January 2017 Expense Review

For this year, I am going to write out my expense posts a little differently.  Rather than compare to previous years directly (which I did because of weather patterns and life happenings), I am going to compare to my goal set for this year.  I will also be disclosing some of the values.  So let’s see how I am doing against my stretch goals (with a strong focus on things I actually have a whole lot of change to influence:

Category $$ Spent Stretch Goal % of
Goal
On Track? Comments
Electricity $61.77 $525 11.77% Yes. Electricity use goes down in spring and fall. Historically, January holds my highest electric bill (Christmas lights, perhaps?).  Yet, this is $13 lower than my 5 year historical average.
Natural Gas $63.44 $450 14.10% Yes. I hardly use natural gas in the summer months. The weather plays a huge role in how much this will cost.  This is $11 higher than the same period last year but also $37 lower than the five year historical average. My biggest opportunity to cut to make my stretch goal is in the first five months of the year.  I need the next four months to be…cheaper
Auto
Insurance
$1,368.63 $1,150

$2,100

65.17% Yes.

Part of the policies here for a year and part are for six months.

My original goal was for me.  Now I have me and a motorcycle and a classic and a daily driver.  So I revised the stretch goal.  We are saving somewhere around $850-$1,000 with this switch.
Gasoline $22.00 $400 5.5% Yes.

Gas usage will decrease when classes end too

Some new gas taxes went to effect on January 1.
Groceries $213.90 $2,400 8.91% Yes.

I won’t rule this out just because I’m a little behind.

$13.90 over monthly goal.  We bought T-bones and a pork shoulder this month and I could say that’s the sole reason we are over, but hey, cooking our own steak is cheaper than a restaurant and half of that pork shoulder has fed us for 4 days plus two freezer meals.
Restaurants $67.58 $600 11.26% No.

We are not off to a good start.

We went out to eat more than this, but used gift cards or went with people who picked up the tab.  We really need to do better here.  Also, we got talked into an arcade/eating experience that we didn’t even enjoy, and that was the bulk of this.
Water $0 $270 0% Yes.

Quarterly billing.

No bill due this month
Car Repair $0 $200 0% Yes.

Budgeted for new pads and rotors for me only.

I did experience a bent rim and a cracked windshield this month thanks to the roads though.
Remodeling $222.57 $100

$500

222%

44.51%

No.

This was a stretch goal for a reason. I like ceiling fans.

Last summer ceiling fans in two of our three bedrooms started to die.  Since I rely on this to use my air conditioning less, I was looking for deals.  We got three high quality fans for this price, plus I have a rebate to do for 11% in store credit.
Tuition & Books $5446.00

$196

$4,450 4.4% Yes.

$5250 will be reimbursed.

8 credit hours.  On the plus side, I didn’t purchase any books this year (but I did in December).  I was able to rent one book from the library and borrow the other from a coworker.  Most of this will be reimbursed in May.
Medical $0 $500 0% Yes. No appointments yet!
Clothes $0 Paid for shipping on items I got for free- my mom gave me some gift cards.
Gifts $49.19 $250 19.68% Yes.

I will stick with yes for now but I know I have two bridal showers and our baby layette we do for hubby’s coworkers.

I bought a video game for my husband last year but it was out of stock and I didn’t get charged for it until this year.  It provides him some entertainment while I am away learning.  It was supposed to be part of Christmas.  I also bought food for a funeral service for a dead cousin that unexpectedly passed.
Misc $0 $100 0% Yes.

On the auto insurance: When I set goals, I was setting it for myself and my one vehicle.  Well, it turns out that I have inherited another daily driver, a classic, and a motorcycle from my husband too.  When I was looking at new policies I combined them and put them all on one.  I paid them in full for six months.  My car alone comes in under the stretch goal (yay!) but all of our policies together, not so much (if you think my insurance is high, I also must say I live in the state with the highest insurance in the continental US).

Total Net Worth Increase: $4,740.39

Things I did in January to lower my expenses:

  • My Old Man and I installed a fancy hanging drying rack from our ceiling that has a pulley system so I can hoist it up and out of the way after it is loaded (or empty).  We dried a partial load of laundry on it the very day we hung it up.  The pricey contraption was my favorite bridal shower gift (thanks, mother!).  We ended up hanging several partial loads throughout the month.
  • I borrowed a textbook from a coworker for one class and I rented the other from Amazon to save a few dollars.
  • I printed a free calendar for the year so I can keep track of everything important.

Things I did in January to make some extra cash:

  • I found a beautiful photo of me in my wedding dress and I posted it on a Facebook wedding swap site so I can try to sell my dress!  I also posted a clutch that I never used and was given to me and a bustier.
  • I posted some mason jar drinking glasses and fancy cologne set that we have received as gifts that we have no use for as well.
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About His Polish Princess

I'm an engineer by day and an entrepreneur by night. I live with my Old Man, and our cat, Junior. Okay, so the cat is mine, not ours. I have some old fashioned opinions and I believe the unlikely can be achieved with hard work and a little bit of luck. I like cars and motorcycles and remodeling houses and taking risks. I love my family and my community in Small Town, USA. I believe life is one grand adventure that should be lived and thoroughly enjoyed. In 2013 I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and focused on natural healing. Fortunately, my disease has been in remission since 2014. In 2015 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. These things are just a road bump in life. They won't stop me from remodeling or buying houses or starting new ventures. Life is all about how you see it.
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