Over Thanksgiving, our family spent 11 days with Kyle’s parents in southern California. It was a wonderful and restful trip. Kyle had to use or lose a bunch of vacation days so we planned a long Thanksgiving trip and a long Christmas trip. After paying for our flights for both of those trips this month, it was a wonderful break to be hosted by Kyle’s parents and have all of our food and so forth provided. We didn’t eat out as much as we normally do when staying with them as DPR makes that much more difficult. During our trip, we spent lots of time with Kyle’s extended family members and saw some friends. We also took two day trips, one to Santa Barbara and one to San Diego. DPR did very well on her first flights and road trips. The result of this trip was that our flight spending was huge this month but our food and transportation spending was lower than average.
Kyle and I almost completely missed out on Black Friday/Cyber Monday. We actually have a number of devices that we want to buy: 1-2 laptops, two smartphones, and a desktop computer. However, we didn’t properly research the products before Black Friday, so we didn’t buy any of them. I’m not sure if this is a win because we didn’t give into the pressure to consume or a loss because we could probably have paid less for some products that we will eventually buy. While in general I think it’s a good idea to delay purchases that are delay-able, I don’t want our devices to catastrophically fail before we replace them (one laptop and one smartphone are on the verge). The only purchase we made on Cyber Monday was for two new cloth diapers.
Sources of Income
Our budget is based on Kyle’s net income (after taxes and insurance).
From Kyle’s net pay, we set aside/transfer:
- 18% toward retirement
- 10% for our tithe
We did surprisingly well keeping our variable expenses in check this month.
Rent $1495 ($1495 budgeted)
Water/Sewer/Garbage $130 ($130 budgeted)
Phones $61.53 ($65 budgeted): Republic Wireless for me and Cricket Wireless for Kyle!
Internet $69.95 ($70 budgeted)
Netflix $10.74 ($11 budgeted)
Student Loan $99.67 ($100 budgeted)
Cloud Backup $5.99 ($6 budgeted)
Transit $34.77 ($50 budgeted): One gas fill-up, one instance of paying for parking, and a $10 addition to our public transit accounts.
Power $121.65 ($50 budgeted): I’m not sure why this bill is so high except that perhaps it’s our new normal to use more power now that DPR is here. We run fans frequently and also turned on our heat a few times much earlier in the year that we would have without her.
Groceries $442.56 ($600 budgeted): The under-spending in this category was due to us eating down our pantry in advance of our Thanksgiving trip and also not paying for food during the trip.
Restaurants $82.63 ($100 budgeted): We ate out twice in one weekend totally by accident. We were out running errands on Saturday and succumbed to hunger at one point. That was the first time we’d eaten out together with DPR. The next day, we were invited out to dinner with a friend who was visiting Seattle.
In total, we are allocating $800 per month (on average) to spend across five six seven categories.
In this period, we spent:
Travel $1445.80: This insane number is thanks to two flight purchases and a checked bag on one flight.
Gifts $23.17: We spontaneously bought a gift for strangers.
Baby $116.86: We ordered DPR’s birth certificate, bought a manual breast pump, and bought two new cloth diapers to try out.
Our total available miscellaneous money for this period was our normal $3.60. We spent:
- $51 on a ticket (!!) – we forgot to put our registration on our car and received a ticket while it was parked
- $10.63 on a glass baking dish
Monthly: Spent $2,554.49 of $2,677.00 budgeted – under!
Irregular: Spent $1,585.83 of $800 budgeted – over over over!
Miscellaneous: Spent $61.63 of $3.60 budgeted – over!
This period, we spent $4,201.95 of $3,480.60 available thanks to our massive spending on holiday flights.
How much vacation are you taking this holiday season and how much is it costing you? Did you buy anything on Black Friday/Cyber Monday?