Goblin Hoard Report Card – December 2014

December was an unusual month for us. We spent the last two weeks of it on holiday with the Alchemist’s family. My in-laws are very generous folks, and so what could be expensive trips are rarely expensive considering how long we stay.

We did have some hiccups with our lone car, but thankfully the repairs weren’t too expensive at the end of the day. While traveling induces its own kind of stress, it was a good trip for the family and there were tears shed at the end by her folks. As we continue to get settled in, I’ll try and post some of the best pictures we got from the trip.

Regular readers will see a new format to the spending, with some categories broken down into what may seem an obscene number of subcategories, but I’m experimenting with something from Your Money or Your Life that I think will help us ensure our spending matches up with our values.

Budget for December 2014

Income (combined after all deductions): $6,204

Fixed Spending

  • Housing (Mortgage+Tax+Insurance): $1,061
  • Student Loans (combined): $571.61
  • Auto Insurance: $36.08
  • Life Insurance: $60
  • Internet: $58
  • Netflix: $9.49
  • Amazon Prime: $8.42

Variable Spending

  • Extra debt payment: $1,049
  • Fuel: 80.48
  • Gas/Electric: $159.76
  • Health Expenses: $10
    • Maintenance: $10
    • Sickness: $0
  • Water: $226
  • AirVoice cell: $30
    • Current monthly average: $14
  • Kids “Stars”
    • Allowance spending: $15
    • To Investments: $326

Sink Funds Spending

  • Groceries/Necessities (detailed breakdown here): $280
    • Fruit: $3
    • Vegetables: $5
    • Nuts: $0
    • Baking: $23
    • Dairy: $30
    • Eggs: $6
    • Meat: $34
    • Fats: $5
    • Prepared Foods (includes pasta): $41
    • Non-alcoholic beverages: $35
    • Alcohol: $42
    • Misc and Personal Care: $27
  • Discretionary: $214.53 (Forward balance: $402.31)
    • Restaurants: $0
    • Gifts: $214.53
    • Garden: $0
  • Transportation Capital Fund: $595.16 (Forward balance: $174.80)
    • Car upgrades: $14
    • Car maintenance or repair: $465
    • Bike upgrades: $0
    • Bike maintenance: $0
  • Travel: $301 (Forward balance: $928.77)
    • Fuel/Tolls: $278
    • Lodging: $0
    • Dining Out: $13
    • Attractions: $10
  • Kids/Education: $0 (Forward balance: $170.78)
  • House Capital Fund: $31.55 (Forward balance: $168.71)
    • Maintenance: $31.55
    • Upgrades: $0

January is a bit of an unknown right now. We should have a strong income month and despite eating our pantry down in December (hence the very low produce purchases) I am going to do my best to keep things under budget. After our most recent finance date, our broad priorities look like this:

1. Retire one group of my graduate loans, lowering the overall minimum payment,

2. Save up to repair/remodel our bathroom. It needs love.

3. Garden hard, garden smart. I did last year’s garden on a shoestring budget. Obviously I have no interest in wasting money, but having more money to potentially invest in it should pay big dividends this year.

Somewhere in that I may quit my job, or we may decide to have me keep working a bit longer.


3 Comments on “Goblin Hoard Report Card – December 2014”

  1. Moonwaves says:

    I like some of the new categories (at least I think they’re new, I didn’t go back to check previous entries). At any rate, I think it makes sense to do things like have two health categories and car and bike etc. Prevention and maintenance are very different than treating illness/buying new stuff.
    If you can get your hands on a copy, Mark Diacono wrote a very interesting book called a Taste of the Unexpected. It was published under a different name in the US, which also tells you what you need to know about it really: The Food Lover’s Garden: Amazing Edibles You Will Love to Grow and Eat. Fabulous book.

  2. […] Plus, it saves you money! Real, honest food is cheap. It’s amazing what will happen to your grocery bill if you stick to raw, whole ingredients instead of pre-made food, whether full meals, snacks, drinks, etc. Learning to eat seasonally (and thus locally) will naturally increase the nutrient density, which means you’ll need less to trigger long-term satiety. Sure, local food can be expensive. Pastured meats are definitely more expensive than factory-farmed meat, but you need so much less to feel full, because it’s so much better for you. If you have trouble seeing this, as frugal as I am, I didn’t see it until recently either. Consider tracking in detail your grocery spending along the lines of what I did last month. […]

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