Jan. 2017 Expenses

January was a pretty light month and tends to be tradition for me.  Recovering from the holidays combined with cold weather usually has me hibernating a bit and my expenses for the month are reflective of that when I track things on Personal Capital:

Some things to note:

  • Home Maintenance was my usual HOA fees.  These have been steady after a slight increase last year.
  • Groceries were a big spender this month due to the purchase of 30 bags of Joylent (oddly renamed to JimmyJoy now.  Their name just keeps getting worse, gladly the product stays the same).  30 bags supplemented with a big salad at lunch during the workweek and the occasional take out or restaurant lasts me about 3 months, so there shouldn’t be too much in this category for awhile.
  • In the travel category I paid my portion of an AirBnB I plan to share with old high school buddies in the summer, and replenished my E-ZPass.  Any time I get to spend time with old buddies is a win, and doing it by sharing the costs for a big house vs. an expensive hotel room is gravy.  This cost will cover lodging in a nice place for 4 days, well worth the money for me.
  • Hypermiling in my MINI Cooper JCW continues.  I generally drive 5 miles under the speed limit or right at the limit during my commutes.  I’d say my combined commuting MPG is right around 40 MPG.  I’m happy with the gas costs, though this will rise sharply as the weather improves, the number of events increases, and more spirited driving occurs.
  • I was pretty good with restaurants this month with one major outing with friends costing me $30 at The Cheesecake Factory.  My friends were mourning so a surprise for them was in order.  The other restaurant costs were due to a cheap lunch one Friday and one trip to Dunkin Donuts with friends.
  • My electric bill (heat & hot water are included in the HOA fees) was it’s usual rock bottom self.  I gotta laugh that I pay so much to deliver so little.  Haha:

So $1,014 bucks for the month….a great month for spending (and more importantly saving!).  If I could pull this off for the rest of 2017 I’d be at $12,169 for the year.  This would be a massive improvement over 2016’s expenses where I spent $22,679 ($54,106 if you include the one-time purchase of the car and related items), though realistically the Spring/Summer/Fall will be more expensive as I come out of my Winter cocoon.

Here are my expenses for 2016.

6 thoughts on “Jan. 2017 Expenses

  1. Joylent did not change its name to Jimmy Joy.
    The US warehouse was unable to meet demand, and is in the process of being restocked. Until then, all shipments are coming from the UK. Jimmy Joy is basically the US website they’ve recently created, which I would correlate to the apparent demand in the US market for their products.

  2. Hi Carrie, absolutely! One of these days I’ll give a tour of my place, but here are the ways I keep my electric bill down:

    – I live in a 450 sq. ft. apartment, so not much real estate to light up.
    – I have gas heat (wrapped into my HOA fees), not electric.
    – I have all LED bulbs, and only one light on in the room I’m in at a time (pretty easy to do in a small space).
    – My cable modem and wireless router are only on when I am using them. They are connected to a Belkin wall outlet timer and they turn off after 1/2 or 3 or 6 hr of use. So when I am sleeping, they are not drawing power: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003P2UMS0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B003P2UMS0&linkCode=as2&tag=antig08-20&linkId=bda4129c23fd0d3625776ebcc0cb1501
    – I do not own a TV (my entertainment is 100% internet on my phone or laptop) drawing phantom power either.
    – My microwave and refrigerator are unplugged 24/7.
    – I use no kitchen appliances as I eat Soylent or Joylent when I am home, and get free lunch at work. These products require no prep (or cleanup, I hate dishes!) or refrigeration.
    – I spend more time at work than I’d like, but at least I’m not at home using up electricity.

    I realize not everyone is able to do this, but this is how I do it as a single male. In the summer I have an ancient wall A/C unit that came with my apartment. I run it whenever I like without worry and it will uptick my bill $3-4 more in the summer to cool such a small space. Thanks for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it!

  3. Thanks for the answer! I am afraid the other 8 occupants of my house would mutiny if I set the wifi on a timer. We’re home all day homeschooling so… I did keep the AC at 81 last summer (in Georgia, no small thing!). I hang all the laundry. Wash in cold. Use LED bulbs. Etc. Still have insane bills.

    Our car insurance is also ridiculously high for old cars and no wrecks. My suspicion that has been somewhat confirmed by things I have read online, is that we are subsidizing a lot of people who don’t pay their bills in this area. Water bill is insanely high too.

    The RE part of FIRE won’t likely happen for my family, but aiming for the FI part at least!

    1. Yeah, I hear ya. Do you have a southern facing roof? If so, might solar be an option? With your power needs, the payoff time for solar install would indeed be quicker than for me, especially if you aren’t planning on moving any time soon.

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