January 2018 FrugalMaster Results


LED Bulb powered Santa
With all of the holiday spending out of one's system it always seems easy to not buy anything in January.  By not buying stuff you are able to save a good bulk of your income.  With the new budget in place I set out to do exactly that.

In an effort to be completely transparent with our money I created the budget and went over it with Mrs. DFG.  She had a few questions but overall was OK with it. 

We both understand it is important to save for retirement (hopefully early.)  However with five children it can be challenging to create a plan where you are saving 75% of your income to reach FIRE.  This is especially true for the DFG as I am the sole income and will be out of work in a month.




Category
Spent
FrugalMaster Notes 
Housing/
Insurance
$2,282
Still paying extra $700 in principle.  However after reading some Frugalwoods I may alter this.  Liquidity is king (debating)?
 
I did incur an additional $22 home insurance charge since I no longer have my home and car insurance combined.  Even with that I still am saving a bundle by switching.
Utilities
$754
Remaining charges on old phone plan and start of the new one led to $100 more than budgeted. 

Also the electric bill was more than average due to our massive LED holiday light display.  While not very frugal I love giving the neighborhood a good light show during the darkest month of the year.
Food
$646
Yeah under budget!  We had fast food 1 time this month.  The family has also taken to Ramen noodles  which I can pick up ten pack for less than $2.
Shopping
$508
Winter clearance clothes shopping for next year performed by Mrs. DFG

In addition we picked up some items from Hobby Lobby for my daughter and Mrs. DFG's craft projects.
Home Maintenance/
Supplies
$218
Installed a new under sink filter for our kitchen faucet.  No more pharmaceuticals in our water!  Other than that just the usual things to keep a household running.
Personal Care
$151
Over budget this month.  Mrs. DFG hadn't bought any make-up in years and finally needed some new stuff.
Transportation
$118
Way under this month.  No car troubles.  Working close to home does pay off!
Entertainment
$39
Went to a home and garden show with the family.
Kids
$34
Diapers
Everything Else
$22
Tax software and some fees from my 401k
Health & Fitness
$21
Some additional free weights for my workout (which I still need to do today!)
Gifts/Charity
$1
There was a credit from a dispute that shrank this to a buck.  However the dispute is resolved so we will see the charge back next month.
Total
$4,795
Wow that is allot of money gone
Minus mortgage
$2,513
Looking at it this way we are doing pretty good for a family of 7.

Our overall spending could easily be reduced if we own our home and it was smaller (hint.)  When your utilities/cell phone is your #2 expense you know something is not right.  Considering our large family it would be to our benefit to live where water & sewer are free or near to it.  That expense alone is near 40% of our bills.


In addition to the spending above we did manage to contribute to our 401k and IRAs with the goal of maxing it out for the year (like last year.)  Not including this part of our saving (pre-tax) the DFG family was able to save 16% of our net income.  As always that income also includes any dividends from my brokerage account.

One step (actually 1330 steps) closer to FIRE!

I look at our journey to FIRE by measuring our Wet Worth.  Since we are unable to touch retirement savings before 59.5 looking at our Wet Worth gives me a visual on how close we are to financial independence.  The general rule of thumb is to have 25 times what you need to live on.  This could be (and most of the plan) from dividends or real estate (rental income).  $1330 isn't much but it is a step in the right direction.

I hope your closer to FIRE and welcome any thoughts or how you're doing in the comments below.

Dividend Family Guy

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