February is short month — always goes by so fast. Guess that’s good for keeping expenses low, right?
Since I don’t plan to spend any money today, I thought I’d get ahead and post my February expenses today, rather than waiting another week. Without further ado, here’s how February panned out.
Financial independence is really important to me and it’s currently my main financial goal. I’m trying to keep my monthly spending to $1,667. This is very reasonable, coming in at $20,000/year. I don’t include the cost of medical and dental coverage in my expenses, since this is largely subsidized by my employer.
I’m sharing my monthly expenses to illustrate that it’s not difficult to have a great life while spending far less than the household average. I’m fully aware that I’m able to do this because my mortgage is paid off and I don’t have a car loan or credit card debt. It was a long journey to get here and now I’m reaping the benefits.
Although I use Mint and Personal Capital to keep an eye on all my accounts, I use Excel to track my expenses. I’ve found that this works best for me, since I can easily compare months and see a running total for the year for each category.
If you have questions regarding how much I spend on groceries, my cell phone, etc., feel free to drop a note in the comments and I’ll happily provide those details. You can also check out my 2016 total spending by category here.
Here are my February expenses:
I spent $467 on fixed costs (e.g. association fee, utilities, insurance, etc.). No surprises here. It was exactly what I was expecting, as fixed costs tend to be. This spring I’ll be paying my property taxes and condo insurance, in which both cover the entire year. Until then, my fixed costs are nothing out of the ordinary.
I spent $685 on variable costs (e.g. food, gas, house supplies, gifts/donations, etc.). Wow, this is insanely low and I love it! That’s not to say I didn’t spend on some extras this month. The main (non-negotiable) expense was diabetic supplies (insulin, syringes, prescription food) for my cat, to the tune of $177. Worth every penny to keep him healthy.
Lately I’ve gotten into jigsaw puzzles so this includes the cost of a few new puzzles, which will keep me busy. I also went out to eat a few times and treated my car to a real car wash. In addition to all this, I made donations to my favorite charity and my favorite radio station . This was definitely a month where my spending aligns with my values. And it was cheap!
Total spending for the month was $1,152. Spending for the year so far is $2,900. The average per month is $1,450, which is within my goal of monthly spending of $1,667 or less.
Coming up next month, I’ll talk about a change to my car insurance and the reasons behind it.
All in all, a very quiet month. How did your February go? Any challenges?