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

Mrs. Maroon

November 12, 2014

October 2014 Update

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As I’ve already mentioned**, I had quite a bit of catching up to do to track our October expenses. I could say that it’s related to having a newborn and transitioning to keeping the VERY busy Mini Maroon 1 at home for the month too, but then again excuses are ugly. I just plain let it get away from me.


Better late than never, so let’s get down to it…

$5,317   Income: We only got Mr. Maroon’s paycheck this month since I was still on maternity leave. We were boosted by reimbursement from the dependent care FSA we use to defer taxes from a portion the incredibly high cost of child care.

$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.

$328      Utilities: Electricity, gas, water, internet, and mobile phones. Well under our budgeted amount. And November already looks even better!

$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 kids have it much less exciting. Each gets $100 to a savings account and $100 to a 529 plan.

$346      Kids: Daycare, supplies, etc. Mini Maroon 1 started back into child care the last week of the month. We have switched to an in-home provider which will save us a small fortune, especially once Mini 2 joins her brother. Plus, you have to pay to get a birth certificate. $35 to be exact. Even the first time around. I can understand if you’re too unorganized to keep up with the original, but nope, you pay for that first copy too. Okay, rant over… (Oh, and it still hasn’t arrived yet!)

 Have you ever replaced a clutch all by your lonesome?

Have you ever replaced a clutch all by your lonesome?

$157      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. Plus Mr. Maroon made some pretty serious repairs to his 1995 Jeep Wrangler project one weekend. BUT we choose to deduct what Mr. Maroon’s employer pays for mileage from this category. For this month, that means the total was reduced by a whopping $500!! Doing a little happy dance!

$436      Groceries: I’m a little disappointed here. I thought I was doing a really good job in using items we already had in the pantry and freezer to minimize groceries. (Note to self – update the expenses more often! See ** above.) Granted, October was nearly $150 less than September, but it’s still a little above what we have budgeted for.

$75        Travel: Gas and food for a trip down to see some family in Texas. Should you ever consider making a driving trip with month-old baby and a newly potty-trained toddler by yourself, you should really start to question your sanity!

$39        Dining: Major victory here. Plus we can do better – these were all lunches for Mr. Maroon when we were too busy lazy to pack his lunch. In fact, we did not eat out for supper a single time this month.

$194      Home Goods: Consumables, toiletries, medications, etc. I was a little caught off-guard here. (See ** above.) We did happen re-fill all three of the propane tanks we own after a full summer of grilling. Plus two kinds of laundry detergent. And why, why is contact solution so expensive?? I also re-supplied all of the out-of-date baby meds and had a couple unusual prescriptions for me.

Go Texan branded :)

Go Texan branded 🙂

$166      Miscellaneous: Gifts, unexpected items, etc. Overage here is solely related to the money I chose to spend for a professional photographer to take some photos of our new family of four and some newborn pictures. I shopped like crazy and found a woman at a fraction of most other photographers. I also found all four of our pumpkins for a whopping $12.

$96        Personal Items: Clothing, shoes, haircuts, etc. Includes a good head start on a winter wardrobe for Mini 1.

$0           Pets: Good thing too. She was REALLY expensive in September (annual checkup with a year’s worth of heartworm pills)!

$40        Entertainment: Overage here for Mr. Maroon’s annual fishing license. Otherwise just 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 $840 towards our retirement savings for October. However, we’ve been shuffling things around in accounts, and held a little money back in September, knowing that my contribution to the income was going to $0 for the month. So, I’m very proud to say that we sent $3,280 to our Vanguard account this week.


As everyone is well aware, the markets were a bit crazy during October. We found ourselves sitting at ~$50 under $180,000 in our investments at the beginning of the month. We’d been anxiously watching the balance creep up and up, and were looking for an extreme sense of accomplishment for getting there. Well that didn’t happen…


Not until Halloween, that is. I knew we were getting close to that elusive balance. Then I saw a news flash that the Dow had closed at a record high. Today was our day! We both sat with baited breath as Mint refreshed the balances in all of our accounts. Final tally came in at $181,998!! We were pretty stinking excited. Until that little voice said, but it’s only $2 short of $182,000… Some people can never be satisfied.


As with anything, we did great in some areas and not so stellar in others. The good news is that there is always room for improvement. And more than anything, the takeaway for me is to update your expenses FREQUENTLY!! (See ** above!)



~ Mrs. Maroon

FF #14 - Deadly Multi-Tasking
Veteran's Day
  1. Comment by Jason @ Islands of Investing — November 13, 2014 @ 4:51 AM

    Sounds like a pretty great effort Mrs Maroon! Especially on the eating out – I can totally relate to being too ‘busy’ to pack lunch. Pets are another expense that’s hard to control – I recently forked out almost $1,000 for annual check-ups and other needs for our 2 cats, but it’s definitely worth the money 🙂

    PS – congrats on your newborn Mini Maroon! I think that’s a highly legitimate excuse for getting a little behind on things! Hope it’s all going well!

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Holey moley… $1,000 for the cats! You re-define really expensive for me. We weren’t nearly that high. Our vet bill wasn’t even that much when the little booger couldn’t resist the ooey-gooey goodness of grease and cheese after grilling jalapeno poppers. The kicker was that the cheese could not be had without the ball of aluminum foil too 🙁 Fortunately no lasting issues – just some glittery deposits in the backyard for a while!

    Oh and Mini 2 is doing great. We actually go for her two-month checkup today. Can’t wait to see how much she has grown!!

  2. Comment by Liz — November 16, 2014 @ 8:29 PM

    My husband and I are hoping to start a family in the next few years. I’ve been thinking a lot about how people deal with the financial aspects of expanding your family. Especially when you go on maternity leave and then deal with new cost of daycare. I just don’t know how people make it work?! Maybe once our student loans are gone, it wouldn’t be so bad.

  3. Comment by Even Steven — November 20, 2014 @ 9:28 AM

    I’m with you on the expensive dog costs, we skipped out on the regular checkup so we had all of the tests done and some heart worm medicine, so $235 later it was all taken care of. I keep telling myself it was all preventative so it was the right move.

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