Now that November is nothing but a distant memory, it’s time to spend the day gathering up all of our receipts, pool our remaining cash, balance the checkbook, and see where we netted out. Orrr, we can spend 10 minutes in Personal Capital to get a detailed breakdown on exactly where our money went last month. Let’s do that instead!
In November we spent $7,393.
That’s $161 more than we spent in October, but I’m quite pleased with our number. November had the potential to be very expensive with us ramping up our Christmas shopping and another trip back home to visit our families for Thanksgiving. Because the family lives so far away it’s not very easy to get there with four kids. This was our first Thanksgiving at home in five years. Long overdue and worth the time and money spent to get there.
A few months ago we learned that Mandy’s dad has stage four pancreatic cancer; it’s terminal. This holiday season will, unfortunately, probably the last we get to spend with him and whatever expense we incurred to spend this time with our dad and grandpa is unquestionably money well spent. In fact, we’re likely to end up traveling again in December to spend Christmas with the family.
Sure it’s no easy task to pack up six people (along with all of their gifts), travel over 2,000 miles, pay for hotels, and fuel, and restaurant/travel food, but in my mind there isn’t even another option. This is a no-brainer. I can always earn more money, but we’ll never get more time … so we’re doing our best to use that time wisely.
I’m very thankful that we’ve been diligent with our money recently, which has made it possible for us to be able to afford all of these trips back home without going into debt, despite the increased spending levels. Speaking of which ….
Here’s our November spending breakdown:
- Rent. $2,100. No surprises here, just a great deal.
- Car costs. $1,088. This is my car payment + fuel. It’s quite a bit higher than usual due to our 2,000 mile road trip. I also paid to have my oil changed.
- Groceries. $892. Our lowest bill yet, probably due to the fact that we weren’t home for 25% of the month.
- Miscellaneous. $706. The bulk of this comes from two hotel stays as well as some gift purchases. Speaking of hotels … our hotel in Oregon had an overpowering maple syrup smell. Normally I’m not opposed to the smell of maple syrup, but when it’s this strong, and when you can’t escape from it, it very quickly becomes a bad thing. Based on a few other … qualities (?) of this hotel, I have a hunch the strong smell was very much meant to mask other odors. We’ll not be staying at that hotel ever again.
- Restaurants. $589. I’ve got a fast food problem that’s both expensive and unhealthy. In previous two months I’ve spent an average of about $625 per month eating out at work. This month, the vast majority of our restaurant bill was a result of us eating out while traveling. I was very good about bringing my lunch to work in November, thanks in large part to my delicious steak and eggs breakfast burritos! This month I’m only taking credit for about $175 from our nearly $600 bill! Yeah for me!
- Personal Care. $350. Haircuts, health care products, medicine.
- Clothing. $306. 4 young kids grow quickly. We always seem to be in need to pants or shoes or coats or something.
- Entertainment. $276. We downloaded a few videos from iTunes and Amazon so the kids could have something to watch during the 14 hour drive. As you might imagine, 4 kids and only one iPad leads to many-a-car-fight. So my wife bought this lifesaving iPad car mount which we attached to the sunroof glass in our car, and just like that we had our own vehicle entertainment system. I also activated and paid for five months Sirius radio. While visiting the family we all went out to see the new Disney movie, Moana. meh. The younger kids liked it though. Earlier in the month my oldest son and I went and saw Dr. Strange – now that was more like it!
- Kids. $249. School lunches. Field trips. Gymnastics.
- Utilities. $238.
- Insurance. $186. Life, auto, renters.
- TV/Internet. $180. I hate this bill. One day we’ll cut the cord. One day.
- Cell Phones Service. $112. 6 lines. Unlimited everything. I’ll take it.
- Student Loan. $112. I could pay this loan off today, but I’m not going to.
Total spent in November was $7,393. Thatsalottamulah! But to be pretty much even with our previous month’s spending, even though we had some fairly big expenditures, is a good thing. Even though we’ve got room for improvement with our spending, we’re still pulling ahead each month – I’ll take it.
With Christmas, birthdays, and travel on the horizon, December should take our spending a whole new level, but we’ve been saving all year long for it so we’re ready to to roll! Check back in a month to see where our most expensive month of the year ended up, and to see a recap on all of 2016!
In the meantime, you can see all of my previous expense reports right here.
I’m using Personal Capital to monitor and track my expenses. If you’ve not already signed up for Personal Capital, do so today. It’s free and easy. It will take a few minutes to connect all of your bank accounts, but once you do, the information available is amazingly powerful. I’ve had my account for years and use it multiple times per week, which is why I can recommend the product without hesitation. Click Here to Join Personal Capital Now!
So how do my expenses compare to yours? Better? Worse? I definitely have some room for improvement, and that’s a good feeling! Knowing that we’re currently in a good spot and can still make improvements is way better that being screwed and having no options. Please leave a comment (with a link back to your own blog) and let me know your thoughts. You can also share this on Twitter or Facebook by clicking on the icons below. Also, if you like what you read on Get Rich Quick’ish, you can leave your email address here and get new posts delivered right to you inbox. Thanks for reading!