June 2015 Money Puddle and Spending Report

This month was pretty weird for us personally because of Kyle’s agonizing decision, but fairly straightforward financially. We kept within our budgeted spending for our monthly categories, but then we had a bunch of irregular expenses as well. They didn’t add up to much until the very end of the month! I thought we were going to come in reasonably under budget, but… you’ll see.


Money Puddle


Our money puddle represents our gross income from May, less taxes, our tithe, and savings into our Roth IRAs. This is the source of all of our spending money for the month (before dipping into savings).


June 2015 Money Puddle: $1,960.83


  • Kyle’s postdoc paycheck
  • Emily’s contract work paycheck
  • Kyle’s side job paycheck





We came so close to meeting all our budget categories from last fall, which has been my goal. We went over our eating out budget by $8.77.


Housing and Utilities

  • rent $910
  • electricity $81.81
  • internet $34.99
  • cell phones $61.52: Our low cell phone costs are because I have Republic Wireless and Kyle has Cricket Wireless.
  • water $35.97


celebratory dinner at a restaurant on Kyle's Durham bucket list

celebratory dinner at a restaurant on Kyle’s Durham bucket list


  • groceries $408.54: Whew, barely under here! Meal planning is working!
  • eating out $88.77: Just three meals out this month, actually – but two of them were on the expensive side. We went out once together to celebrate Kyle making the decision about his next job, he had a fast food meal after we went tubing, and we went out on the last day of the month to celebrate me getting a booking for this fall for one of my presentations.



  • gas $100.69: For the first time in months, I actually filled up my car with gas! We also drove up to northern Virginia for a weekend.
  • oil change $37.98
  • parking $5



  • student loan payment $98.46
  • Netflix $21.48
  • printing $9.14: Kyle forgot to print his cover letter and CV at school before he left for an interview, so he had to print them after he arrived.
  • personal care $48.95
  • cards and gift $122.94
  • bathing suit top $120
  • lawyer retainer $500: We asked a lawyer look over Kyle’s new employment contract. They asked for a retainer of $500. We don’t know yet what they are going to charge us, but it should be around $500 or a bit less.


Reimbursed from Charitable Giving





Money Puddle: $1960.83

Total Spending: $2,686.24

Difference: -$725.41


Dudes, we were doing so well this month until the veeeery end! The lawyer expenses just pushed us way over our income, obviously, but that is sort of coming out of future earnings from Kyle’s new real job. 🙂 But within the last few days of the month, we had a few unexpected expenses – I bought a bathing suit top for July 4 weekend, we gave a baby shower gift, and we went out to a celebratory dinner.


Have you ever retained a lawyer and if so how much did you spend? What fun summer activities are you doing?


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8 Responses to "June 2015 Money Puddle and Spending Report"

  1. Nice that meal planning is working. I know for sure that this will take you to your goal and for a long run, Emily. Congrats for a job well done. I can totally see that the difference is greater! Nice Emily!

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks, Jayson! We are pleased with our progress in this area.

  2. Dylan says:

    Just ran across your blog. Looking forward to reading more. We have similar food expenses. My partner and I have been trying hard to cut down on the eating out. Most of that part of the budget is socially driven, so I’m not sure how much we can or want to really cut out.

    I haven’t ever had to ask a lawyer for help. I imagine I would be very hesitant and unsure about what to do and how to reach out to one, even if I needed to. Needless to say, I’ve never thought about having a lawyer review a job contract for me. But it makes total sense and I probably will consider it when that time comes for me.

    Congratulations on booking a talk! That must feel so validating. Keep it up.

    1. Emily says:

      Yeah, when our budget was really tight we only ate out for social occasions. It was a high priority for us. But maybe you can also transition some of your social life to not revolve around spending money?

      Since that initial meeting, I asked our lawyer-friend how to find a lawyer and she said “ask a lawyer.” It’s sort of like networking, so you just need to know one, I guess!

  3. Dane Hinson says:

    My wife and I have been getting really into meal planning. Not only have we realized great financial benefits, but health benefits as well. It’s amazing how far a little planning can go in your budget.

    1. Emily says:

      I’m so glad you are experiencing these benefits as well!

  4. I congratulate you folks on being able to tithe even though you are not real wealthy. The bathing suit top might have been excessive. Without pictures, it’s hard to tell.

    Keep up the great work!!

    1. Emily says:

      Tithing and other percentage-based budgeting strategies are great because you can fulfill them on any income level.

      Haha yeah I’m not posting any pics here of the top! It was a high price but I think it has high value as well.

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