It’s been 4 months since early retirement, but it feels like ages ago. Our spending still varies quite a bit month per month. There seems to be a one time expense almost every month. We were busy this October with the Halloween festivities. MBP enjoyed trick or treating and we went to 3 events – 1 for our neighborhood, 1 for his Co-op and 1 for the actual night. He won the best costume contest for our neighborhood based on facebook likes and received a $75 Target gift card. He still have some gift cards from his birthday that we haven’t used.
Our October Spending: 8,005.43
Our biggest line item for this month is the second half of our property tax. This isn’t bad compared to what we used to pay in Seattle. Our escrow officer warned us that the county might not mail our bill directly, since they do it once a year. He was correct. I called the county to ask for the bill. That conversation went like this:
Me: Hi, we just purchased our home last April and I want to make sure we pay our property tax on time so we don’t incur any fines
County: Don’t worry, your mortgage company knows it and will pay it through escrow
Me: We don’t have a mortgage. We paid our house in full so we don’t have an escrow account
County: Oh, uhmm, let me put you on hold. (hold for a couple of minutes). Ok, I will send you the bill.
It’s so obvious that it’s very rare for them to get this kind of phone call. They sorted it out and I got the bill and sent the check the next day.
Pregnancy Related Expense
I got some scary news once I hit my 22nd week of pregnancy. I started feeling some contractions in the beginning of my second trimester. Given that MBP was born really early, I’m trying to be cautious as much as I can and listen more to my body. That week, my biweekly cervix scan showed some bad reading. It looks like there was a funneling in my cervix that also looks like a dilation. I needed to have a consult with maternal fetal medical (MFM) as they specialize on high risk pregnancy. I was probably a bit paranoid that week that I went back to my OB 2 days later because I was really concern with the contractions and my OB was also cautious. That turned out ok. I am now being a couch potato. I also make sure that every contraction stop when I move / change positions to make sure that it is just Braxton Hicks. Unfortunately, there’s very little research done on premature birth. My MFM basically just told me to take what I feel seriously and go to triage if I feel that I need to be seen. Expense wise, since I already hit my deductible I paid very little for my co-pay visit. I am also taking a weekly shot that caused 2K/month. My copay is a little over $250 and I paid for 2 months for that. My husband got a crash course from the nurse to give shots so I don’t need to drive to the clinic every week. At this rate, I’m pretty sure that I will hit my out of pocket expense by this month.
Other spending increase
Aside from the property taxes and health care, out utilities also increased given that we started heating. Our thermostat is set at 68 during daytime and 56 at night. I also started eating more, and get hungry in the middle of the night and this reflects in our grocery budget. My go to snack at night are cliff bars. We’re discovering more and more of the area and ate out a couple of times. Since we drove to my doctor twice a week the last two weeks, our gas is also fairly high. I also drove to Seattle and paid for parking to attend Cents Positive which has been a great experience!
We still don’t budget. I never budgeted per line item on my entire adult life. I just really keep an eye on my total expense. Without the property taxes, we are pretty close to our expenses last month.
We track our spending and net worth using Personal Capital. We use credit cards every time we can in combination of Chase Sapphire for travel and dining, Amazon Prime Card for Amazon purchases and Fidelity Investments Credit Card for everything else. I also recently applied for a Costco Visa Card since Costco is our nearest grocery store and we purchased our gas there.
I highly recommend using some sort of tracking mechanism to track your spending. Credit cards are good to use if you can pay it off every month
And here’s our expenses for the month of October
|Health Insurance||1,387.24||COBRA for the whole family|
|Pharmacy||615.28||The progesterone shots that I have to take from week 16 - 36 of my pregnancy|
|529 College Fund||400.00|
|Utilities||289.30||Electric, Sewer, Gas and Water|
|Hotel||179.00||My little sister will graduate this May and we booked our hotel in advance|
|Restaurants||156.51||3 trips to retaurants for the family|
|Gas & Fuel||152.21|
|Preschool Tuition||143.42||A full year tuition for the community college that is required for ourcoop|
|Baby Supplies||117.35||This probably should say kids supply|
|Gym||115.00||YMCA membership. MBP takes swim classes here twice a week|
|Arts||115.00||Membership to the children's museum|
|Service Fee||95.00||Credit card fee for Chase Sapphire|
|Home Improvement||90.50||We bought a leaf blower / vaccum|
|Pet Food & Supplies||69.94||Food for the spoiled furbaby|
|Parking||45.37||Parking for the Cents positive in Seattle|
|Pet Medical||38.00||Some medicine for the furbaby|
|Tolls||30.00||This is an automatic refill of our toll pass|
|Gift||20.65||Another 2 year old bday party|
|Service & Parts||12.00|
|Electronics & Software||0.55||Blog hosting fee (yes, it's this cheap via AWS)|