First Quarter 2018: Spend Report

Ok, so the year has gotten off to a bit of a rough start on the spending front.

The good news is that my income for the first 3 months of the year (including post-tax paychecks and pre-tax 401k contributions) has been $34,495. So, my $13,675 of spending for 1/4 of the year doesn’t seem that bad when I’ve saved $20.8k thus far.

*Also, theoretically, if I receive my stock at the end of the year, I could have an extra ~ $4000 of savings per month which is significant (and makes my bad spending choices look slightly less bad?)

But I can do better than that.

Category Amount Monthly Average
rent $4,050 $1,350
food $2,344 $781
travel $2,248 $749
shopping $1,611 $537
health $799 $279
auto $770 $257
maternity $627 $209
gifts $306 $173
bills $321 $107
entertainment $133 $44
fees $121 $40
personal care $75 $32
Spend $13,405 $4,468


Rent is fixed, so nothing I can do about that being my biggest cost per month (my 50% of our one bedroom… I should enjoy this “cheap” rent while it lasts.)

Food… we still spend too much on food, but I’m eating healthier so feel good about that. When baby arrives, I do want to see how to decrease monthly meal costs. Need to cut back on Blue Apron for a while… we really haven’t gone out to eat that much.

Travel… that was a big cost first quarter, but it includes dragging my husband along on a work trip to a pretty cool location (I said I’d pay and it was last minute so the flight was like $750 roundtrip but so worth it) and also it includes my and my husband’s flights to my cousin’s wedding coming up this June (I don’t make him pay to go to weddings of my friends and family!) So, travel is costing a lot and will probably continue to cost a lot if I’m going to bring baby to east coast to visit family. The June flights are paid for but none of the hotel or other costs are yet, so next quarter travel costs won’t completely drop. They should be cheaper over the summer when baby is on the way and brand new though because – where am I going?

Shopping… not sure how I spent over $1600 on shopping (not including maternity clothes and baby items) — eeks. I really though I haven’t spent that much but it just adds up. Ok, so it was really about $300 for web hosting (I decided to start another blog and promptly failed to start it, oops.) And $400 for some awesome noise-cancelling headphones that I needed to survive my open office at work. So, after those things, it’s $600 on shopping which is still too much but more understandable. I have $200 of clothes to return to REI when I get around it, leaving a much more reasonable $400 of shopping spend over 3 months. Granted, this includes a few returns to Sephora so… ok, maybe it was $600 in spend on shopping. The web hosting was bad, but it’s not a recurring charge, at least not for 3 more years.

Health – $837. Includes a $221 doctor’s bill that I had to pay because my COBRA insurance got f’d and my “maxed out for the year” deductible didn’t carry over. $106 for a contact exam. Then, the other biggest spent here is my prenatal fitness classes (I’ve requested my husband split costs for maternity clothes as I feel it’s unfair I should have to pay for that entirely on my own, but the prenatal fitness classes are more of a choice so I cover them out of this budget.)

Auto – $770 – auto insurance $65 /month apparently plus $220 car registration plus gas. Not much I can do about these costs except take public transit, but that won’t be that much cheaper since it drops me off no where near my office.

Maternity – $629 – this is half of what I’ve spent on maternity clothes and other items for baby thus far (mostly maternity clothes) and one $100 3d ultrasound of baby.  Honestly, a lot of this was new bras. I’m still not sure how I spent so much here since I went in saying I’m not to spend that much on clothes I’m going to wear for nine months or less. Oops. I still feel like I have NOTHING to wear. And I do need a dress for the June wedding…

Gifts – $306 – one husband’s birthday dinner plus a few small gifts. Really not bad. Probably should give people more gifts.

Fees – $121 – mostly an annual CC membership fee. Two tiny finance charges on CC ($15 total) because I was stupid and put too many work charges on there and forgot to do my expenses. Never again.

Personal care – $75 – haircut.


April is looking worse than other months to date… yikes.

Category 20 Days April Expected
rent $1,350 1350
food $909 $1,364
travel $0 $0
shopping $305 $458
health $322 $483
auto $139 $209
maternity $38 $56
gifts $0 $0
bills $409 $614
entertainment $197 $296
fees $0 $0
personal care $244 $366
Spend $5,194


Darn, I’m not doing that well on the frugality front. And we still haven’t purchased a new couch or other much-needed furnishings for our apartment. I really don’t know how I spend this much money. I can’t be spending $5000 a month. Yes, that’s still below the $7000 in after-tax take home pay I receive, but there’s no excuse to be spending $5k a month right now. Some things seem worth it — (the personal care $244 was a prenatal massage and membership for discount massages for the rest of my pregnancy.) The entertainment is to a concert this July that will probably be the last concert I go to in a long time, and it’s a gift for my husband. Food I’m still spending too much on.

Really, I should be spending no more than $3500 a month on EVERYTHING.

This would be a good budget to target for May. I’ll be tracking to it here as I’d like to really figure out how to create and STICK TO a budget before baby comes:

Category Budget
rent $1,350
food $600
travel $300
shopping $150
health $150
auto $150
maternity $150
gifts $200
bills $150
entertainment $100
fees $50
personal care $150
Spend $3,500
Income $7,000
Savings $3,500


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5 thoughts on “First Quarter 2018: Spend Report”

  1. Bills and personal care could be reviewed. Appears to be the biggest numbers after rent and food. You could just eat and hike in the woods or park on weekends to see if that curbs other category expenses. Also some people meal prep for 3 or 4 weekdays on Sunday night. I have a lot of frugal tips on my site including frugal date activities. Hope this is helpful. I enjoy reading your blog ?

    hope some of my comments don’t come off as rude. I am one of your loyal readers.
    Financial Orchid recently posted..15 Frugal Rainy Day Weekend Ideas to Help You Save

    1. The only thing in my bills that I could really change is my phone bill that’s like $100 a month. But I get unlimited data on my iPhone so I haven’t changed my plan. I guess we could get slower internet but we work from home so need fast internet. For the personal care, I agree the cost is high — it’s because i’m getting monthly prenatal massages right now as a treat to myself. I figure if they help me get through childbirth, it’s worth it. 🙂 But, yes, I can cut costs there. The massages are not cheap.

  2. Consumer cellular has 10GB of data for $40/month, with unlimited talk for an additional $20. You can keep your own phone (I kept my iPhone when I switched), or buy one through them. If your phone isn’t on contract that might be something worth looking into.

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