Host Gator

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

EXPOSED - The Money Monk's Spending for February 2012

Well here it is, all my dirty laundry laid bare for all to see. This month was slightly atypical for a couple reasons, which I will get into later. But without further ado, here is the month's spending:


Housing: 410
Utilities: 110
  - 80 electricity, gas, water
  - 30 internet
Phone: 90 (phone + text + data)
Food: 220.2
 - Groceries: 150.8
 - Restaurants: 69.4
Gas: 169.28
Crossfit Gym: 195
Gifts: 271.44
Misc: 170.88
 - entertainment: 17.00
 - projects, home improvement: 19.46
 - Totally unnecessary stuff for myself: 74.63 (comics, motorcycle helmet, pants)
 - other: 59.79

TOTAL Spending: 1636.8 

A couple notes: I am counting expenses as they happen, so that's why you don't see some things like car insurance. I pay less than monthly, so it will show up in the month I pay it. This method will cause more variance for the individual months, but there is less chance for error, it's easier, and after the year is done the total will be the same.

The gifts bill is unusually high due to a Valentines day error. I thought the outrageous price of the nice meal I was buying was for a couple, when that was actually the price for each person. Doubly outrageous! OUCH!

Gas bill is high due to having to travel 280 miles round trip once a month for my National Guard obligation. So it is a recurring cost for now, but not due to my general lifestyle. So that accounts for about 50-60 of the gas bill.

I am obviously unhappy with the gifts bill being so high, but that is definitely atypical so I am not too worried about a repeat of that. Luckily I had some atypical income boosts as well to offset it. Other than that, I want to get my food below $200 next month, and get that Misc down as well.


Paycheck: 1008.73
Paycheck: 1008.74
Army Drill pay: 607.88
Birthday Gift Cash: 300
Home Escrow refund: 359.42
Online earnings and junk sales: 161.94



Relatives were generous for my birthday, and drill pay was for a day longer than usual this month. To top it off I got a refund of an overpayment into my mortgage escrow account.
Overall I managed a 52.5% savings rate, which is inline with my goal for the year. Which is good, but my earnings were unusually high this month, so even without the high gift bill I will have to cut some spending to stay above a 50% savings rate, or increase income somehow.  The obvious big one is my $195 dollar Crossfit gym bill. But it is important to me, so for the time being I am leaving that be. Although it is good to know that if push came to shove I could instantly drop $200 off my monthly spending.

Needless to say I failed miserably on my goal to only eat out twice over the month. I think it was more like 8 or 10 times. Instead I am going to go with a more realistic target of once a week for next month, and an overall food bill of under $200, and Misc under $125.

Well there it is. On to the next month of (semi)frugal living and saving for retirement.

-The Money Monk


  1. A 52.5% savings rate is awesome. That's much higher than the average, and I would be willing to say even much higher than the average PF blogger or "professional". I think anything above 40% is in rare company.

    Keep up the great work man. It's all just one more building block in your castle of financial independence.

    Best wishes.

  2. Thanks, DM. Yeah I'm happy with the savings rate for this month, I just hope I can keep it up. My pay had a couple unusual boosts this past month that I won't be getting next month, but I do have a couple other things to look forward to.

    I have a tax return coming, and should do better on the sales/internet front. Feb was a light month for me when it comes to 'junk' sales. March should be better hopefully.

  3. DM,

    I didn't notice a cable bill in your figures. Are you watching cable or perhaps using a satellite dish? Maybe cable comes with your rent. I followed your link from Dividend Mantra. Do you have a dividend portfolio or anything?

    Nice blog...


    1. Sorry should have addressed you as MM not DM...I was thinking Dividend Monk and not Money Monk...sorry!

    2. Hi Doc, thanks for stopping by.

      I don't have cable or satellite. Stopped paying for it years ago and never missed it. Any thing I want to watch I just get online.

      So far I don't have a dividend portfolio, but I do plan to. I am in the learning/research phase. That's one reason I found my way to Dividend Mantra's blog. He's got good stuff over there!

      Thanks for the comment.

  4. Gain some self discipline in your workout area like you have in other areas for an easy $2,340 a year saved. That is good money that can be spent on silver.

    1. True, but it isn't just about self discipline. It is also about the training facility and the continual small group training and instruction. You're right though, it is a lot of money. I am debating whether to continue paying it or not.