Year of Frugality: Month 7 Update

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As many of you may know, the month began with the delivery of our second little girl! We are both excited and as most people would expect a little sleep deprived. However, things are great at the Summit of Coin household. I have had a whole month off to enjoy great family time and we have all bonded. 

As of right now, my oldest is a huge daddy's girl. She looks for and wants to be held by daddy a lot. Let's just say, I don't know if my arms have gotten so much work! If you want to read more about our month off experience check out the article, "We are on a Mini-Retirement Trial."

Outside of everything baby, we have not done much. It has been all family and not a lot of anything else in the month of July. In terms of spending, we did spend more than June, but that large amount of spending was caused by paying insurance premiums for 12 months and paying for flights for each of us to return from Nebraska in November. Check out our spending below:

July Spending Report:

  • Auto: $229
    • Gas
    • Tolls
    • Oil Change
  • Cash: $0
    • Mainly $0, because I was able to track where the cash went in July.
  • Clothing: $435
    • Clothing for the entire family
  • Dining: $321
    • High because of eating cafeteria food while we were in the hospital
  • Daycare: $945
  • Donations: $620
  • Entertainment: $567
    • Season Ticket for Football
    • Went to watch Solo
    • Fixed battery and screen in my phone
  • Gifts: $176
    • Birthday Gifts for Nieces and Nephews until the end of the year
    • Photo Book
  • Groceries: $860
  • Health & Fitness: $116
  • Household: $467
    • Lawn Mowing
    • Wooden Letters
    • Household Cleaning Supplies
    • Exterminating
    • Picture Frame
  • Insurance: $742
    • Homeowners Insurance
    • Life Insurance (12-month payment)
  • Medical: $89
    • Dental
    • Copay for my Daughter's Appointment
    • Parking at the med center
  • Mortgage: $961
    • Interest
    • Taxes
  • My Kids: $150
    • Diapers
    • Sippy Cups
    • Breastmilk Storage Bags (3 packs of 300)
  • My Pets: $45
    • Dog food
  • Utilities: $528
    • Streaming TV Service
    • Internet
    • Water
    • Natural Gas
    • Cell Phones
  • Vacation/Travel: $847
    • Purchased return Flights from Nebraska for Thanksgiving
  • Work Expenses: $10
    • Purchased Expo Markers for my classroom


Once again, we spent a lot of money (less than both April and May), but $8,000+ is too much to spend in a month. Below is a list of items that caused our spending to jump in July.

  • We bought return flights from Nebraska in November. Flying around the holidays seems to make flight tickets really expensive. We also booked a cruise for my wife and I to celebrate 5 years of marriage (9 months late). For the cruise we only paid the down payment. Both purchases totaled $847.
  • July is the month that we pay our yearly premium for Life Insurance. This increased our insurance costs from $107 to $742 for the month.
  • In July, we spent a lot in clothing. My wife found some new nursing shirts. I purchased some items for work and we found some more clothes for our growing daughters. (Luckily, we have loads of hand-me downs for our youngest daughter). We spent $435, which is high for the Summit of Coin family.
  • Despite our daughter not going to daycare, we still spent $945. Our daughter went one week, which cost us $245. In September, our daycare charges a supply fee. We prepaid the supply fee of $300. We already had a $100 credit on file, therefore this leaves us with $500 in prepaid daycare costs. This will cover a little more than a week, once our girls go back to daycare in October.

Looking at our normal expenses for a month, we spent more than expected in groceries. I went to the grocery store on the 31st, expecting the bank to clear the charge on the first, instead the charge cleared on the 31st. Otherwise, we were on pace to meet our grocery budget in July. Out Auto expenses were down, because we were home with the kids. Less gas = less of a bill. 

Our dining increased, because I purchased my meals at the hospital's cafeteria. I know it was expensive, but I don't really like to leave the hospital. I like to help my wife as much as I can. Basically, $79 of the $321 spent on dining was spent at the hospital. Yikes! That's a lot!

Below is a look at our spending over the course of the entire year:

The last four months (Apr-July) have been the highest of the year. After a slight decrease from April to June, we saw our spending go back up a little in July. After July, our average spending in $7,603.30 per month. I fully expect a large decrease as we head into August and September with my wife on maternity leave.


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%
  • June Savings Rate: 30%
  • July Savings Rate: 30%
  • Year-to-Date Savings Rate: 26% (increase of 2 percentage point from June)

Look at that jump in savings rate! Once again, we had a lot of income in June. I received two more stipends for teaching summer school. My wife began maternity leave, but she still had PTO time built and received her normal pay.

This month, we focused our savings on paying off the mortgage early and building up our emergency reserves. Of course, we always save in our retirement!


In the middle of our last buy nothing new challenge, my wife and I had a discussion. At the beginning, July was supposed to be a buy nothing new month. However, my wife and I discussed and my wife made some pretty good points. With the birth of our second child, it made sense to not have any restrictions in July.

I agreed, because we did not know the gender of our baby (we like surprise babies). Having a boy would have required us to find some gender specific clothes. It was good, because it gave us the freedom to purchase anything that we need for the baby (for example: breast pump items). Below is a list of the new items, that are excluded because they are considered either reusable or household.

  • Diapers (Household Consumable)
  • Paper Towels and Toilet Paper
  • Pet Stain Carpet Cleaner
  • Birth Announcements
  • Breast Pump Parts
  • Unmentionables

With this being a no restriction month, what did we buy that was new (it was a lot)?

  • Clothing
    • Me: 2 shirts, 2 Pants
    • My Wife: 5 Nursing Shirts
    • My Kids: 10 onesies or outfits (we actually purchased a lot of used clothes, but found some new stuff that we liked also.
  • Photo Book (1)
  • Gifts (3)
  • Fitbit (1)
  • Picture Frame (1)
  • Sippy Cups (4)
  • Room Decorations (2)

July did require some new purchases with the arrival of a new baby, but we kept it to 24 new items. Most of the items were clothing, specifically we purchased some clothing for football season. My daughter is ready to support her wife's team and my team!!!

  • January: 34 (No Restrictions)
  • February: 2
  • March: 7
  • April: 1
  • May: 8
  • June: 57 (No Restrictions)
  • July: 31 (No Restrictions)
  • Total: 140

Dang that's 140 total new items this year. Luckily we head into another buy nothing new month in August! Just what the doctor ordered to decrease our new items.


We began the year by setting a goal of paying off $20,000 of principal on our mortgage.

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
  • June: $1,958.82
  • July: $2,013.69
  • Year-to-date: $10,423.17

The extra $1,050 paid in July has increased our extra principal payments to $3,750 over the course of 2018. This has decreased the amount still needed to meet our goal to $4,709.08. With five months left, that's an average of $942 per month that needs to go towards the mortgage to meet our goal!


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