buy a hybrid in the future (I have serious environmental guilt). This expenditure may or may not go down with the new carbon tax now being implemented across the country, regardless of the amount of driving we do. Time will tell.

Potential savings: $100?? Not sure

Food

Food spending was down almost $300 this month! The sad thing is I have no idea why! We’ve been trying to start eating lower-cost food that we haven’t been able to eat up until recently. Since we were both able to eliminate SIBO in the last 6 months (Methane-dominant SIBO for me and Hydrogen-dominant SIBO for him) we’ve started adding things back to our diet, such as:

  • grains (mostly him – I’m still wary) including rice, quinoa, and oats
  • beans (dried and canned) including black beans and chickpeas

Reducing our cost of protein is not only financially smart, but health-smart too: plant sources of protein are both less expensive than animal sources and are necessary for a  healthy diet. (I may write a more in-detail post about this later…)

Potential Savings: $0 (it was down so nicely from last month, I’m just going to revel in it for now)

Spending (Other)

I always have to break this one down:

2018-August-spending-other

Well, this one is high because I had to renew my passport this year and our Costco membership was renewed this month. Seeing them both together at once is…painful. Entertainment is down from last month, but clothing is up. Looks like, even though the items we spent money on changed, the overall spending in this category didn’t, which is too bad.

Potential savings: I’ll be more conservative this time around and say $200

Health & Benefits

Thanks to some scrapping and scrounging for some extra $$, I’ve been able to cover the expense of my health-related spending, which was about $700 for the month. I’m seeing a lot of improvements with these services, so I anticipate this spending going down a bit next month as I spread out the time between appointments.

Overall Potential Savings

My overall potential savings last month was $650 – which I beat by $350!! That’s pretty impressive, but it’s happened because I was able to come up with more $$ to cover my healthcare expenses – if I hadn’t done that we wouldn’t have made our savings goals.

Total potential savings: $460 – $490

I don’t intend for side-hustling to be permanent – I don’t have the energy or the strength to side-hustle, even now, so we may see our spending increase this September. While there are some potential savings, we’ll see what we manage to accomplish this month.