Mixing Maroons - Spend Less, Save More … Get Marooned!

Mrs. Maroon

February 5, 2015

January 2015 Update

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I’m excited to be wrapping up the first month of the new year today. I’m even ahead of my self-proclaimed goal for sharing updates! The fun of working with my new spreadsheet for the year has led me to updating it almost as soon as a new expenditure hits. Let’s see how long this lasts… Anyway, let’s get to the numbers.

 

$2,040     Mortgage: Principal and interest on our mortgage, plus PMI and escrow account. We’ve added in saving for the annual property taxes over at the beach here too. Until now, we’ve sent just over $500 in extra principal in an effort to squash the PMI. But starting in February, we are starting down a new path to pay off the mortgage completely by the time we are ready to start our FIRE lifestyle. Changes coming!

 

$336     Utilities: Electricity, gas, water, internet, and mobile phones. Looking good in my book!

 

$765     Kids: Daycare, supplies, etc. Mini Maroon #2 started to day care the last week of January, so expenses here are going up and up. But we are very pleased with our choice to go back to an academic setting from the in-home child care. Plus, I can justify calling it ‘school’ which helps soften the blow of sending my children off every day.

 

$99     Auto/Fuel: Fuel, maintenance, and allowance for insurance. Big WOW here. By getting a large offset from Mr. Maroon’s employer for business travel, we are looking great. But, with gas prices so much lower right now, even without the offset, we’d be looking at just under $300. Since we chose a house 23 miles from Mr. Maroon’s work – purely in search of land (remember that beach) – such a low total for fuel is amazing to me. We shall see how long the low gas prices last…

 

$375     Groceries: Big win here! We are over $100 less than in the past couple months 🙂 I think this victory is mostly related to eating through a lot of our freezer stores. So, I’m a little worried about how sustainable this level of spending will be over several months. Even still, I am very excited to have made progress here compared to the last several months of 2014.

 

$200     Parents: The slush fund each of us enjoys for purchases without any commentary from the other side. Even in our desire to invest every spare penny, we consider this category a minimal expense for the sake of our marriage.

 

$0     Pets: No food this month! Plus the bin is looking awfully full, so likely none next month either. We have cut back a little because, ummm, Maroon Mutt needs to trim her waistline (or lack thereof) a bit.

 

$195     Travel: Our planned trip to west Texas for Christmas was pushed back by a week because of winter weather. But we had a great time when we did get there. First off, we got to see grandpa’s new house. I think it is perfect for him! We enjoyed the family time. Plus we stopped to see some very good friends on the way back. What was expected to be a quick stop over at their house for lunch turned into hours of delightful conversation and the two boys playing together. We left at 8:00p, still with a 5-hour drive ahead of us. Oooops!

 

$41     Home Goods: The holding tank for the random consumables we use around the house. This month goes towards some face wash, trash bags, food storage bags, toothpaste – you know, the exciting stuff! However, I do expect our 200+ trash bags with last us roughly two years, so all in all, not so bad!

 

$16     Personal Items:  Mr. Maroon desperately needed a new phone cover. We were hopeful one might appear under the Christmas tree from family, but sadly no one obliged. But, he got a very nice protective one for a fraction of the price of the heavy hitters in the name brand category. Worth it to protect the investment.

 

$53     Miscellaneous: We sent a donation in honor of a good friend’s mother who passed away. Also, the notary we met to sell our semi-investment property left his stamp. I had to mail it back to him *sigh

 

$55    Dining: We fell off the wagon by eating out the evening we sold the semi-investment property. Poor choice on our part by choosing to meet the mobile notary at a restaurant right around the corner from the minis’ school. Oh well, such is life. Plus one Friday night, my pizza dough failed to rise. I caved and picked up pizza on the way home from gathering the minis. But now I have learned to start making the dough on Thursday nights…

 

$12     Entertainment: Same Netflix and Pandora as always. Although we could likely get by without these, I am pleased that we avoid a cable bill. And I don’t have to buy umpteen zillion CDs or downloads to get some variety in the kids’ music. The price of sanity!
2015.02.05-1

 

Now for the BIG one. We sent $10,500 to our Endowment!! This total includes $200 to the 529 plan, plus $3,400 towards maxing out our 401(k) this year, and a whopping $6,900 to fund our Roth IRAs (finished off 2014). First off, January was an extremely high income month. We got the cash from our Breeze-Fall. Plus we got three paychecks since we are paid bi-weekly. One of our favorite savings techniques is to send that extra paycheck that comes twice a year straight to savings. We live on two paychecks for ten months out of the year. Why would we blow a third paycheck during the other two months??

 

Tracking our expenses each month is critical for keeping our spending in check. But I am also eager to start watching our Net Worth and Endowment trends each month. We are happy to be participating in Moneystepper’s 2015 Savings Challenge this year. And thrilled to have recently been added to Money Smart Guide’s list of Investing All-Stars. If you’re looking for some extra motivation or accountability, you should definitely go check out both of these resources!

 

January 2015 Stats:

Net Worth – $389,000

Endowment – $222,700

Home Equity – $16,340

2015.02.05-2

 

~ Mrs. Maroon

Are You Too Chicken...
Moneystepper 2015 Savings Challenge
  1. Comment by Vawt — February 5, 2015 @ 1:54 PM

    Have you guys already moved to a 15 year or less mortgage or will you pay it off fast enough that refinancing won’t help? I moved to a 15 year a couple of years ago and love seeing the balance drop so much faster! I would have about 5 years left on the mortgage on my anticipated financial independence date.

    Also, I am glad to see the fun money. I think too many people risk burnout from not leaving a little bit of a buffer when they are trying to retire early (and very quickly).
    Vawt recently posted…My Travel Reward Point ValuesMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    No move to a 15 year note yet. But for the right rate, we would do it in a heartbeat. Speaking of which, our broker emailed about refinancing. We inquired for more info, but haven’t heard back from him. Time to make a phone call!!

  2. Comment by Robin @ The Thrifty Peach — February 5, 2015 @ 1:54 PM

    That’s an awesome number to be able to throw towards your endowment! Awesome work! And yea on the paying off the mortgage. That’s always an exciting prospect. I’m also working on eating through our stores of frozen and canned goods. It really helps on the grocery bill, and $375 is great.
    Robin @ The Thrifty Peach recently posted…Lazy Girl’s Guide to Valentine’s DayMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Having a mortgage is a hedge against inflation. We have gone round and round about it. We don’t normally let emotions factor in to financial decisions, but the peace of mind of being 100% debt-free is over-ruling here.

  3. Comment by Mrs SSC — February 5, 2015 @ 2:23 PM

    Awesome awesome job! It is always fun to be able to invest a bunch of money – it makes me feel so good to see that a huge chunk of income goes towards savings – and with your Breeze-fall your pie chart almost looks like Pac-man!
    Mrs SSC recently posted…January 2015: Our money went where???My Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    I should hope for Pacman-style charts every single month!!

  4. Comment by Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom — February 5, 2015 @ 9:59 PM

    That’s a huge amount added to your endowment. Awesome! Also nice to see how your expenses break down.
    Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom recently posted…It Feels Good to be back on TrackingMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Such an exceptionally high income month sure was a nice way to get the year started with a bang. The expense breakdown helps us evaluate and improve. I hope it might helps others along the way too!

  5. Comment by Holly@ClubThrifty — February 6, 2015 @ 7:30 AM

    Great job on your retirement savings! I love it when I can put that much away in one month.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted…My Frugal West Coast – Las Vegas VacationMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Thanks! Pretty awesome feeling 🙂

  6. Comment by Elroy — February 6, 2015 @ 1:24 PM

    Nice work. We locked in a 3.75% rate on a 30 year just the other day, no cost!
    Elroy recently posted…Jan 2015 Spending and Networth UpdateMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Very good work! We refinanced our last house to move to a 15-year note at a lower rate with no out-of-pocket expense also. Kinda made me feel like we got away with something!

  7. Comment by Tawcan — February 6, 2015 @ 3:59 PM

    Good work! That’s huge you had $10,500 going into the endowment fund. Gotta love having that much saving in one month.
    Tawcan recently posted…Recent BuysMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Huge feat! Now, if we could just make it a month after month occurrence. We can all dream, right?

  8. Comment by Jason @ Islands of Investing — February 6, 2015 @ 8:06 PM

    Wow Mrs Maroon! Slam dunk for Jan! Great effort on the groceries too – all those little savings just keep adding up every month!
    Jason @ Islands of Investing recently posted…One year ago, on an Island far far away…My Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Thanks! We are pleased with the results. A little here and a little there can add up to be a lot!

  9. Comment by No More Waffles — February 8, 2015 @ 6:42 AM

    Mrs. Maroon,

    Nice break-down. Loved reading through it.

    I like how apart from some mandatory expenses like housing and day care you keep everything as low as possible. I was especially impressed by the auto and fuel costs, which is another big expense for most families.

    And you managed to max-out your 401(k) already! Keep it up!

    Have a great weekend,NMW
    No More Waffles recently posted…Three Rookie Mistakes in the Quest for Financial IndependenceMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Thanks for the kind words. Our auto costs are significantly helped by Mr. Maroon driving for work and getting reimbursed for those miles. Oh, and we haven’t maxed out the 401(k) yet. We have set the paycheck deductions to hit the max at the end of the year. Hope you enjoy your weekend also!

  10. Comment by Emma @ emmalincoln.com — February 9, 2015 @ 2:02 AM

    Way to go! How soon until you pay off your mortgage?
    Emma @ emmalincoln.com recently posted…Money isn’t your problem. Fear is your problem.My Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    We are targeting mortgage payoff and FIRE at the same time in June 2020!

  11. Comment by Kara @ The Daily Whisk — February 9, 2015 @ 12:23 PM

    I love your idea to put the “extra” paycheck straight into savings. That is so smart! I’d never thought of that! 🙂
    Kara @ The Daily Whisk recently posted…January Side Hustle IncomeMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    I’m pretty proud of Mr. Maroon for thinking of it too!!

  12. Comment by HappinessSavouredHot — February 16, 2015 @ 7:24 PM

    Great ideas here! And I am realizing that I spend way too much money on groceries!!!
    HappinessSavouredHot recently posted…The Less is More project: Week 6 – The case of clothesMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    It’s easy for groceries to become a black hole. Be conscious of what you’re buying and it will be much better!

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