Apr. 2017 Expenses

Well folks April expenses went up quite a bit, and it hurts a little.  Some of these expenses I could control (but I did not), and others were “needed,” but just happened to fall in this month.  To start off the month I decided to live it up a bit and hit up a noodle bar with friends for $30, then go out drinking with friends for another $30 all in one night! *hangs head in shame*  I was out having fun with friends and that’s ok from time to time, but looking back it does smart a little bit.  Perhaps I was rewarding myself for previous frugal months?  Anyway, so those expenses were literally the first day of the month, not the best start.  Within the first week I had my usual HOA fees and electric bill (21 bucks baby!) so nothing new there.  Standout expenses for the rest of the month were a $175 charge to mount new sport tires on the summer rims of my MINI Cooper.  This car hobby is my one significant luxury in being frugal and I accept that as it brings not only fun, but life long friends.

Another big cost for the month is an order for 30 bags of Plenny Shakes (formerly Joylent) which was $170 that happens about once every 2-3 months.  In fact I was late in ordering and was forced to spend $7 on a 6-pack of Clif bars from the grocery store when I ran out of food in the house for a few days (I don’t have my refrigerator plugged in).  Oh the horror!  Haha.  I also purchased a Black Diamond ReVolt rechargeable headlamp for an upcoming canoe/kayak paddling trip.  I’m in love with this thing!  It lasted 9+ hours in my own personal test and I love the fact that my new one weighs less and is more waterproof than the old one that was rated a best buy.  I dream of living on the road in my rig and just recharging this in the cigarette adapter while driving to my next hike sounds wonderful.  Anyway, the second to last unusual expense was $200 withdrawal from the ATM.  Now I said in my 2016 budget wrap-up article that I was concerned with not knowing where my cash went for the year.  Some of this is to pay for laundry I’ve come to realize, as I use machines in the basement of my Co-Op and some of it goes to my lunch card at work.  We are given $8 / day M-Th for lunch and I’m generally a bit over each day.  Friday I have to pay for myself and the rest… well I’m still figuring that out.  But the cash I had on hand lasted me over 4 months into the new year so I’m ahead of 2016 at this time.  And finally I paid $300 to have my taxes done.  It is what I do to feel confident they are done correctly right now while I am still working.  Throw in a good amount of gas expenses this month and a few more restaurants and there you have it.  One thing to note for those interested in shaving… I did spend $6.35 on Cremo’s Mens Cooling Shave Cream.  I shave my head and face regularly and had been using cheaper products (namely good old Barbasol shaving foam/cream), so I decided to take a chance on something a little special to see if my shaves were any better.  The verdict?  It’s not bad at all, but not as good as my regular shaving cream/foam, it costs more (a dollar something for the foam) and it doesn’t last as long.  Plus, the menthol it too strong for me, it makes my eyes tear up.  Oh well, it wasn’t an expensive experiment.  Some other things I did:

 

Detailed my car with friends…

Checked out the Easter bunnies…

And hung out with a friend’s pooch…

Let’s look at the numbers downloaded from Personal Capital:

Some things to note:

  • I need to make sure I am conscious of where the cash in my wallet is being used now that I’ve withdrawn it.
  • Restaurants are about $100 for the month or $25/wk which is where my retirement budget has it pegged.
  • I track my expenses for tax preparation in the “Advisory Fee” category.  This will go down significantly when in retirement as they will be so much more simple to do, and as a result I’ll be doing them myself!
  • Still loving that my Big Three expenses are low so I can afford to take some liberties in other expense categories.

4 thoughts on “Apr. 2017 Expenses

  1. $300 to have your taxes done? Ouch!! Our numbers are pretty similar for April…AND I ate real food. 😉 I spent about $50 more but that was due to funding the Cuba trip we went on during the first week of May. This month is almost at a close and I am $1300. More to the point, I am currently averaging $1413 per month… Aren’t numbers fun?! Oh, and I totally broke my financial celibacy to look at all this…and possibly to fill in this months expenses earlier today. Don’t tell anyone!!

    1. Yup $300. Usually it is $250 for my situation/area, but last year I liquidated a lot of holding in order to better diversify. Also I needed to do some tax planning. From here on out my taxes should be much more simple. In my retirement budget I have three scenarios… 2 of which will cost me state income tax.
      I’ve figured out what my Federal and State tax burden will be in CT, but not NY yet. I read through the tax code and calculated it myself and then made sure I came to the same figures TurboTax and H & R Block were telling me for free (without telling me the calculation steps of course). It’s amazing how wrong some of these free online income tax calculators can be. Anyway, this cost should go down, simple is where it is at! This coming month I’ll be back under $1000, but I’m sure the rest of the summer will be more expensive with more fun things to do. Apologies for being responsible for breaking your financial celibacy. We can both go back to ignoring finances like most people for the rest of the month. 😉

      1. Oh, so you’re a nerd? I’m not sure there is any other word for those who read tax code for fun…even if the outcome saves you money. 🙂 Unlike you, I don’t read tax code and have no desire to do so. Instead, I am off to Camp Mustache and will be paying special attention to Keith’s (The Wealthy Accountant) talk. I was never good in school so hopefully I can retain something useful!! 😉

  2. Nerd? Perhaps a wanna be so I’ll take that as a compliment. I guess I didn’t read the entire tax code and it certainly wasn’t fun, but when you get in the zone it’s a great feeling to feel like you are making progress in self-managing your retirement! But I went to multiple free (and paid like TurboTax and H & R Block) state income tax calculators and plugged in my numbers for retirement (strictly passive income, all capital gains and dividends) an then tried to back out how they did it. I was getting conflicting figures for my CT income tax liability so I was getting frustrated and decided to dig in more as taxes (both federal and state) are important when figuring how much of a nest egg I need and what sort of withdrawal rate I’ll have when I retire. I’ll post how I did it in a future post. I will make sure it’s really easy to understand as sometimes I get lost in other bloggers calculations. No Camp Moustache for me, gotta save those Benjamins. But I’m a bit jealous, have fun!

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