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

Mrs. Maroon

December 11, 2014

November 2014 Update

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Here I sit on the 11th of the month AGAIN having not made an update for the last month. I did do a much better job of keeping up with the expense tracking this month – YAY! – so I don’t even have that excuse from last month… Anyway, here we go!


$5,992   Income: November marked my return to the working world, though only at half-time. I will return to full-time in January. Mr. Maroon also got a (paltry) bonus at work. We chose not to pursue reimbursement from the dependent care FSA for November and saved it for December. BONUS… I sold some ridiculous baby boots and slippers to the tune of $65!!

I can't deny they are cute, but Ralph Lauren!?!

I can’t deny they are cute, but Ralph Lauren!?!

Babies do NOT need shoes until they can walk!!

Babies do NOT need shoes until they can walk!!

$2,000   Home: Principal and interest on our mortgage, PMI, and escrow account. We also send just over $500 in extra principal in an effort to squash the PMI. Same as before.

$314      Utilities: Electricity, gas, water, internet, and mobile phones. Well under our budgeted amount again. Perhaps we need to re-evaluate budget here.

$600      Family: The parents get $100 for a ‘slush’ fund for making purchases as desired without any commentary from the other side… minimal expense for the sake of our marriage. The Minis have it much less exciting. Each gets $100 to a savings account and $100 to a 529 plan.

$585      Kids: Daycare, supplies, etc. Mini Maroon #1 attended care at an in-home provider – however we will be making a switch soon. And an update from October, Mini Maroon #2 is now a card carrying Okie – her birth certificate arrived.

$466      Auto / Fuel: Fuel, maintenance, and allowance for insurance. We have always lived a lifestyle that includes lots of driving. Maybe it’s just the Texas (and now Oklahoma) mindset. The offset from mileage from Mr. Maroon’s employer was less this month, but still much appreciated.

$445      Groceries: I was disappointed last month that we were in the $400 range for groceries. Here we sit again in the same place. Perhaps I need to get more comfortable with this value. Or make some major changes. We did cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal, but only for the four of us, and used a turkey we had in the freezer.

 The full spread

The full spread

$0           Travel: We chose to stay home for Thanksgiving. We thoroughly enjoyed our four days at home together. My parents weren’t overjoyed by the decision.

$31        Dining: Similar to last month, I’m pretty proud of this category. Still the expenses were related to lunches for Mr. Maroon. Plus one splurge for donuts on a Sunday morning. We did not eat out for supper at all. Perhaps I’ll find a way to squeeze in time to make lunches. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s fairly low on the priority list.

 While the smoker was going, we cooked a couple other meats to freeze and use later..

While the smoker was going, we cooked a couple other meats to freeze and use later..

$86       Home Goods: Consumables, toiletries, medications, etc. Much better this month! Plus we purchased some home ‘smell-good’ products to support a dear friend who makes her living in direct sales. I’d much rather share my money with folks like her instead of the big box stores. A worthy use of some ‘extra’ purchases.

$35        Miscellaneous: Gifts, unexpected items, etc. Christmas cards!! I saw a Groupon to get 75 cards for $35. I jumped on it. They are the nice, thick ones. Plus we used them to double as birth announcements for Mini 2. One might consider it to be a luxury, but one I am more than willing to pay for. Too bad postage will be more per card than the price to purchase them!

 Frugality... harvesting wood for the smoker from your own backyard!

Frugality… harvesting wood for the smoker from your own backyard!

$96        Personal Items: Clothing, shoes, haircuts, etc. A couple more items to round out Mini 1’s winter wardrobe. Plus a shirt for Mr. Maroon when he went to an out of town conference and failed to grab his pressed shirt for day 2 on the way out the door!

$0           Pets: Another month of no pet expenses. Headed out to buy some dog food today though…

$12        Entertainment: Covers Netflix (our cable substitute) and Pandora (you can only hear the same six CDs of kids’ music so many times before losing your mind).


From a pure cash flow perspective, we were left with $1,072 towards our endowment for November. Somehow though, we still found ourselves with excess cash in our banking account again. We ended up sending $4,000 to Vanguard. I thought we had cleaned out any extra last month. Mr. Maroon accuses me of having a defunct tracking spreadsheet. I offered to let him be in charge for 2015! But I do find it a bit disturbing to be off this much. I will continue to watch to see if I can figure it out.


** UPDATE: By the light of the morning, Mr. Maroon has helped me find my “defunct-tions”. I have updated our numbers a bit. By cash flow, we had $2,300 to contribute to our endowment. We still ended up sending the $3,800, which means we found an extra $1,500 somewhere in the abyss. But at least that correction is better than what I had last night. Still more watching to come…
Overall, I’m pleased with our expenditures. Our total expenses were a little higher this month, but most of that is related to a full month of day care for Mini #1. Plus a reduction in business travel for Mr. Maroon, where we use his reimbursement to offset auto expenses. But, we came in under our budget by ~$500. I like it!!



~ Mrs. Maroon

Let There Be Light!
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  1. Comment by Mrs. Frugalwoods — December 13, 2014 @ 7:06 AM

    Looks like you had a great month! Nicely done! Your Thanksgiving feast looks delicious too :). Do you use the free Pandora service? That’s what we’ve been doing and it seems to work really well. I love the variety of music!
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted…Weekly Woot & Grumble: Deck Those Frugal HallsMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    We actually pay for the Pandora. We love the variety of music and play it all the time. We used all the playtime for the free version so we upgraded. I’m not usually one to pay for extra service but Mini #1 loves listening to his music whenever we are home. And we’ve been blasting the Christmas music, so small price to pay.

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