July 2017 Budget Report

Holy smokes, we overspent our budget this month! Luckily, we weren’t scheduled to contribute a whole lot to our targeted savings accounts this month, or the damage would have been a lot worse.


1) Our monthly rent increased by $100 and we also decided to go month-to-month to the tune of an extra $50/month. Kyle’s job is slated to move locations in October-ish because they’ve outgrown their current space, but they don’t know yet where to. We decided to go month-to-month because we will consider a local move if they move far enough and also the penalty for breaking our lease is ridiculously high (we would forfeit our security deposit, which equals one month’s rent, plus pay rent until they re-rent the place).


2) We started a Whole30 mid-month, which exacerbated our already terribly high grocery spending.


3) Our power bill was $175.75, which is $55.75 over our bimonthly budget of $120. Last year in July our power bill was $52.47! The only major different we can think of between our power usage then and now is that we’re using hot water to wash DPR’s cloth diapers and sometimes our clothes laundry (though we mostly use cold water for that). But we’ve been washing those diapers very regularly for almost a year and the increases to our power bills have not been consistently that high.


4) This isn’t an example of overspending but rather a large expenditure: Kyle, at long last, started building a new desktop computer. We are using part of our self-tax refund to fund this. So far he’s spent $927.44; he’s nearly done with his purchases, though he might exchange one.


Regular Fixed Expenses


Rent $1645


Water/Sewer/Garbage $130


Internet $74.45


Student Loan Minimum Payment $99.67


Netflix $10.74


Cloud Backup $5.99


Regular Variable Expenses


Power $175.75 ($60 budgeted): Yikes.


Groceries $848.08 ($600 budgeted): Yet another month of overspending on groceries. I really need to implement frugal tactics! We are meal planning 100% but have to do more!


Restaurants $6.49 ($100 budgeted): One ice cream on our outing for Kyle’s birthday!


Gas/Parking/Public Transit $36.16 ($60 budgeted): Three small gas fill-ups. Basically we fill up at Costco every time we’re there.


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


Miscellaneous $183.93 ($80.15 budgeted):

  • $17.95: two prescriptions filled
  • $24.40: We took a ferry to Bainbridge island (and paid for parking in Seattle) to celebrate Kyle’s birthday.
  • $32.58: We bought ourselves Ticket to Ride as a gift for our birthdays. 🙂
  • $109: Amazon Prime, which we’re using more than ever!


Bottom Line


We spent $3,410.47 of $3,011.00 available. We’re drawing down our checking account buffer by $399.47.


Targeted Savings


We contributed $503.96 and spent $755.87 in total.




Starting Balance $796.79

Saved $79.44

Spent $0




Starting Balance $1,814.12

Saved $173.33

Spent $563.24: We bought flights using our Alaska Airlines companion pass for the first time! Two nonstop flights to DC at good times of day.




Starting Balance $482.95

Saved $70.00

Spent $78.01: All of DPR’s babyfriends have summer birthdays, so we’re attending lots of birthday parties!




Starting Balance $104.38

Saved $30.00

Spent $64.96: I bought a pair of pants to wear to the gym.




Starting Balance $1,168.61

Saved $42.86

Spent $0: Kyle’s computer spending is coming out of our tax refund pot of money instead of this one.




Starting Balance -$288.76

Saved $0

Spent $49.66: We bought DPR a bathing suit, sun hat, and set of toothbrushes.




Starting Balance $691.65

Saved $108.33

Spent $0


How much did your rent increase this year? Have you ever done a short-term diet that wreaked havoc in your grocery spending?


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7 Responses to "July 2017 Budget Report"

  1. Fiby says:

    Wait, what??? If you break your lease you pay rent until they rent the place? That’s insane! So ridiculous that it may not even be legally enforceable, idk.

    1. Tara says:

      at that point, you might as well try and get a sublet and then just not renew your lease. At least that way you get the security deposit back.

      1. Emily says:

        Great idea! I’ll check our lease to see if subletting is allowed! We’ve never done that before.

    2. Emily says:

      Actually that part didn’t give me pause (well… see next paragraph) as we’ve had a lease like that before. What shocked me was forfeiting the deposit in addition to paying out the lease.

      In the last place we lived with a pay-out-the-lease clause, they had a waiting list for units and the turnover process DOWN so we knew it would be a maximum of 2 weeks before they would have it re-rented. The Seattle market operates on an immediate basis so units are also usually turned over within a couple weeks. HOWEVER our property management company isn’t the greatest, and I saw the unit we’re in advertised a full six weeks before we moved in (could have been up longer!), which is an eternity in Seattle. So that makes me very nervous that they would drag their feet to get it re-rented if we were still on the hook for the rent.

    3. Another Tara says:

      I’ve sadly seen this at other places in Seattle… Renters don’t have very good protections here.

  2. Another Tara says:

    Considering that you spent all of $6.49 on restaurants, I wouldn’t worry as much about the groceries overspending! We spent $531.84 on groceries in July, which is about average for us. Our restaurant spending, however, was about double our average at $648.67. The heat wave has really reduced our desire to do dishes, cook, or be in our apartment in the afternoon/evening. I think at this point we’re calling it a heat tax and we’ll plan to cook more in the winter…

    Seattle City Light has been substantially increasing their rates. This document outlines a comparison between the 2016, 2017, and 2018 rates. Between 2016 and 2017, they increased the first-block price by 17.6%, the second-block price by 2.5%, and the base service charge by 9.3%. They’re planning similar increases in 2018.

    Our electricity usage went up on average by about 2.4 kWh per day between the July 2016 and 2017 billing periods. With last year’s rates, we would have paid about $11.54 less than we did this year. As of the July bill, we have had 4/6 bills for the year and we’ve already spent $24 more than the entirety of 2016 between the rate increases and the colder winter.

    I’m confused how your Netflix is $10.74? We were paying $10.95 until the new sales tax rate adjustment happened in April and now it’s $11.00.

    Do you keep these targeted savings accounts in a spreadsheet or actual bank accounts? I’m confused because your Baby one started with a negative balance and you spent out of it without adding anything.

    1. Emily says:

      I definitely feel you on the heat wave discouraging kitchen time. I stuck with it because of the Whole30 but I was definitely sweating just due to the increased heat coming off the stove/oven!

      I read an article some time ago about the rate Seattle City Light increases and I’m sure that’s part of it – but a small part. I mean, our spending tripled!

      IDK what to tell you about the Netflix price… We’ve been paying that rate for about a year now.

      The targeted savings accounts are all lumped together in our checking account! So I’m not minding too much a negative balance here or there. I have a lump sum rescue planned from some of our “tax refund” money once Kyle finishes buying his desktop components.

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