Monthly Money Check: Penny Got Pinched in January 2017

Dear Rich,

Oh, gosh, what a month in spending for our family!

Here I am, supposedly an example of frugal spending, and we have this HUGE list of expenses this month. We had a couple of unexpected expenses come up (toilet needed to be replaced, something needed to be fixed on our van), along with our bi-annual payment of school tuition for the kids. So, it doesn’t accurately reflect our spending habits. It should be a lot better next month.

If you and I really wanted to compare and contrast our differences in spending, we should have started this blog 10 years ago, back when I only had 2 kids and my husband was making only $18,750 a year as a Catholic school teacher. I was super cheap back then. Or 6 years ago, when we sold almost all of our possessions, moved to Colorado and dug a couch out of the dumpster. Those were the days.

At $43,000 a year (the most we’ve ever made), I actually think we’re doing well.

So, here is what we spent money on this month! Read on for the exciting details!


If we take away the big expenses ($400 for the toilet, $550 for fixing the van, $1,500 for the tuition), our number comes to $2,979.16. And minus the student loan payment (which we *technically* don’t have to be paying right now), we come to a number that is more reflective of our monthly spending: $1,979.16. But… what can I say? Life happens.

Also, the fuel bill for our vehicles was higher than usual because we went to see my mom this month. She lives 230 miles away.

I’ve actually been thinking about being “an example of frugal spending.” I mean, sure I am, when compared to the likes of you. But, I have been actively working on not being cheap anymore. I want to be able to balance different aspects and enjoyment of life and not focusing totally on the money. Being overly obsessed with cheapness gives too much power to money, and that isn’t a good thing either. I don’t want to be that person anymore.

And, just as explanation again, the reason our food bill is so low is because we get Food Support. More on how I feel about that later.

Until then,


P.S. As you know, my New Year’s resolution was to see more movies in the theater this year. I’ve gotten off to a fine start with two really amazing movies: Manchester by the Sea and La La Land. The husband and I go to either a matinee or a $5 movie night on Tuesday at a local theater.

2 Replies to “Monthly Money Check: Penny Got Pinched in January 2017”

  1. Well, that happened to us last year, where we got siding and the roof on our house replaced. Insurance covered it, but we had to come up with the $5,000 deductible. We’re able to cover unexpected expenses like this because we have enough in savings. Plus, we have some money in IRAs that we could dig into, if need be. Generally, we just don’t worry about things like this. I’m not much of a worrier. Things end up working out.

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