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Where’s Your Money Going – September, 2021


Without further ado, here is my spending plan for September.

Flight Reimbursement9/1/2021500
Princess – monthly allowance9/1/2021-300
Saving – Emergency Fund9/1/2021-300
Auto – Gas9/3/2021-30
Utility – Gas/Water/Trash9/4/2021-150
Pandora (Apple)9/4/2021-5
USAA Life Ins9/4/2021-67
GA Power9/5/2021-200
Student Loan9/7/2021-300
Auto – Gas9/10/2021-30
Lawn Care9/14/2021-50
Savings – College9/16/2021-500
USAA Auto/Renters Ins9/16/2021-457
Auto – Gas9/17/2021-30
Auto – Gas9/24/2021-30
Car Payment9/30/2021-7900
Savings – Christmas9/30/2021-500
Gymnast – clothing9/30/2021-300
Princess – clothing9/30/2021-300

I believe most of this is self explanatory, but there may be a few questions…

The Details

  • Flight reimbursement – we are going to Texas for Thanksgiving again. But this time, both of the twins’ girlfriends from Virgina will accompany us. My dad and I purchased all the tickets earlier this summer when Southwest had a great deal. The girls are covering the cost of their tickets and had until 9/1 to pay me back. So that is income, but this is where I tracked it since it’s an unusual occurrence.
  • Mortgage – I paid double my mortgage at the beginning of August, accidentally, but it worked out. Beginning 9/1, I am converting to bi-weekly payments of $350. This will keep me ahead of the due date and I believe help me pay it off more quickly. So for September, there will be 3 mortgage payments.
  • Clothing – as I have every year, I will supply the kids (just the younger two at this point) with a clothing allowance. I’ve done this twice a year forever, so nothing new, but if you are new hear, that’s what that money is.
  • Savings – I am ramping up my savings plan. Now that I know what Princess tuition will be come January, trying to be ahead of the game there. And then, of course, I continue to contribute to Christmas and my Emergency Fund.  One thing to note is that the Christmas savings is so high because I did dip into that account to cover some of the college costs so need to pay it back. My savings plan will change a bit in January. More on that later.

I don’t think there are any other oddities.

Other Spending – maybe?

My dishwasher is slated to arrive this week so there may be a little bit of house spending in September just to finish out the kitchen, but it should be minimal. In fact, I’m more inclined to sell some items…so I may be doing a kitchen purge.

Princess took our Keurig and mini fridge. But I am finding that I have a number of appliances that I just never use. And am definitely moving into more and more of a minimalist mode. The clutter irks me, especially for things never used.

Questions? Comments?



  • Reply Marzy-d |

    That looks like a hefty car payment, congratulations!

    I’ve been following your blogging here for a long time, and one thing I truly don’t understand is why you resist doing a budget so strongly. Instead you just decide what you “need” to spend in a current week or month, and fit all the other payments around that. As you surely know by now, thats not how a budget works. When you budget, you decide “I am going to give the kids $600/year for clothes.” Then in your monthly budget you allocate $50 for clothing. Or, you can do a biweekly budget if thats how you get paid and you find it easier. Biweekly pay. Minus 350 biweekly mortgage. Minus $200 food. Minus 24 clothes. Minus 100 home improvement. And so on. No one here can tell you if a $300 per month allowance for Princess is reasonable because no one can see how much money you have per period after ALL necessities are paid. You might want to keep that private, and I am personally OK with that, because I get it. But, I worry that YOU don’t truly understand how much you have left in a pay period after all expenses, even irregular ones, are accounted for. If you don’t understand that, you can never be in control of your financial life.

    • Reply Hope |

      I actually do budgets. And my monthly spending is pulled directly from that. I have a Excel spreadsheet that has all my line items, a typical monthly budget.

      Then I have a line item budget (the one I use for these updates) that goes all the way through May, 2022 so I can forecast exactly where money is going where.

      The money, like clothes, is stored in a savings account until it’s time for it to be spent and then pulled to wherever it will be spent from…

      • Reply Marzy-d |

        Well thats a relief – it so important to know where you are spending your money. Any reason that you feel its more informative to share a this line item “what bills am I paying this month” versus an actual budget given you have one?

        A lot fewer people will be giving you a hard time about buying a dishwasher or replacing the flooring if you have a 3,000/month surplus going to debt.

  • Reply Angie |

    What has been your total scope and budget for your housing updates spending? There’s none accounted for in your budget even though you’re planning to spend on it. Are you still cashflowing the updates or where is this money coming from?

    I agree with the above in that it seems like money is just going around all willy nilly without a plan. You may in fact have a plan that is just difficult to convey in blog posts. But from our view it all seems a little crazed. I think it would be a good idea to start tracking your net worth along with your savings goals to ensure you are moving forward and not just spending your entire salary on things as they come up.

  • Reply Megan |

    When you’re making two mortgage payments in a month, be mindful of where the bank is allocating that money, and whether it aligns with your goals. I wanted to pay extra to pay down my mortgage principal, but when I made a second payment in a month, my lender just extended my next due date out into the future, instead of putting the extra towards principle. Because of that, I always make one payment a month, with the extra rolled into it.

    • Reply Hope |

      Good advice. I was aware of this so I have my regular/minimum payment regular scheduled and then manually schedule my “principal” only extra.
      I love Rocket Mortgage’s app. It has all the tools to do this easily accessible and a great little calculate that let’s me see how regular “extra” payments affect my pay off date and savings as far as interest goes. Highly recommend!

  • Reply Walnut |

    For what it’s worth, I am intently focused on my cash flow in a way that looks similar to what Hope posts here. I project out 6 to 12 months in the future to ensure I account for irregular expenses, etc. All my day to day spending (groceries, fuel, etc.) goes on my credit card and I pay it off in full each month. Looking at my spending in this matter helps me plan around irregular income/expenses and build scenarios for the upcoming year of spending.

    It’s not a method that works for everyone, but it is really intuitive for me (and I also assume that it is for Hope as well). I also reconcile my credit card spend each month to ensure my spending is in line with my priorities and if it creeps up, then I need to adjust my cash flow projections accordingly. If there’s not room in my cash flow, I will cancel recurring services, have a no spend month, etc to “reset” my normal.

  • Reply cwaltz |

    Where is the money for payment for your hearing aids?

    Good job on the final car payment going out and good job on getting the student loan payment started again. I hope you updated your debt sheet to put those hearing aids and the house on there. Put that student loan on auto pilot and start paying off the hearing aids (and create a budget line item for health care savings so that you are able to cover larger expenses as you age and might need more medical interventions without having to budget for care credit for 12 months). After you tweak your mortgage payments it would be good to see you put little extras here and there towards it to pay that 98000 down so more goes to principle than interest.

So, what do you think ?