Year of Frugality: Month 3 Update

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Just like that, we are one fourth of the way through 2018! Once again, we made really good progress in the spending realm and came up spending the least amount of money this year! This makes us pretty happy in the Summit of Coin household! 

We even took a little trip to Laredo to visit my wife's family. This trip was great for our family as we got a chance to relax and I even found the time to play a round of golf. We were also helped out with a decrease in our childcare bill, because I had spring break. Our daycare charges half price, if you don't take your child during the week. Therefore, we saved a little money!

It was a great month experience wise, but also financially!  Let's take a look at those expenses:

March Spending Report:

  • Auto: $391
    • Gas
    • Tolls
  • Cash: $56
    • Used for Misc. Expenses
  • Clothing: $16
    • Purchased some unmentionables
  • Dining: $334
    • Includes date nights
  • Daycare: $858
    • Our 16-month old got sick and we weren't able to take her for a whole week (paid half price that week)
  • Donations: $520
  • Entertainment: $32
  • Gifts: $0
  • Groceries: $755
  • Health & Fitness: $12
  • Household: $67
    • Misc. Cleaning Supplies
    • Child Sized Eating Utensils
    • Lawn Mowing
  • Insurance: $91
    • Homeowners Insurance
  • Medical: $418
    • Paid Medical Pills for Pregnancy Appointments
    • Our Daughter had another Ear Infection
  • Mortgage: $1,025
    • Interest
    • Taxes
  • My Kids: $31
    • Diapers
  • My Pets: $41
    • Pet Food
    • Dog Tags
  • Utilities: $425
    • Streaming TV Service
    • Internet
    • Water
    • Electricity
    • Natural Gas
    • Cell Phones
  • Vacation/Travel: $61
    • Visited my wife's family in Laredo


Dang!!! Do you see that number! That's something to celebrate!! We decreased our spending by just under $2,000 ($7,026 last month)! Despite the increase in gas, tolls, medical and dining, we still found ways to cut down our expenses.

We cut down our expenses in multiple categories, including groceries ($13 decrease), gifts ($79 decrease), entertainment ($163 decrease), my kids ($191 decrease), and my pets ($99 decrease). Because of this savings, we came up $2,000 under budget.

In all reality, the biggest reason for savings - - - the lack of an unexpected expense! For the first time since last August, we did not have a major expense come up! This allowed us to throw a lot of money on savings. The household expense decreased by $1,300 alone! Below is a list of our unexpected expenses:

  • August: Auto Repair
  • September: Auto Repair
  • October: Washer and Dryer
  • November: Wisdom Teeth Removal
  • December: New Tires and Replaced the Struts
  • January: New Tires
  • February: Garage Door and Heating Valves
  • March: NOTHING!!!!

March gave us relief and we get a better idea of our expenses in a month without that dreaded unexpected expense!

March Spending Rates:

March Spending 2018.png

2018 Savings Rate Goal: 30% 

  • January Savings Rate: 21%
  • February Savings Rate: 16%
  • March Savings Rate: 32%
  • Year-to-Date Savings Rate: 23% (increase of 4 percentage points from February)

In the month of March, we met our savings goal and caused our yearly savings rate to increase!! Let's just say that March was good for our savings accounts!


Beginning in February, we kicked off a four month challenge of avoiding anything new. As you can tell, we really did not spend a lot of money on anything unnecessary. There were some new items that we purchased that are exempt, based on the guidelines we laid out at the beginning of our 4-month challenge:

  • Diapers (Household Consumable)
  • Mulch/Fertilizer (Household Consumable - actually cost us $0, because we had a gift card)
  • Unmentionables

With this being our second month of our buy nothing new challenge, what did we buy (if anything) that was new?

  • Children's Plate (1)
    • We only had one and decided that it would be good to get a second.
  • Child Sized Forks (1 pack of 3)
    • Our daughter began experimenting with forks when we were in Laredo.
    • We decided to get her some at the house so she can continue to learn how to use them.
  • Dog Bowl (1)
    • With the addition of a second dog, we decided to purchase a bigger bowl for water, as our previous water bowl was not keeping up.
  • Dog Tags (2)
    • With the addition of a second dog, we made sure to get a dog tag in case our dog gets lost and decided to update the other dog tag as the address was no longer accurate.

In March, we purchased 7 new items. These items were not necessary, however they were expenses that we would be making in the future at some point. Therefore, I don't feel like we went out of bounds by purchasing these items for our kids and pets.

  • January: 34 (No Restrictions)
  • February: 2
  • March: 7
  • Total: 43

Mortgage Payoff Update:

We began the year by setting a goal of paying off $20,000 of principal on our mortgage. We were able to find some extra money to throw at the mortgage, however, we focused most of our saving towards replenishing emergency savings in March. Our unexpected expenses in February did make a small dent in our emergency savings and required us to replenish that amount of money.

2018 Principal Payments (includes scheduled payments plus any extra principal payments):

  • January: $1,942.65
  • February: $1,147.58
  • March: $1,250.44
  • Year-to-date: $4,340.67

We threw an extra $300 towards our mortgage in March. Since the beginning of 2018, we have paid an extra $1,500 on our mortgage! This leaves us with approximately $6,990 extra dollars to pay to reach our goal!

Reaching the Financial Summit, Starts with You!

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