Spending – May 2016

I was super excited to calculate May’s Spending Update. Why? Because it’s my first month without a car payment! And WOW did that ever make a difference:

Where the money went: May 2016
Where the money went: May 2016

All said and done, I spent $1,728 in May. Which is about $359 higher than it should have been: Because of the Holiday, Netflix took my June payment early, and Bryan cashed my rent check for June earlier than usual, so those payments account for two months. I could have just shifted them over to June, but I worried I’d forget.

I was shocked to see our grocery spending so low this month. Especially considering we spent $120 in one week alone! Although we are getting better about watching what we’re buying, and keeping an eye out for sales and coupons.

Restaurants is a bit deceiving this month. I didn’t really have any big restaurant spending, aside from Mother’s Day, which I made a separate category. So most of that was spent at Starbucks, $5.07 at a time. Sigh. But, I’m happy report that I’ve finally broken the Starbucks habit! For the last couple of weeks I’ve been making iced coffee with cashew milk, coffee, a little sugar, and vanilla extract. It’s much less expensive, and, in theory, is much healthier. Of course, right after I quit Starbucks, my weight started creeping up. WTH?!?! I’ve managed to rein it in, but still kind of peeves me off that I was having an easier time maintaining while drinking a Starbucks Frappuccino 5 days a week!

We have an annual tradition of the women in the family going out for a late Mother’s Day lunch. This year we went to a small, local steak restaurant. Since Mother’s Day falls right around my younger sister’s birthday, my older sister and I typically split the tab for the 4 of us. We went out for drinks afterwards. Throw in a gift for Mom, and I spent $148. Totally worth it!

Hannah was due for some shots, heartworm prevention, and a three-month supply of flea and tick prevention. Pets are expensive! We include her food in with the groceries, so Pet Care typically just covers visits to the vet and groomers. She’s not fond of toys, and despises doggie sweaters, so she’s fairly inexpensive as far as dogs go. She’s happy to just sleep and eat!

The check cleared this month for my passport renewal, and I had my address changed on my driver’s license. Yes, it’s been a year since I sold my house, and I’m just changing my license. I’m a procrastinator by nature! Especially when terrible pictures are involved!

I spent $1,728 and brought in $2,624. Which means I spent 66% of my net pay. If you account for the $359 that is technically June’s spending, I only spent 52% of my net pay. I’d like to see that number drop below 50% most months. Maybe I should make that my new goal?

  • Cindy W.


* Lottery savings is the $20 that I put away each week, in cash, for NOT playing the lottery. This is equal to the amount Bryan spends each week playing the lottery. If he wins, the money is “ours”. My “spending” the same amount every week makes things seem more fair. At the end of the year, we’ll probably use that money to take a vacation. It’s like a guaranteed win!

** Insurance covers two term life insurance policies: One insuring me, and one insuring my younger sister. I pay my car insurance every 6 months, and renters insurance once a year.

*** To make things easier to track, I only list items that come out of my net pay, or what gets deposited into my checking account. My 401(k), health insurance, Flexible Spending Account, and other expenses that are taken directly from my weekly paycheck by my employer are not included here.


  1. I love that pie chart, it’s so good to see where the money goes! Hate how much passports cost! Such a big amount of money isn’t it.

    1. Passports do cost a lot of money. And part of me wonders how much use I’ll even get out of it. I got my original passport 13 years ago, and then didn’t even end up needing it for the cruise we went on (back then the Bahamas didn’t require one). But Bryan occasionally talks about going someplace tropical, and my mom and sisters talk about cruising, so I figured it’d be best to have one, just in case.

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