Inexpensive School Pictures And Other October 2017 Expenses

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We absolutely love October, and we’re definitely sad to see it go. But, alas, a new month is upon us and it’s time to review last month’s expenditures. Sharing our monthly expenses is a new series we’re starting on Mad Money Monster! We figured since everyone loves to compare themselves to their peers, we would offer up our own personal expenses each month to satisfy this basic human urge. And what better time to start than our favorite month of October. So without further delay, let’s get into the financial details of our wallet…

October In A Nutshell

Monthly Expenses | Budget | Tracking Your Finances via @MadMoneyMonster

Our traditional paper skeleton Halloween decoration. Note Mad Money Pup through the glass.

October was a really good time for us. We decorated for Halloween as soon as the clock hit midnight on the 1st. Our paper skeleton made its way to our front door and we dusted off our Department 56 Halloween village (bought before our commitment to frugality) and carefully displayed it for yet another spooky season.

We also had a friend spend the weekend, enjoying time at a local winery and a haunted Halloween attraction. Having houseguests is something we don’t do frequently, so spending a little money when it happens is just fine with us.

Mini Monster also had school pictures taken this month. I have never been a fan of these canned photos, but I buy a package out of obligation. I mean, I couldn’t possibly not order a picture package at all. Mini Monster would feel too bad being the only kid in her class without a package to take home. So, I did what any loving, frugal parent would do. I ordered the absolute cheapest package they offered. Still not super cheap, but better than the other packages. Only a handful of people I know are interested in getting these pictures, so the smallest package more than suffices. And we still have leftovers. Go figure.

On our furry front, Mad Money Pup had to visit the vet for his annual allergy injection. Unfortunately, the little guy is allergic to pine needles, and we have a ton of them in our yard. So every fall when they start dropping, he starts itching.  He inevitably needs a steroid shot to get him through the season. And because it’s been unseasonably warm this year, he’s been suffering a bit longer than usual. Poor little guy.

I also finally activated Mad Money Cat’s Home Again chip. I would be aghast if he ever got lost and I never activated his little chip. Not to worry, $32 later, it’s done.

And, that, was our October in a nutshell.

Tracking Our Finances

Monthly Expenses | Budget | Tracking Your Finances via @MadMoneyMonster

Mad Money Cat admiring the Halloween village.

We have an eclectic approach when it comes to tracking our finances and monthly expenses. We use our old-school Excel spreadsheet to plan for upcoming expenses and month-to-month variations, and we use Personal Capital to track our overall financial health and net worth. Did I mention that tracking our net worth is probably the #1 best thing we ever did for financial motivation? If you’re not already using it, I highly recommend trying Personal Capital to track your net worth. It’s free!

Gimme The Numbers

Aside from our mortgage expenditures, we only spent $1,274.00 in October. So without further ado, let’s check out October’s numbers.

October
Bill Amount Notes
Mortgage 1711.00 It might seem high but we have a 15-yr mortgage at 2.7%. We also escrow our taxes and insurance.
Water 32.00 We’re on public water.
Car Insurance 0.00 Paid in full for 2017
Internet 50.00
Electricity 93.00 I have a hard time not using the AC or heat. I like being comfortable. And since I splurge on so little, I’m okay with it.
Gas 27.00 We do a lot of crockpot meals and batch cooking. And, we haven’t needed to turn on the heat yet!
Mobile Phone 70.00 Still on Verizon with cheapest data plan
Gas 60.00 Since Mr. MMM works mostly from home and I work close to home, we’re able to get away with $60/month – most of the time.
Groceries 350.00 We order our groceries online to save time and money!
Medications 30.00
Work lunches 30.00 Don’t freak out, I take my lunch to work with the exception of once/week. I have a lunch date with a friend and allot myself NMT $10 per outing. And usually, it’s less than that. And since I value my relationships, this is money well spent.
Funny money 50.00 This category is for anything fun we want to do that isn’t forecast. It might include a movie or fancy shmancy coffee. The supplies for Mini Monster’s Halloween costume came out of this fund. Check out our Instagram for pics. Think: The Demogorgon from Stranger Things 🙂
Haircut 75.00 Mini and Mommy got our quarterly haircuts. This includes a generous tip.
Pet food 120.00 We feed our pets grain-free food. It costs a little extra but it’s better for them and we’re convinced it saves us money on their healthcare costs. Our Mad Money Pups eat this food and our Mad Money Cats eat this food. We all love it. Sometimes we can get a better deal at our local pet store, but it’s mostly less expensive (and easier) to order it online – like we do all of our other groceries!
School pictures 32.00 Mini Monster had her school pictures this month!
Activation of chip 32.00 I finally got around to activating Mad Money Cat’s chip – in the event he gets lost. Yikes! We wouldn’t want that!
Birthday celebration 18.00 A good friend had a birthday celebration. We spent $18 on 6-pack of good beer as a gift.
Houseguest 120.00 This was our day at the winery and Halloween attraction. So worth it.
Vet visit 85.00 Poor Mad Money Pup needed his annual steroid shot for his allergies.
Total 2985.00 Total Expenses
Total w/out mortgage 1274.00 Total without the mortgage

Just in case you’re wondering why trash, sewer, and various other routine expenses aren’t listed, some of our bills are quarterly so you’ll have to tune in next month to see how much we spend on those services.

How did your October play out? Were you able to save money? Or did you go over budget?

2 comments… add one
  • Rob Nov 6, 2017, 5:39 pm

    What about life insurance? health insurance? retirement savings each month?
    thanks for getting this out in public. I am redoing my budget and it is nice to see that others have monthly oddities. FYI for the photo thing you can always just get one for yourself and then go to Costco and have a similar background to send out to families. I use the extras ordered for thank you notes from my daughter. Saves a LOT. My eldest sat in the same chair every year and it was fun to see him grow up in it.

    • Mad Money Monster Nov 6, 2017, 6:13 pm

      All of our insurances and retirement savings comes off the top before anything else and through my employer. I just listed our living expenses each month 🙂

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