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May’s Spending Report


Without further ado, here’s how things panned out for May (please see this post for a FAQ).

Income for May was awesome. Our economic stimulus payment is in there and it gave us a welcome boost in income. Unfortunately, we didn’t use it like the government wanted us to use it. It went towards our debt πŸ™‚

For clothing in May, I went on a little shopping spree. I hit Walmart (by myself) and bought some new T-shirts for summer. I don’t have many T-shirts and the ones I did have were pretty old. It was time to retire them. I scoured the clearance racks and found five shirts at $3/each. I also picked up a new pair of shoes for our son for less than $10 on clearance.

Entertainment was high in May. We splurged again and purchased another video game. We are done with purchasing new video games for quite a while.

Food is way too high! Gosh it all adds up. We did have to replenish some things once our fridge was back up and running. But the spending is still too high here. Now that we have to purchase healthier foods, it will be interesting to see how our spending is affected. The more I think about it, buying healthier foods may not be as expensive as I once thought. It all depends on how you do it. More on that later, as I figure it out πŸ˜‰

Household spending for May was quite a bit less than April’s spending. Here’s how it breaks down:

We spent some money to get our garden ready for the summer. It’s time to start planting and I’m debating on whether we should get some plants that are already started or plant directly from seed. It’s tough where we live because we do have a short growing season. My dream is to have an indoor greenhouse in our future house.

Recreation included our spending for fishing this year. I don’t anticipate any more spending for fishing this season unless we keep losing bobbers at record speed. During our last fishing trip, we lost three of them. Thank goodness bobbers are fairly inexpensive (around $2 for a package of them).

May’s gas bill almost made me faint. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit. But it did surprise me. I knew we had a cold spring, but I didn’t think it was that bad. Thank goodness the weather has warmed up for June.

Overall, May wasn’t too bad. Like April, there is room for improvement. We have been somewhat consistent, though. If you look at April, our total expenses were $1,900. For May, they were $2,301. The big difference was our health insurance paid in May ($400).

We’ll see how June pans out. So far, our spending has been fairly low (not including the health spending due to problems with our health insurance). Income has been lower too. I feel like we should be contributing to our savings account but we haven’t been able to yet. Hopefully we can soon. After this past weekend, I could use a little “boost.”


  • Reply Mike |


    Just another reminder – natural gas prices are up dramatically this year over last year. You probably won’t notice the increase in rates until the next heating season, but you should be prepared to pay anywhere from 30-50% more this next winter.

    And it could still get worse…

  • Reply Joe |

    Wow. I am happy to see that you can save so much of your income. 59% savings rate for the month is great! One thing I noticed is that for me, mortgage payment is biggest budget expense and I cannot find it (or rent) on your budget. Do you have alternative living arrangement to not have any housing expense?

  • Reply Jim ~ mydebtblog.com |

    I think it’s amazing over half your income can be applied to savings or debt. I’m curious how much of your income you apply to retirement? If you have stopped contributing I’m sure you’ll be able to make up the difference once your debt is gone and your EF is where you feel comfortable. I have been contemplating if it’s worth it to stop retirement for a year or two in order to pay off debt, and then fire it back up full force.

  • Reply Anne |

    Joe — if you look at the FAQ, you’ll see that she addresses the mortgage there. (I had the same question!)

  • Reply Eva in TX |

    Way to keep the cig. expense lower than average! Hope this means you’ve been able to taper off. You may think you spend a lot for groceries, but it doesn’t seem so outrageous to me. The great thing about you is that you are willing to fix the majority of your meals at home. I struggle daily with this because I loathe cooking.

  • Reply Jill |

    In the future if you are looking for t-shirts, try Michaels crafts. They are usually on sale for 2.50 and are good quality and they have a lot of colors.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Mike – yeah, that concerns me. This winter we went pretty bare bones. I’m not sure how much lower we could go.

    Joe – information about my mortgage is in the FAQ that I posted a link to. Rest assured, most of my mortgage payment goes to interest at this point in time so you see most of it in my expense report (under interest expense). Only about $35 goes towards the principal each month.

    Jim – I am only contributing 1% right now. I almost cancelled my contribution all together, but decided to stay at the 1%. My problem with retirement is that I don’t know much about it and I don’t really understand what is happening to the money that I put in. Once I understand it, I would probably feel better about it. I need to get cracking. I have a book sitting on my shelf just waiting for me to dig into.

    Eva – May was a less stressful month. There was a good week where I didn’t smoke as much. Plus, I roll my own and have cut back on the amount of tobacco in each cigarette. Basically, when I smoke one, I am only smoking half. The goal is to eventually taper way down, but stress sets me back every time. I haven’t figure out a way to get through it without cigarettes yet.

    Jill – thanks for the tip!

    Danielle – I did hear about it, but haven’t looked into the specifics yet. Financial troubles can affect anyone, I guess.

  • Reply Joy Smith |

    Wow. You make more, I spend less yet we’re still broke by the end of the month. I wonder why that is. Well I do know our mortgage payment is higher. We spend $610 a month for our mortgage. We also spend more in cigarettes. About $18 a week to be exact. How do you manage to spend $18 a month? Ur groceries run us about $80 a week for a family of 4. Insurance is included in my husband’s job, so we never pay that out of pocket. Our water bill runs about $50 a month. I think I will sit down and compare to see why we are spending less, but broke. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  • Reply Ryan@Debt Reduction Formula |

    Good job for keeping your expenses so much lower than your income.

    Your car fuel expense looks similar to mine. I work from home and my wife doesn’t work. So we drive very few miles.

    On the other hand, we do drive a minivan, which doesn’t get great gas mileage. But what else can you do with three kids? πŸ™‚

  • Reply mar |

    I wonder if it would help to post your grocery receipts. The food category is always so high for such a small family.

  • Reply Esther |

    I don’t see a line for mortgage or rent. Do you own your house outright?

  • Reply Tricia |

    Hi Esther – We do not own our house outright. Please see my FAQ for more about that (the info is near the bottom in the Q&A section.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Joy – with my cigarette spending, it is so low because I roll my own. I started doing it about 5 years ago to save money and I haven’t gone back to regular cigarettes.

  • Reply Myrna |

    If you only spent that little on cigarettes, maybe it wouldn’t be so hard to quit. I sure hope you don’t smoke in front of your son.

So, what do you think ?