As I suspected, May turned out to be a difficult month. From the start of the month my expenses were higher. I had a car repair which I expected but nonetheless, still hurt. But unfortunately that was only one of many large non-regular expenses for the month.
For Mother’s Day we hosted a brunch for 10 at our house with both of our moms, our siblings and their spouses, and one cousin who was visiting from out of town. Thankfully brunch is less expensive than hosting a dinner but I still spent over $100 on food. Add in the cost of gifts and cards and it was a pretty expensive day. It was still a great way to spend time with both of our families so I wouldn’t have changed a thing but it did negatively affect the budget.
Mr. SFF’s birthday was also towards the end of the month. For the majority of our relationship we have bought each other useful gifts for our birthdays. I don’t like to buy just some random gadget just to fill the need of a gift so we usually use a birthday to buy something that is more of a want than an actual need. I was able to keep the cost of his gifts to around $70 thanks to a balance I still had with Amazon gift cards and he liked everything I got him so that was a win. Normally I would have prepared a nice dinner for him to give him a break from cooking as he does most of the mid-week meal preparations but unfortunately his b-day fell on the one day per week that I work out with my personal trainer. In retrospect I probably should have moved my training session to another day so could have had the time to cook but instead we used it as an excuse to go out to dinner as we have’t been going out to eat as often. We went to a nicer restaurant and had a great meal with a nice bottle of wine and the bill with the tip was $131.18. Pretty pricey for one meal but it was great quality time together. I did use my Discover card to pay for it since they are running a 5% cash back bonus on restaurants for a couple of months so at least I will get a little back.
Other expenses for the month were a general increase in food costs. There was a liquor store purchase in there which doesn’t happen every month as well a just more groceries in general. I have not compared my food costs to Mr. SFF but if I were to guess his costs for the month probably went down as mine went up.
Another unusual expense for the month was running credit and background checks on new prospective renters. Our current renters are buying a home and moving out mid-June so in order to do our due-diligence we ran a credit and background check on new prospective renters. At a total of $70, which is at least tax deductible, it was a necessary expense as it is in a way helping us to make an informed decision in protecting our investment.
The final major expense was buying a package of 12 personal training sessions. I had been planning on purchasing this since even before starting this journey and had the money set aside in my savings so it didn’t really affect my budget per-se but it was a huge expense. The good news is that I will only have a couple of 1/2 hour sessions to pay for over the next few months so the cost should average out over the rest of the summer. And as I have said before, this is something that is important to me so although it may hurts the pocketbook a little (a lot), it has a very positive effect on my life.
The one great thing about May, besides the weather which is finally getting really nice, is that for me it happened to be one of the two glorious months out of the year where I get three paychecks instead of two. I get paid every other Friday and for May and October of 2015 I will get an extra paycheck. This certainly helped to cover some of my extra expenses which meant I was able to save my target dollar amount but the resulting percentage of take-home savings rate was reduced. I was only able to save 27% of my take-home pay for the month. Interestingly, if you take the average of the three months of may take-home savings since starting this journey I am exactly at my goal of 41%. Its a good thing that I was able to save so much last month!
I know that June is going to be a slightly difficult month as well. We have a black tie wedding to attend in New Jersey and I have my first Spartan race of the year in central Mass. My hope is that I can keep all of the other extraneous costs to a minimum so that I can continue to save and hopefully hit my target of 40% of my take home. Fingers crossed!