I spent a total of $7,100 October 2018. I’ll break it down below for those who are interested.
Medical board fine – $2,500
This was my final payment to the medical board. I paid them a total of $5,000, excluding lawyer fees.
Not sure yet if it will be deductible on taxes since it’s a fine but I’ll research that as I get closer to tax filing.
Investing – $1,250
It’s not really an expense, but I try to stash aside around $1k every month into my Vanguard.
I buy different stock index funds with it, depending on my asset allocation. With automatic investing, $250 is taken out of my account every week for investing.
Entertainment – $709
Now that I’m retired, I assign around $1k in YNAB every month to spend on entertainment.
Most of it is probably drinks with friends, movies, and a few shows around town.
Travel – $640
I have a trip going to Vegas and then going to NorCal to visit some friends.
I had a 1-day trip to Los Angeles as well. My buddy needed me to be his character witness for a medical board situation he had going on.
Groceries – $626
$626 is a little high for me for groceries. I just go back from Spain and had an empty house and also entertained some friends.
Under $500, ideally $350, is a good grocery budget for me.
Coffee – $323
The coffee shops near me are my mobile offices. World Cup Coffee and Coffee Time are both in the NW neighborhood of Portland and are my favorite cafes to work out of.
The spots which I frequent, I like to tip well which is why I spend $300/month on coffee.
Housing – $309
My HOA dues are $292/month and I needed some tools and parts to repair some plumbing problems.
I don’t account for property taxes monthly. I pay it once at the end of the year.
If I were to divide the property taxes, property insurance, and HOA together, and factor in any repairs, it would come out to around $700/month – a lot for a “paid off” home.
Work Expense – $257
Though a good portion of my other expenses like cell phone, food, travel, and the medical board investigation stuff all fall under work expense, this category captures all the other miscellaneous stuff.
Any money I spend on the blog an the podcast and a few of my subscriptions all get jumbled up here. I will write all of this off directly against my income.
Though my spending is rather high, I don’t have any necessary, ongoing expenses. This allows me to have a very flexible budget. If the need arises, I can cut out the entertainment, go leaner on the groceries, cut out the coffee, and I’ll be down to WiFi, Cell, and housing.
In the past, no matter how much I tried to cut my spending, my mortgage, student loan debt, and my transportation costs constantly kept me at a minimum high monthly expense.
Cutting recurrent expenses is therefore rather effective. If you choose to be frugal then that’s more money in your savings account or donated to charity. If you choose to be spendy, then that’s okay too.
Looking ahead to next month
I need a break from budgeting every once in a while so it’s okay to see my budget bloat like this. I don’t expect November to be any more anemic but hopefully December will be better.
Another thing I’ve noticed, whenever I have some big expenses, like travel or this medical board stuff, it’s easy for me to feel discouraged and want to just go ahead and spend whatever. “I’m already spending so much on that, doesn’t matter if I spend more on this.”