September has come and gone, and now October is the only thing standing between me and my vacation/scout trip to Nicaragua in November. I can’t wait. The only thing that can distract me from thinking about it is talking about money. So let’s talk about the September numbers.
Not much action in the way of income this month except for the ever reliable monthly paycheck from my day job. Amanda sent out her fall invoices for her violin studio, which started to come in and were offset by babysitter expenses.
I spent some for parking at the airport last month when I went to FinCon in Charlotte, although that was my only real expense. I liked it so much that I bought not one, but two, tickets to FinCon 2016. Why two? Because it’s in San Diego! We might just make a family trip out of it since Amanda’s parents live out that way.
401k: I am cruising along on auto pilot, contributing 15% of my gross income to retirement. That’s not quite enough to max out my 401k or to retire early, but you have to work with what you have.
529s: The education contributions are now being deducted from my monthly paycheck, which is really nice because I don’t even have to think about it anymore.
Doctor $1067 ($767 worse): I have been putting of paying some off my medical bills for MRIs and CT scans I had done on my foot months ago. I used to pay all my bills on time, but now I let them go because I’ve found that sometimes they’ll give you a discount it they think you’re flaky. Do I recommend this tactic? Yes I do. Until they start telling me what it’s going to cost beforehand, I feel no obligation to pay what it says on the bill. Just being honest. Anyway, I waited on this one too long, and it nearly went to collections, so I had to get on it.
Mortgage $950 (spot on): If I paid property taxes and home insurance along with our mortgage payment, the total payment would be closer to $1,250 per month.
Giving $833 (spot on): We give 10 percent of our income. I am usually able to budget the exact amount because it is usually based on the prior month. It seems like a lot, but we have many reasons why we give.
Groceries $793 ($93 worse): We were sort of close this month. It’s actually pretty good considering we tried some new things with food this month. I know that’s vague, but I will write about it soon.
Phone $363 ($351 worse): After 10 years of living in the cellular dark ages, I have finally decided to join the 21st century and get a smart phone. It was a spontaneous decision I made last month for reasons I will post about next week. My wife got smart about 6 months ago with Republic Wireless, which is who I signed up with as well. If you’re on the fence about Republic or any of their phones, I’ll tell you next week how I’m liking it.
Electricity $207 ($47 worse): I budgeted electricity based on last year’s bill, so I would have expected it to have been closer. Probably those dang kids leaving all the house lights on…
Shopping $216 ($100 worse): A lot of this is miscellaneous. We also had 2 birthdays this month. Our daughters were born 2 years and 2 days apart, so of course we have to get two of everything. Okay, we don’t have to, but it sure does help to avoid a lot of fighting and whining.
Kid Activities $110 ($60 worse): Piano lessons and renewing a kids museum family pass. With winter coming, we have to start planning how we’re not going to go crazy from being inside all the time.
My Featured Bare Budget Series
I am excited to have begun featuring the budgets of people and other bloggers who are in all different stages of life! I know there are people out there as curious (or nosy) as I am who enjoy getting a deeper glimpse into the financial lives of normal people.
If you are one of them, consider pitching in by posting yours!
Check out my 30-second overview video that cost me $26 to see what it’s all about.
How was your September? Do you pay your medical bills on time?