July 2007 Score Card — Part II: Expenses

I have attempted in the past several times to develop a habit of tracking our monthly expenses, just as I did with the growth of our money. I figured that if I know how we spent the money, we could try to reduce some unnecessary expenses. However, that effort didn’t last long. I gave up after only a couple of months one year ago. For the months that I did track, there weren’t many changes from month to month and, yes, it wasn’t that exciting.

Then where does our money go each month? We have some fixed expenses every month that can’t be skipped, including

  • Mortgage: $1,635 ($400 additional principal)
  • Daycare: $1,400
  • Investments: $1,000
  • Car loan: $625
  • 529 plan: $600
  • Savings account auto-transfer: $600
  • Association fee: $200
  • Utilities: $120
  • Phone: $65
  • Cable and internet: $40

In addition, we also spend about $300 on gas and $400 on groceries each month and there could be another couple of hundreds for stuffs we buy but are not planned in advance. I only keep about $3,000 to $4,000 in our checking account. Any money that I consider as excessive in the checking account will be moved to savings accounts.

As much as I don’t track our expenses, I don’t budget either and there’s no special accounts for the purpose of saving money for big ticket item purchases. It may look indisciplined, but I am quite comfortable with the way the system worked for us so far.

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3 Responses to “July 2007 Score Card — Part II: Expenses”

  1. Super Saver |  Aug 05, 2007 at 11:57 am

    Sun,

    Wow, the cost of daycare is pretty high. I knew that, but have not thought much about it since we are a single income family. When you put the number next to your mortgage, it really emphasizes the magnitude of the amount.

  2. yabadaba |  Aug 06, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    what about eating out? how much do u spend on that?

    your grocery cost is also very low.

  3. Sun |  Aug 06, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    Super Saver: That $1400 is for two daughters ($800 + $600). Overall the cost is quite high, but compared to a couple of other states I know, it’s still relatively cheap :)

    yabadaba: With a baby several months old, we pretty much can’t go anywhere. So eating out is rare. Even before having children, we didn’t eat out a lot, averaging maybe less than once a month. Not that we don’t want to, but difficult to find good restaurants in our area serving good Chinese food :) Most of the time, we cook our own meals and bring home-made lunch.

    We only shop for groceries in the weekends, most of the time at our local farm market. We can buy lot of stuff with $30 :)