Spending in July
I’m embarrassed to admit it, but ever since we paid off our debt back in June, we’ve let our spending creep back up. We had started a Crash Cash Diet back in January in an attempt to curb spending and get out of debt but we recently stopped going to the bank to withdraw cash.
Related: Net Worth Updates
If you’ve been following our journey, you may remember that we had started off with a weekly cash diet of:
- $60 for groceries
- $40 for household expenses
- $20 each for personal spending money
for a total of $140 per week.
Shortly after discovering that I was pregnant, we increased our weekly budget to $160. I’d been skipping items to stay under our grocery budget but this was no longer the time to be skimping on things like milk, yogurt and meat!
In July, we spent $1,157.46 on our Visa. When we had first started the Cash Diet, we had decided to continue building our credit by paying for certain bills using our Visa. These were reoccurring monthly expenses and included:
- Our home and auto insurance at $209.44 per month (no discount for paying by pre-authorized debit)
- Gas (since we get extra Aeroplan points)
- Phone/Internet bill (which has now increased to $147.47 this month)
Based on my breakdown, we only spent $209.44 on our insurance and $245.68 on gas, meaning we overspent by $455.12! Here’s where the extra money went:
- $16.84 for a work-appropriate dress that would accommodate my growing baby bump
- $71.81 for pet food
- $101.69 for an iPhone case
- $197.75 for prenatal classes
- $6 for movie tickets
- $244 for the eye doctor and prescription glasses
- $64.85 for a steak lunch at a steak house
You may be asking yourself why I spent so much money on an iPhone case. I am notoriously bad with phones. I had dropped my previous BlackBerry in its heavy duty Otterbox case so many times, the case broke. I decided to try a Lifeproof FRE case (which is part of the same company as Otterbox) since it boasts that it’s basically ME-Proof:
It also has a 1 year warranty so in the event that I somehow manage to break this case as well within the first year, at least I’ll be covered. Just before going on the Crash Cash diet earlier this year, I wrote about how I put everything on my credit card – in this instance, one of the benefits of paying for this case on my credit card is that it actually extends the manufacturer’s warranty, giving me even more coverage! Many premium credit cards (i.e. those with annual fees) offer this added benefit, so check to see if yours includes it.
The prenatal classes aren’t until October but since they potentially book up quickly, we decided to book our dates now.
The $6 spent on movie tickets was because Mr. Unchained had gotten free tickets from work but since the movie we were watching was 3D, we had to pay the surcharge of $3 per person. Because we had purchased the tickets online, we had to pay by Visa. The $244 spent on the eye doctor and glasses were covered by Mr. Unchained’s benefits, so this is essentially a non-issue.
The final item, the $64.85 steak lunch, was thanks to a massive pregnancy craving for steak. I had been craving steak almost all pregnancy but have been worried since unless it’s fully cooked (i.e. inedible for me), you risk toxoplasmosis. I read that the risk is lower at steakhouses where the meat is turned over quickly and therefore fresher, so we opted for a more reputable steakhouse. Was it worth spending nearly $65 on lunch? I can easily say no now, but the satisfaction that came from enjoying that juicy piece of meat was just indescribable. (We also shared one big steak and an appetizer to help “save” money.)
Since there were 5 Fridays in July and our pregnancy Cash Diet should have been $160/month, we should have spent a maximum of $800. However, we spent $1,077.69 on our debit instead, a difference of $277.69. The money was spent as follows:
- $250 for a wedding gift (cash)
- $170.44 on eating out
- $191.12 on groceries (should have been $80 * 5 weeks = $400 max)
- $18.40 on lunches at my work (mostly due to me not feeling like eating anything I could pack for lunch)
- $71.18 on pet food (which we need around every 3 weeks, so it’s not unreasonable to have to buy food twice in one month)
- $40.25 at the liquor store (obviously not for me! Some of this was used for cooking a dish for a family cottage trip)
- $240.98 was for a car seat I bought through a friend (he was leaving his company and would be losing his employee discount soon)
- $95.32 at Walmart/Costco (household expenses should be no more than $40*5 weeks = $200)
Overall, although we definitely overspent on eating out, we still spent less on food than I would have budgeted for groceries. The amount also included a wedding gift and the car seat, without which would have actually put us at under our spending limit.
The car seat we went with was the Diono Radian RXT Convertible Plus Car Seat, which I chose for several reasons:
- Really high safety ratings
- Really high user reviews
- Converts from infant seat to car seat to booster seat (read: no need to buy 3 different car seats!)
- The original price in Canada was $380. It was on sale for $300, and if you bought it online, you were eligible for another 10% off, plus my friend was able to apply his employee discount of 15% on top of that! In total, we paid $229.50 + tax Canadian!
Click below if you’re interested in checking it out on Amazon.com.
July Net Worth
The month of July saw a moderate increase of $4,874.28 (+0.94%), from $519,309.46 to $524,183.74. Given that there were 5 Fridays in the month (and therefore 5 paychecks), this isn’t great progress. However, our liabilities continue to decrease and our assets continue to increase (ever so slowly) so other than working on keeping expenses and spending low, I think we’re moving in the right direction.
Income Generating Portfolio
Compared to last month, our income-generating portfolios have made a bit of a recovery. Last month, we ended off with a value of $57,157.91 which generated an income of $20.79.
This month, our portfolio recovered quite well, sitting at $60,724.33, an increase of 6.24%! However, our income dropped by 6.59% from $20.79 to $19.42.
We’re continuing to focus all our efforts on maximizing our Baby Fund. The baby is due January 10, 2017 so we’ve given ourselves until December 31 to save up what we would need to make it through a year of maternity leave.
You can track our updates on our 2016 Goals page, but you can see that we are not on target. When we had originally started saving, we needed to save $501.84/week to meet our goal. That number has now risen to $531.03!
We’re currently sitting at $2,368.83 and have 22 weeks left to save the remaining $11,682.69 to meet our goal of $14,051.52.
Since we’ve been struggling to meet our weekly savings goals with our regular paychecks, we’ve both started doing more overtime. I know this Friday’s paycheck will be short since I took a day off to go to the cottage, but starting next Friday, we should start seeing some higher paychecks. Hopefully, this will help start lowering that “amount that must be saved per week” to one we can comfortably save without having to do overtime. Who knows how long we’ll continue to be offered overtime!
- 7 ways to work overtime to maximize pay while avoiding burnout
- Is it worth working overtime once you deduct taxes?
How was your July?
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