Another month has gone by already. Baby Bear turned 16 months old in July and she’s been working on talking this month. It seems like every day there’s been a new word; it’s been so fun to hear her little voice.
I didn’t get to post as much as I would have liked to here on the blog, but that’s just because we have going on in other areas of life. We celebrated the 4th of July and took our family’s annual vacation this month. We’ve also got some exciting news to share with you guys…
An opportunity came up that I think will help Mountain Papa and I achieve our goal of working less but not making less. I’ll write more about it in a future post, but in the meantime it has been a flurry of activity here while we gear up to move across the state in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, let’s take a look back at July.
Due to our vacation and the Independence Day holiday this month, our total number of working hours is way down. When he isn’t on vacation, Mountain Papa’s job is keeping him busy with a lot of late nights. My hours doing child care have been lighter this month, though, since we’re still on the summer schedule and both of the kids I care for have at least one parent who is a teacher.
In all, Mountain Papa worked 156 hours in the three weeks he worked in July. This number includes the time he spends getting to and from work, and any hours he puts in after he gets home.
My month was much lighter. I only worked 107 hours this month. I don’t have a commute, but I do include the time I spend before the kids arrive and after they leave preparing food and tidying.
In total, we spent 18% of our July working, down a good amount from June’s 30%. This is the result of it being summer and taking our vacation, not because of any permanent changes we’ve made yet. Hopefully we’ll see this number take a good, permanent dip soon.
Remember, this means that 18% of our hours in July did not belong to us, they belonged to our employers/clients. We’re looking to decrease the number of hours spent working as much as possible, without decreasing our current (frugal) standard of living. Now, on to how we’re able to keep our expenses low.
July was another (mostly) typical month for us. We are able to keep our spending consistent while we go on vacation because we continue our frugal ways wherever we are. We’re incredibly fortunate since my parents have a home on a lake where they welcome us whenever we are able to visit. For our vacation this year, we stayed with them for a week and contributed to family groceries.
Sure, there are all sorts of things we could have spent our money on while on vacation, but we were lucky that we already had everything we needed to relax: some of Mountain Papa’s home-brew, family, great weather, and the great outdoors. It was a wonderful week.
|Housing||$967.74||Includes our mortgage, taxes, insurance and some minor home improvements.|
|Utilities||$318.35||Cell phone, internet, gas and electric, and Hulu and Netflix subscriptions. Our quarterly water bill was also due this month.|
|Grocery||$693.94||Still higher than I would like, but an improvement over last month. This number includes all of our dry goods, too, and food for Dog-dog. Still on my to-do list is breaking this down into more specific categories to see where this chunk of money goes each month.|
|Transportation||$182.97||Cost of gas and tolls for the month, a bit higher than usual to get to our vacation destination.|
|Medical/Health||$72.00||Dog-dog had to make a trip to see the vet for a sore paw. Our doc gave us a solution to soak it in which worked like a charm and she is all better now!|
|Insurance||$102.67||Car insurance plus health insurance for Baby Bear.|
|Personal||$65.60||Little odds and ends that we picked up throughout the month – I got a new water bottle, which I’m loving!|
|Recreation||$15.00||Drinks with family on vacation, and Mountain Papa and I splurged and rented a movie from iTunes.|
|We have a low-interest loan on our car and some student loan debt we are trying to eliminate.|
|Total June 2016 Spending||$2,443.27||This is the amount of money we need to make each month to keep up our current lifestyle, less our debt.|
By keeping our spending low, we’re able to pay down debt faster and build up savings. We’re also in a less vulnerable position if one of us were to lose our jobs. Our theory is that if the (stuff) hits the fan, it won’t be as hard to come up with $2,500/month as it would if our expenses were closer to $5,000/month.
Stay tuned to the blog, because we have some big changes ahead in the next few months!