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Wednesday, February 4

My Frugal Miser - January Expenses: $1,504

I set a goal to spend $1,250 per month in 2015, excluding home repairs and vacations.  After taking out the $51 I spent on building new screens for all my windows - a home repair - I spent $203 more than my target.

In January my spending was not extravagant.  In fact, if you took out the $369 I allocated for depreciating my car, I would have met my $1,250 goal.  Monthly depreciation isn't a cash outlay; it is based on how many miles I drive in a month and is meant to apply what I paid for my car over the time I own it.  While on the topic of driving, I should mention that virtually all of the gas I used was obtained free by doing mystery shops.  That will continue in February.

There are a few categories where I can improve.  I spent too much for food.  My goal is to spend $270/mo. on food, with a flex budget of $100 extra that I can borrow from the Entertainment category.  In other words, I have the goal of spending $370/month on food and entertainment.  In January, I spent $434 on the two.

In February I will spend less on health insurance, as I switched to a new plan and pre-paid the February bill.  The new plan costs less since I expect to receive a subsidy under the Affordable Care Act.  The cost of utilities will also go down, but only because I receive my water bill every other month and won't have to pay it in February.

Unfortunately, I will have a large depreciation expense again in February.  In addition to some work we are doing in Orlando, I'll be driving to Birmingham to prepare one of the rental properties to sell.

January Expenses:  $1,504

$399 Auto ($2 for gas, $369 for depreciation, $28 for car wash and new wiper blade)
$43 Bank Fees
$0 Clothing
$0 Computer
$60 Entertainment (movies, gambling, alcohol)
$374 Food
$0 Gifts Given
$112 Household/Housing/Home Repair
$0 Home Insurance
$265 Health and Dental Insurance
$0 Investment Expenses
$39 Medical/Dental
$0 Miscellaneous
$1 Personal Care
$0 Subscriptions
$0 Taxes
$211 Utilities
$0 Vacation and Recreation

January Expenses, Excluding Vacation and Home Repairs:  $1,453


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