Welcome to our first-ever time and money expense report!
All in all, June 2016 was a good month. Baby Bear turned 15 months old, the weather was beautiful almost all month-long. We knocked out some long overdue house projects, and Mountain Papa found time to brew 2 batches of beer! Yum.
We got sick of getting to the end of a month and asking ourselves, “Where did our money go?” or “Where did the time go?” so here’s an account of how we spent our resources this month.
Mountain Papa had a busy month at work and worked a bit of overtime. He worked a total of 231 hours this month. That number includes his short 15-minute commute.
I had a lighter month with my business. Summer has begun, which means that my schedule is less predictable week-to-week. Kids often come late and leave early. I even found myself with a few free afternoons this month, which has been nice. Dog-Dog and Baby Bear have enjoyed more walks and pool time this month. I worked 208 hours this month, which includes the time before and after work I spend preparing for and cleaning up from the day.
Currently, Mountain Papa and I are spending 30% of our cumulative lives working. This is the time we’ve sold to our clients or our bosses. They control how our time is spent. This is not our time anymore.
The rest of the time, our personal time, is the time in which we are able to make decisions about how we spend it. In this time, we sleep, keep up our home (clean, chores, home improvement projects), take care of ourselves (shower, get dressed, personal hygiene), and eat (grocery shop, prepare food, eat, clean up). We’re able to make choices about this time: when and how long to spend cleaning our house or getting ready in the morning. These are tasks we all have to do, but it is up to each individual how much time they devote to them.
There is shockingly little time leftover after work, chores and sleeping in which we are able to pursue our hobbies, socialize with friends and family, and spend quality time together as a family. This spare time is limited to around 2 hours per day, or just 8% of our month.
This is the piece that MP and I are looking to increase. Our dream, however crazy it may seem, is that we want to enjoy MORE THAN 8% of our lives.
One of the key components to doing this is to live as frugally as possible. The lower you keep your spending, the less money you need to live, and ultimately, the less time you need to work. Now, to the other piece of the puzzle.
June 2016 was a pretty typical month for us financially. Here’s where our money went:
|Giving||$100.87||Birthday and father’s day gifts for family & friends|
|Housing||$953.71||Includes our mortgage, taxes, insurance, and a few dollars spent on home improvement projects this month.|
|Utilities||$163.38||Cell phone, internet, gas and electric, and Hulu and Netflix subscriptions|
|Food||$815.57||We desperately need to tackle our food spending. This dollar amount includes family groceries and dry goods that we buy at our Wegman’s, as well as dog food and eating out. I’m planning to take a closer look at how this money is allocated each month to hopefully help us find ways to cut this amount.|
|Clothing||$83.10||I bought a new bathing suit. Hopefully this one will last me through any future pregnancies and periods of postpartum.|
|Transportation||$81.49||Cost of gas for our car.|
|Medical/Health||$0||We had a healthy month – no copays!|
|Insurance||$102.67||Car insurance plus health insurance for Baby Bear.|
|Personal||$75.97||I spent a little money on this blog, and Mountain Papa purchased supplies to bottle his home-brew.|
|Recreation||0||We often ask for gifts of experiences for birthday and holidays. We received a membership to our local children’s museum for Christmas and have been able to enjoy it for free all year!|
|We have a low-interest loan on our car, which we threw all of our spare money at this month. I have some student loan debt, too, which we are paying monthly.|
|Total June 2016 Spending||$2,325||This is the amount of money we need to make each month to keep up our current lifestyle.|
In order to be able to increase that 8% of free time we have, we need to cut our cost of living down as much as we can and focus on ways to earn more money while investing less time.
Priority #1 is to cut our debt. We have been allocating all of our extra money to debt repayment and have paid off a sizable chunk. When we got married in August 2013, our minimum consumer and student loan debt payments totaled over $1,000 each month. By paying that debt down as much as we have, we’ve been able to save over $550/month.
Our goal is to be debt-free with minimal monthly spending obligations, so we can work on an as-needed basis to pay for what we want.