August 2017 Budget Report

My big budgetary consideration in August has been which gym to join. We’ve never paid for a gym membership before so it’s a big deal to us! My PCP “prescribed” me to start lifting heavy weights, which for us right now means a gym membership (working out at home is no longer sufficient!). At first, I thought I would work out in the mornings/evenings when Kyle can be home with DPR, but those are my most valuable times to work, whereas during the day I have a lot of flexibility as long as I can take DPR with me. I also want her to be around other children a bit more than she is right now, so going into gym childcare for a bit is a plus.

 

DPR on a rocky beach

After reading lots of Yelp reviews about gym childcare, I settled on the YMCA as the best option for a baby like DPR. They offer up to 2 hours of childcare per day included in the membership, so I thought I might be able to work out and also get some work done each time I go.

 

I signed up for a 7-day trial pass and checked out the two closest YMCA locations to us, both about a 20 to 25-minute drive away (without traffic). I liked one of the facilities well enough, but the membership is pricey ($109/mo for me and DPR) and the drive is quite onerous. The childcare is also limited to only certain hours of the day, and the omitted hours are the exact ones that are best for DPR to be out of the house. I don’t really think I would stay for up to 2 hours, and certainly not go more than the 3 days/week minimum I’ve set myself for my workout schedule. The YMCA is still a possibility but I’m not psyched about it.

 

So I’m going back to the drawing board regarding a gym membership. I got a suggestion from a friend about a much closer gym with good childcare (though the Yelp reviews are mixed), so we’re going to check that out in September. It’s $95/month for me and DPR and a limited number of childcare hours are included in the membership ($3/hr beyond that), so I would just get in, do my workout, and get out if I joined there, which is fine since the drive is short.

 

If that gym doesn’t work out, I will have to revisit whether I’m willing to work out while Kyle is home, taking at least 3 hrs/week out of my available work time. If I can commit to it, I can join a gym without childcare that has a much lower membership fee.

 

Kyle and DPR enjoying a bubble bonanza

Aside from the gym conundrum and some car issues (see below), we’ve had quite a fun August. Both of our sets of parents visited at different times, and DPR absolutely loooooooves them. We’ve done a lot of frugal summer activities for babies like going to parks, wading pools, the zoo (we’re getting our money’s worth for our yearly membership), some local beaches, and a bubble event.

 

We finally decided to allocate our self-tax refund from April and some cash birthday gifts we received this summer. Some of our targeted savings accounts needed rescuing, I refilled the buffer in our checking account after the deficits we’ve run this summer, and we added $500 to our house down payment fund.

 

Regular Fixed Expenses

 

Rent $1645

 

Water/Sewer/Garbage $130

 

Internet $74.45

 

Student Loan Minimum Payment $101.99

 

Netflix $10.74

 

Cloud Backup $5.99

 

Regular Variable Expenses

 

Power $0 ($60 budgeted): Off month.

 

Groceries $866.57 ($600 budgeted): Would you believe that this month was almost a success? We went over our budget on August 26. We’ve had house guests for many days this month and have been feeding them pretty much 100%. The Whole30 continuation doesn’t seem to have a big effect on our spending, actually.

 

Restaurants $0 ($50 budgeted): Another no-eating-out month. It’s kind of silly this is still a line item…

 

Gas/Parking/Public Transit $144.79 ($60 budgeted): This was a crazy month for transportation spending (see the targeted savings as well). Many gas fill-ups, paying for parking, and a Lyft ride.

 

Phones $64.21 ($65 budgeted): Two smartphones with large data plans! Kyle uses Cricket Wireless and I use Republic Wireless.

 

Miscellaneous $64.25 ($184.02 budgeted):

  • $30 laundry quarters
  • $34.25 Amazon purchase of water softener and a vegetable spiralizer (the Whole30 pushed us to make zoodles!)

 

Bottom Line

 

We spent $3,107.99 of $2,987.19 available. We’re drawing down our checking account buffer by $120.80.

 

Targeted Savings

 

We contributed $527.77 and spent $1,577.05 in total.

 

Cars

 

Starting Balance $876.23

Saved $929.44

Spent $1,320.05: This was an insane month for car spending. We took our car in to be checked over at two different repair shops and completed some repairs at the shop that gave us the lower quote. We also paid for six months of car insurance and our yearly car registration fee.

 

Travel

 

Starting Balance $1424.21

Saved $173.33

Spent $0

 

Gifts

 

Starting Balance $474.94

Saved $170.00

Spent $0

 

Appearance

 

Starting Balance $69.42

Saved $346.67

Spent $0

 

Electronics

 

Starting Balance $1,168.61

Saved $500

Spent $0: Kyle’s computer spending this month came out of our tax refund pot, and I added $500 of that tax refund to this account for his few remaining components to be purchased.

 

Baby

 

Starting Balance -$338.42

Saved $578.91

Spent $132.0: We had a copay for a doctor’s visit, signed up for a community center class, and bought a bookcase off craigslist.

 

Insurance

 

Starting Balance $799.98

Saved $108.33

Spent $125: We paid our annual premium for our renter’s insurance.

 

Do you belong to a gym and did you choose your membership based on the childcare? Have you participated in any fun frugal summer activities?

 

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6 Responses to "August 2017 Budget Report"

  1. Tara says:

    I live in semi-urban Philly burbs and we have a chain called Retro Fitness that’s like Planet Fitness except they have child care and exercise classes and cost a bit more. The child care hours are limited, however, at our location. But I pay $31/month for membership with child care.If they have one near you it’s worth scoping out.

    1. Emily says:

      I looked up Retro Fitness and unfortunately they are not in Seattle. That is a great price, though! Thanks for the tip. I got a suggestion from another local friend so I’m checking out some new places this week.

  2. Erin says:

    Power = 0? I don’t understand.

    1. Emily says:

      We’re only billed every other month for power. Still haven’t found a way to budget well for that!

  3. Kelly says:

    I don’t have kids, but do belong to the Y. One plus for me is the bonus of being able to use any Y in the entire state of NC and Virginia, which means I can keep on a routine while traveling. I’m pretty sure that YMCAs in other states would also allow a visit, especially with proof of membership in another state. Might be a consideration depending on how many trips you’ll be taking 🙂

    1. Emily says:

      Yes, that is an excellent benefit! I believe there is some nationwide honoring of memberships. It would definitely come in handy when we visit our parents. My parents are committed gym-goers and unfortunately the networks they belong to don’t have locations here, so that’s always a struggle.

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