Hello to all my favorite money voyeurs. I hope today finds you full of gratitude and enjoying the joyful anticipation of the advent season. Or for those uninclined to celebrate advent and the liturgical new year, I still wish you peace and hopefulness as the calendar year ends.
I personally had high hopes that I would generally succeed in Christmas-ness this year (even though we will forgo the Santa tradition), but I've already decided that I'm doomed to failure on that front. Thankfully, our babysitter has a Christmas tree, so I don't feel that I'm completely depriving our son.
However, I am excited that in a few weeks I'll be headed to Florida to have a nice Christmas vacation with my entire family (significant others, nephews, and all). And in case you missed the announcement last month, Rob and I are expecting a girl! We're very excited to give birth to the first girl grandchild on either side of the family. She is due in Mid-March.
And onto the reason you're all here.
This month's spending report is less likely incite peace as it is to invite a subtle smugness that you managed to spend less than me, and I assure you that you did. Let's dive in.
November 2015 Spending $10,009.74
That's right! We hit five digits of spending in a single month, and all of this in a month where I am potentially poised to win a Frugality Challenge (You can join too! It's fun to gamify frugality!).
How can this be? Well of the spending listed, a touch over $7000 was for our home renovation which included materials for our stairs, new cabinets, new countertop (actually to be cancelled and replaced with a less expensive but nicer option), and a new gas stove. We already had most of the materials required for the electrical, gas and plumbing work.
Outside of home renovations, spending was in line with or slightly below historical averages (grocery is a touch high since I stocked up on diapers in a last ditch effort to avoid stores in December).
The best money we spent this month was a bit of extra money for healthier convenience foods, or perhaps the $70 we spent for a shoe cabinet at IKEA (picked out ahead of time, we were just too cheap to ever pay for shipping), but I am sure that once the cabinets and countertops and stove are installed they will provide a great deal of happiness.
Usually, I have a worst money moment, but this month I couldn't find anything that I regret spending on. In fact, we even managed to escape IKEA without any unnecessary stuff. This was probably due to Kenny's timely meltdown in the marketplace, but we still beat IKEA's shopping psychology (check out the video, it's crazy).
Net Worth $477,255 (Down $2K)
This month, the markets remained flat and our earnings could not quite keep pace with the spending, as a result our net worth dropped to $477K. The entirety of the drop was in our checking account. Overall, a super boring month.
As a quick note for anyone who cares how we budget, Rob and I treat our home renovations expenses as a sinking account. This means that our renovation money comes from a rapidly dwindling bucket of money specifically for home projects. We aren't trying to cash flow the project since we think that would be unnecessarilly stressful.
Looking to December, we will probably have our lowest spending month of the year. My parents are footing the bill for our trip to Florida (it's our Christmas present), and we don't have a super long list of gifts to buy or extras to spend.
The only big ticket item for the month of December will be insurance policies for our rental property and our house (we pay these annually), and they combine to less than $1000.
We've also determined that once our kitchen is done that we will take a home renovation break. We still want to address the bathrooms, but we've determined that the best method for this will be a complete tear down of one bathroom (with an attempt to largely rebuild it within a week). This means that Rob will need to take a full week off of school, something he is loathe to do until he submits his first paper for publication.
I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, and a personal finance nerd who is devoted to spreadsheeting my way through life.