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It’s time for another spending report! We spent a lot this month on getting from point A to point B - gas for our road trip to Florida, maintenance and insurance for our car, and two bikes (one for Jaime and one for our oldest daughter).

I’ll give some personal updates first and then we can dive into our full spending report.

Personal Updates

Girls at an old schoolhouse on our road trip

We had another action-packed month. The girls finished up the school year and within an hour of leaving class, we were on the road to Florida for our summer road trip.

With summer in full swing, we’ve been busy with water balloons, soccer balls, and science experiments. Add in summer school (the fun kind) for the kids and afternoon camp and we’ve been even busier than the school year.

That said, it’s been a good kind of busy - the kind that leaves you tired at the end of the day and a smile on your face.

Girls playing on air hockey table

One of the really fun things we picked up this month was a fully-functioning air hockey table that a neighbor put by the curb. The girls are becoming air hockey experts and Jaime and I are trying to keep up :)

My job search is progressing - I’ve had conversations with a number of companies and am making progress on a few promising positions. I anticipate we’ll have clarity within the next 1-2 months on where I’ll be headed for my work day and what our finances will look like going forward.

How We Track Our Spending

We’ve been manually tracking our spending for the last 2.5 years and it’s helped us make a big improvement in our spending habits.

I couldn’t talk Jaime into loving spreadsheets, so I created a web app for us instead. Once we had it for ourselves, it was a logical next step to put it online for anyone to access.

In the spending summary below, you’ll see screenshots straight out of our Thrifty account.

If you’d like to learn more, check out Thrifty and sign up for a free 7-day trial.

How We Manage our Money

We’ve been using Capital One 360 for our checking and savings accounts for years. We’ve been really happy with their ease-of-use and interest rates.

For travel rewards, we’ve been using a Capital One Venture Card and we just hit our spending threshold to get 50,000 bonus points - that’s $500 in travel!

Spending Summary - $8,749.27

In June, we spent a total of $8,749.27 - quite a bit more than our monthly target of $5,000. Almost all of this was travel-related (both our family road trip in June and paying ahead for parts of our 10-year anniversary trip in July).

Here’s how we’ve been trending on our spending:

June spending: $8,749.27; 12-month average spending: $7,614.56

Our average is skewed high because of the $18,000 we spent in July for closing costs and real estate agent fees in selling our home

Next, let’s take a look at how we spent by category this month:

2018 spending - reference table below for details

And here’s a breakdown of each category:

Category Amount Notes
Charity $100.00 We continued our regular contributions to our church and The Hope Effect, one of our favorite charities.
Clothing/Shoes $183.47 Last month, we refreshed clothing for Jaime and the girls. This month was my turn - 3 t-shirts, a pair of shorts and a new belt. In addition, we got a new pair of shoes for each of our twins. Kid feet grow so fast!
Eating Out $148.20 With our busy, activity-filled month, we bought a lot of food while out doing fun activities. We only ordered-in for food one time this month outside our plan, but lots of treats this month at home and while we were out.
Education $6.29 We bought some supplies for our 1st-grader’s end of school class party.
Entertainment $26.79 We rented three movies from Redbox this month and took the kids to a local pool.
Fitness $987.40 Whoa - big month this month! We bought a bike for our oldest daughter and one for Jaime too. In addition, Jaime signed up for Krav Maga classes (3x/week) as a way to learn some self-defense and work out at the same time. She’s tried some moves on me already - I’ve got the bruises to prove it :)
Gifts & Celebrations $100.44 We had a pretty simple Father’s day, and Jaime had lunch with her mom as a Mother’s day present from last month. In addition, we got a gift for our nephew for his baptism.
Groceries $717.47 We’re still hovering around the $700-800 a month mark for groceries.
Hobbies $23.15 We got some markers and coloring books for the kids. In addition, we got supplies for a science experiment that our girls did at summer school and wanted to do with us again at home.
Household Care $318.46 We had a number of one-offs this month: an ice cube tray, a veggie peeler, a calendar, some storage bins to organize art supplies, a pencil sharpener (with batteries), 5 beach towels, a small cooler, and 2 ice packs. Of course, we also had our standards: dishwasher detergent, toothpaste, floss, hair gel, toilet paper, sunscreen, aloe, bleach, shampoo, conditioner.
Kids’ Jobs $6.90 Our kids started asking to earn some money again, so we set up a cool system for Saturday morning chores (post to come). We’re two weeks in and it’s working well. The kids are earning good money, and we’re getting a chance to teach them housekeeping stuff they’ll need to know as they grow up :)
Pizza & Movie Night $13.45 This month, we cooked “mini-pizzas” for our pizza nights as a cost-saving experiment. Cut an English muffin in half, put sauce, cheese, and other toppings on and pop in the oven for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Tasty, healthier, and cheaper! We have the cost of these in our groceries, so the $13.45 is movie rentals and an order of breadsticks.
Services $314.09 Life insurance from Haven Life for Chris, a haircut for Chris, and paying an old neighbor to mow the lawn at the land we own (for May, June, and July).
Shelter $1,129.00 Rent for our 1150 square-foot apartment (which went up by $25) and renter’s insurance (for the year)
Transportation $925.43 Three tanks of gas, a car wash, car insurance (for the year), and maintenance. This time, I paid for the oil change but replaced the engine intake filter and the cabin air filter myself - it was super-easy and saved about $50.
Travel $3,525.26 About $2,400 for our trip to Florida and $1,130 for our hotel for our upcoming trip to Costa Rica.
Utilities $171.46 Internet and gas/electric
Business Expenses $52.01 Business expenses - app hosting fees for Thrifty and MNY and our email management tool (we use ConvertKit).
Total $8,749.27  

Side-Hustle Income Summary - $250.00

Jaime and I made a bit this month from the blog (and the connections its made for us). Our $250.00 is a combination of income from our Freedom Series sponsor and from freelance writing. You can see our Work With Us page for the full list of opportunities we have.

How Was Your June?

How was your spending this June? We had a lot of seasonal expenses hit this month and some big investments in our health and travel. Everything was in alignment with our values, so we feel good about it even though it was a higher-spend month!

Don’t forget to check out Thrifty, the app behind all the pretty screenshots in these reports. You can get your own tracking started for free with a 7-day trial!