This year is flying by, and summer seems to go the fastest of all the seasons. May is one of my favorite months. Everything is green and beautiful, but the hot summer temperatures haven’t arrived yet. Looks like summer but doesn’t feel like it just yet. There’s nothing better than having the furnace & A/C off and leaving the windows open. Ahhh….
May was a great month: My new fridge was delivered, I participated in a Golden Girls bar crawl, and enjoyed Mother’s Day with my parents. Check out the sweet t-shirt from the bar crawl:
It was a blast to join over 1,100 other people (with at least half of the attendees dressed in costume) and hit five bars in downtown Minneapolis. This was the first ever but my friends and I are hoping they make it an annual event. We’d definitely attend again.
On to the financials!
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 May expenses:
I spent $1,147 on fixed costs (e.g. association fee, utilities, insurance, etc.). Higher than an average month, since I paid a full year of property taxes. While I live in a high tax state, my annual property taxes are only $710 because I have a townhouse, which doesn’t have a yard or any real property. Since it’s not too expensive, I pay the full year at once rather than half in May and half in October.
I spent $883 on variable costs (e.g. food, gas, house supplies, gifts/donations, etc.). There were a few big items this month: annual blog hosting fee ($107), eye exam and glasses ($163), and my groceries ran high since I’ve been re-stocking my (new) fridge/freezer. Before the fridge was delivered, I worked my way through almost all the food so that I didn’t risk losing any in the transition. Now that I know it’s working fine, I’m refilling it. Besides these items, I also made a donation to MPR during their member drive and brought my car in for an oil change.
Total spending for the month was $2,031. Spending for the year so far is $9,197. The average per month is $1,840, which is slightly over my goal of monthly spending of $1,667 or less. May is always expensive with my property taxes due so this wasn’t a surprise but I still dreaded it. But that’s what savings is for, right?
Coming up next month: The expensive months of the year are over so a return to normalcy for June. I hope. Going to try to bring that monthly average spend down a bit.
How did your May go? Any challenges?