Year of Frugality: Month 5 Update

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Can you believe that summer is upon us? I honestly can't believe that we are diving into summer and we are less than a month away from the birth of our second child! We are extremely excited for the summer to arrive. This means that baseball is over for me and I have more time to work on my website. This means that I have more time at home and get to spend more quality family time!

So, what did May look like for our family? We celebrated my wife's birthday, Mother's day and even celebrated our anniversary (a little early). Our best time to get away seemed to be in May, because June just seemed a little close to the due date.

We enjoyed our relaxing anniversary celebration weekend and got to just catch up as a couple. In May, it seemed like we didn't get to spend much time together due to baseball season. It was great for us to catch up after baseball season ended and we are excited for the time in July that we will get as a family together. My wife will be home for maternity leave and I will still be on summer vacation.

Financially, we spent a lot more than I would like in May. Take a look at our spending:

May Spending Report:

  • Auto: $593
    • Gas
    • Tolls
    • Ticket
  • Cash: $60
    • Used for Misc. Expenses
  • Clothing: $158
    • Clothing for my daughter
    • Maternity Clothes for my Wife
  • Dining: $427
    • Birthday Dinner
    • Mother's Day Brunch
    • Anniversary Celebration
    • Regular visits to the restauraunt
  • Daycare: $1,080
  • Donations: $1,070
  • Entertainment: $10
    • Took my Baseball Team to a Baseball Game
    • Snacks at the Baseball Game
  • Gifts: $98
    • Teacher Appreciation Month
    • Mother's Day/Birthday Cards
    • Flowers
  • Groceries: $765
  • Health & Fitness: $116
  • Household: $583
    • Lawn Mowing
    • Other Household Supplies
  • Insurance: $731
    • Homeowners Insurance
    • Include Escrow Catch Up Payment, because the Escrow account was low
  • Medical: $349
    • Paid Medical Pills for Pregnancy Appointments
    • Our Daughter had a check-up
  • Mortgage: $969
    • Interest
    • Taxes
  • My Kids: $31
    • Diapers
  • My Pets: $48
    • Dog Food
  • Utilities: $505
    • Streaming TV Service
    • Internet
    • Water
    • Natural Gas
    • Cell Phones
  • Vacation/Travel: $563
    • Weekend Getaway with my wife to celebrate our Anniversary
  • Work Expenses: $50
    • Bought Snacks for my students to end the school year


Well, it's not as bad as last month. We did donate more money and we did have to pay for our escrow shortage. We had the option of extending it over 12 months or paying for it as a lump sum.

We decided a lump sum payment would be the best, because then our overall mortgage payment will be less the rest of the year. We took a hit in May, but we had the cash and decided that it would give us an extra $50 each month in our budget.

As we get deeper into the year, I want to look at the year as a whole and compare our spending. Below is a bar graph comparing each month's spending.

As you can see above, March was the best month in terms of spending and both April and May have been the most expensive. 

When comparing categories, we saw our groceries drop back down to the $700 range (-$300 from last month), but our dining jumped up to the $450 range (+$100 from last month). As gas prices continue to rise, we see our auto expense increase. Thankfully, a summer at home will keep our gas expense down. The increase in gas prices has changed my latest fill ups from around $30 to $45. That's an extra $15 each time we fill up.

May Savings Rate

2018 Savings Rate Goal: 30% 

  • January Savings Rate: 21%
  • February Savings Rate: 16%
  • March Savings Rate: 32%
  • April Savings Rate: 26%
  • May Savings Rate: 20%
  • Year-to-Date Savings Rate: 23% (decrease of 1 percentage point from April)

We actually put a decent amount of money in our savings in May, we just spent a lot of money also. This kept our savings rate in the 20s at 20%. Ten points below our goal. Our total savings rate for the year has decreased one basis point to 23%.


Beginning in February, we kicked off a four month challenge of avoiding anything new. May was our last month of the 4-month challenge. 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)
  • Used Clothing (found clothes for our daughter at a used clothing store)
  • Gift Cards for Teacher Appreciation Week

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

  • Maternity Clothing (8)

In May, we bought a total of 8 new items. These 8 new items were summer maternity clothing. My wife didn't have any maternity shorts and with the increase in temperature this month, she needed some maternity clothes to be comfortable in the summer heat.

  • January: 34 (No Restrictions)
  • February: 2
  • March: 7
  • April: 1
  • May: 8
  • Total: 52

Of the 52 new items purchased, 18 of them were during the buy nothing new challenge. Disappointing that we bought 18 new items, however, I never felt like we bought new things that weren't crazy purchases. They ranged from a reusable swim diaper to children plates and silverware to maternity clothing. 


We began the year by setting a goal of paying off $20,000 of principal on our mortgage. In May, we decided to throw extra money towards the escrow shortage. Therefore, we only paid the minimum mortgage payment in May.

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

  • January: $1,942.65
  • February: $1,147.58
  • March: $1,250.44
  • April: $1,152.81
  • May: $956.43
  • Year-to-date: $6,450.56

Since the beginning of 2018, we have paid an extra $1,700 on our mortgage! This leaves us with approximately $6,787 extra dollars to pay to reach our goal! We are less than halfway to our goal and our monthly amount needed of extra principal payments continues to increase. Our goal seems to be falling further and further out of our grasp.

Where do you see that we need to change our habits? Where could we cut back to reach our savings and mortgage payoff goals?


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