Our Family’s Expenses: April 2017

Wow, it is May already? Time is fast. This month, our expenses were less than the previous two. I even got to sneak in a 5-day-vacation. 🙂 Let’s take a look at the details.


We continued to use EXCEL to track our expenses. No surprises there.


I know there are many of you out there who like to have a detailed budget for everything. I don’t think that it is for us. Our ultimate goal is to make sure we don’t waste our money on things we don’t need or things that don’t add value to our lives. That is it.


So where did the money go in April?

Certainly not the vacation. As I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts, we took up on a new hobby. We slowly started signing up/churning credit cards in order to get sign up bonuses. We are planning on using those bonuses to travel more in the coming months. My last vacation was one of those occasions which allowed me to use my travel credits and/or bonuses accumulated previously. So, the total cost was zero.

Here’s how last month’s expenses broke down:


Mortgage & Monthly Bills: We have been planning on updating the house to get it ready to list this summer. But we could never get pass the planning stage. 🙂 Now, I don’t think that it will happen this summer. We went back and forth about staying for another year or selling the house this year. Finally, decided to stay for another year. I am just happy that the decision is made one way or another.

Monthly Sub Total Expense Entry Amount
2,386.91 Mortgage Payment – includes taxes & interest 1883.98
Utilities – Heating/Cooling/Water/Trash/Recycle etc… 199.92
Cell Phone Service 213.07
Internet & Netflix 89.94


Work/Job Related Items: This section includes union dues, parking and pension payments. They all will go away when we retire from work. Numbers are the same as previous month.

Monthly Sub Total Expense Entry Amount
454.38 Work related expenses 454.38


Vehicles [2]: No surprises and additional payments this month.

Monthly Sub Total Expense Entry Amount
183.80 Gasoline 183.80


Health Care & Life Insurance: Even if I drop my life insurance I will still have a 100k+ one through my work. It seems like a waste of money to have additional insurance. Having said that I still have my life insurance. 🙂 I keep saying it will be gone the next month. But, so far, it hasn’t happened. What if, what if, what if. You know what I mean. We actually paid about $200 for the eye exam and frames. Since we will get reimbursed for most of that amount I only included the out of pocket position of it here.

Monthly Sub Total Expense Entry Amount
435.55 Life Insurance 74.86
Health Insurance [Family] 344.50
Pharmacy & Eye Exam 16.19


Personal Items: Clothing, footwear, hair cut etc… Just a few necessary items.

Monthly Sub Total Expense Entry Amount
177.91 Personal Items 177.91


Groceries & Household Items: I would like to keep this number close to $600 every single month. But it doesn’t seem like we can ever get close to that number.

Monthly Sub Total Expense Entry Amount
742.59 Groceries & Household Items 742.59


Dining Out & Entertainment: This section includes dinners, lunches, coffee shops (we love our coffee in this household), movies, games etc… More than half of the amount was a present for the big guy and the rest may be attributed to Spring Break festivities. 🙂

Monthly Sub Total Expense Entry Amount
375.55 Dining Out & Entertainment 375.55


House & Home Improvement: We returned a few items this months and that was it. I don’t think we ever had negative number before in any of the categories. 🙂

Monthly Sub Total Expense Entry Amount
-19.00 Miscellaneous items & services -19.00


Miscellaneous: Anything and everything doesn’t belong to other groups like fees for taxes, annual membership fees etc…

Monthly Sub Total Expense Entry Amount
202.30 Miscellaneous items & services 202.30


So this month’s total came down to $4939.99. Not bad when we compare this number to previous months.


So do you budget or keep track of your spending? If you do how did you do last month?


Any suggestions and comments are welcome!

10 thoughts on “Our Family’s Expenses: April 2017

  1. Sit back. I’ll serve as your Life Insurance Therapist. No charge. Now, tell me why you have a second life insurance policy for $900 a year? (Sound of pen clicking as I prepare to take notes.) Hmmm?

    1. Well, :-), the one I have through my work is worth little over 100K and I don’t have to pay anything for it. It didn’t seem like it was enough at the time I guess. Back then I thought I needed another 500K or so.

      Now that I have 500K+ net worth I should probably cancel it and save $900 a year like you said. Once you have something it is hard to let go. ?

      1. Hmmm…I didn’t say “save $900 a year”…you did. Interesting…

        So, you find it “hard to let go” of something you have. Yet, you let go of $300 every Thursday. You have the $300. And you let go. To savings. Hmmm. One wonders…Could you let go of $900 a year if it, say, went to reduce mortgage principle at $75 a month (my usual rate for 15 minutes of LIT, Life Insurance Therapy)? Interesting…

    1. Luckily, I read about Chase’s 5/24 rule and other things before I started. I am at 3/24 & have CIP. My wife is at 2/24 & also have CIP. Their signup bonuses are GREAT. I also have the SW Companion pass for this year and next year. We will see how far we go with this hobby. 🙂

      How long have you been churning?

      1. That’s great to hear! We’ve been churning for a year. It did drop our credit score down 30-50 points because we applied for a bunch under a short time frame. No biggie, it’ll come back up 🙂

        I consider it a hobby too which is funny because credit cards are what some people consider the devil, aka don’t temp yourself.

        We’re playing with the devil guys!!

        1. Trust me. Up until last October I thought the same way. I didn’t want to get any credit cards. I actually wanted to close 2 out of 3 we had. Now, I don’t care how many we have. 🙂 My wife is still a bit skeptical about it. Nonetheless, she is taking part. 🙂

          I would like to accumulate as many bonus points and perks as possible so we can travel more.

          1. I had to talk my hubby in it too! We are not big travelers (working too much) so we stopped applying for now. I think our credit limit is 250K right now…talk about easy money. There is a right to be nervous when it’s so easy.

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