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Monthly Spending FAQ

Here is a breakdown of some of the categories on my monthly spending reports:

INCOME: This includes ALL of the money that comes into our house. It may be from our day jobs or may be from selling stuff. It all goes in here. What also is included in here is the taxes that we pay. The end result is the net money coming into our house on a monthly basis.

AUTOMOBILE: You may think it’s a typo for our fuel costs. It isn’t. We have a very fuel efficient car (over 30 mpg) and both my husband and I work from home.

ENTERTAINMENT: This category includes things such as movie rentals, video games purchased, going bowling, etc.

HOUSEHOLD : CLEANERS: If it’s used to clean up a mess, it goes in here. The exception is dish soap, which goes under kitchen.

HOUSEHOLD : DISPOSABLES: This is the special category for toilet paper, paper towel, paper plates, etc.

HOUSEHOLD : KITCHEN: This category is for things related to the kitchen. New pans would go in here as do scrubbers and dish soap.

HOUSEHOLD : OFFICE: This category encompasses a lot. Things like paper, envelopes, paperclips, folders, office chairs. Basically, if the thing we buy ends up in the “office” the expense goes here.

INSURANCE: This category is for our home and life insurance.

INTEREST PAID: This category is for non-credit card debt interest paid to our mortgage and student loans.

MEDICAL: This category includes money spent for things like Tylenol, doctor visits and health insurance.

RECREATION: This category could probably be merged with entertainment, but I like it separate. The spending here is for school sport costs as well as spending related to hunting/fishing/camping. I guess it is the “outdoor activity spending” category.

TOYS: This is my son’s category for everything toy-related. He often purchases things on his own now with his allowance. But there are times we purchase things for him, such as board games that the whole family can enjoy.

COMMON QUESTIONS

Where is your mortgage payment?

With the way I track our finances, I do it like an accountant would do it in that I track true expenses. With a mortgage payment, a portion of it is a true expense (interest), the rest is payment towards a liability (mortgage loan). Changes in a liability are reflected in your net worth, not on an expense sheet. Confusing, I know. I tried showing them on there before, and I couldn’t keep it like that. It goes against everything I’ve learned in accounting class.

How much is your mortgage payment?

If you combine our student loan payments and our mortgage, the payment comes to around $575/month. We have a very inexpensive home.

Do you give your son an allowance? Where is that?

We give our son a weekly allowance and also give him opportunities to earn extra money by doing some tasks. You will not see it on here, though. Under our Groceries category, it includes money spent for bottle deposits. When we return the bottles (in Michigan you get 10 cents/each), we use the cash for his allowance and other things. I have chosen to not try to track that money. I used to, but it drove me nuts. Too much detail and too much time spent tracking it for very little amounts of money.