August & September 2017 FrugalMaster Results

Our yearly trip to the Zoo
With October close to being over I just remembered I am two months behind on sharing with you how I am progressing in my quest for financial freedom.  Sharing with the community is important as it might give hope to those who are just starting to save and are looking for some inspiration or tips. It is important to me because it is almost like confession of my financial sins.  Some months I am an angel and some months I am possessed with the consumerist devil.


Home, food, shopping and utilities (including cellular) dominated the month of August in that order.  I continue my extra principal payments in an effort to have the house paid off in10 years.

Food came in second which includes eating out and junk food. If I could persuade the family to eliminate the unhealthy and unnessacary our food bill for 7 would only have been $641 or $92 per person.  My wife's sister and her family were in from out of town for a week.  In retrospect we should have just had everyone over for a home cooked meal instead of going out to eat a few times.  It adds up quick for a family of our size.  The other families are half our size so their bills are small in comparison.  Keeping up with others is not something a large family can or should do. 

Lastly, shopping came in third for the month.  Back to school always triggers higher expenses.  The older kids each got a new outfit and the younger kids just shoes.  My wife buys the younger kids clothes on clearance a year in advance.  The other part of shopping is towards a hobby of ours.  In a few months I will share a picture of that hobby.  We do budget and save for it.  Free hobbies are preferred and we do those for the most part.

Overall we still saved 30% of our income which is great but not extreme frugality.


Home, utilities, auto, and food dominated the month of September.  I continue my extra principal payments and enjoy watching the interest shrink with each passing month.

This month was my quarterly sewer payment.  This causes my utilities to spike every few months.  Water/sewer continues to by my number one utility despite my efforts of installing water saving toilets, shower heads and efficient washing machines.

The third largest expense was on auto.  I think my bragging recently about how my wife's low maintenance vehicle back fired on me.  I spend a large chuck of change on getting the brakes redone (after 100k).  Hopefully they last another 100k miles.

One further note for the month.  I spent roughly $850 on school fees this year.  My highest ever.  That pretty much tells me all the taxes I am paying is BS.  In an effort to keep property taxes low they just hit you up with fees you have to pay if you want your kids to get a diploma.  The system is BROKEN.  Education should be free (or at least covered by my taxes).

Those 2 large expenses certainly put a damper on my savings for the month.  So for September the savings rate was only 18%.


  • Eating out
    • Not only is it probably healthier to eat the food you cook (not processed) but it will save you hundreds of dollars
  • Hobbies
    • Look for free hobbies that you can enjoy as a couple and/or family
  • Kids
    • They are awesome and expensive at the same time.  It is harder to get to FIRE when you have them first.
  • Invest in water utilities
    • If water is this expensive think about the yield those utilities will produce in 10+ years
    • My portfolio includes no utilities.  Maybe time to see if there are any bargains out there
  • Wet worth going in reverse (the wrong way)
    • Since July my wet worth (truly liquid) has been going in reverse.  Some of it planned (vacation and money into IRA's) and some just plain old fashion consumerism.

What penance can you offer the DFG?  :-)


  1. Your blog is very interesting. I join it to my list

  2. DFG -

    Grind it out, you can do this. Focus on every dollar that is being deployed and see if it is adding value to yours/loves ones life. You can do this, though, and get closer to 50%. And gosh dangit on the education fees, the system doesn't make sense...


    1. Thank Lanny. This is why I blog. the community gets it and I appreciate the comments. They do help keep me going!


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