Another month over and I have totalled up the spending for May. It is not a pretty sight. Almost $6,000 gone this month in variable spending. Yikes!!
January – $5,144.53
February – $1,783.49
March – $4,350.56
April – $2,385.31
May – $5,961.54
I have amended the figures slightly to include everything that we have spent in the past 5 months – that is variable spending so does not include mortgage, rates, insurances, phone/internet etc.
May was particularly high as we booked and paid for airfares and accommodation in Melbourne at Christmas as well as paying for birthday presents for both daughters and a Christmas gift for one of them. Since they are both adults earning their own money we generally pay for something special such as an airfare and then buy a small gift to give on the day. The other category that impacted significantly was ‘House & Garden’ of just over $1,200 which included $860 for the plumber and electrician and installation of a new sump pump for the greywater system.
I thought that we would pull our horns in for June but we started the first day of the month with GMan buying a new pair of shoes for work at $209 since the others could not be repaired. The other not so good news is that the drive chain broke on the ride-on mower yesterday and we have yet to find out what that will cost to replace.
There are only 29 more days until the end of the financial year and I will be halfway through this tracking exercise which is nothing if not eye-opening.
Interesting reading. Recent retirement has had an effect on the way I handle my finances. Since we know there is a very restricted income now, we have to prepare for “variables” such as you mention, otherwise we would find ourselves in trouble trying to find the money to cover them. I have now set up a system that means each “payday” we put a set amount away for each of several categories such as car costs and repairs, household repairs and replacements, clothing, holidays and entertainment etc. These amounts are kept separately and labelled as to their intended purpose. I realised the need for this, when, a few months into retirement my husband needed 2 new pairs of spectacles for reading and driving, prescription sunglasses for driving and was found to be in need of a hearing aid. Worse than that was the realisation that, should we decide to move house (and we are considering doing that) there would be a need to fund legal, agent’s and moving expenses. Suddenly being faced with a possible bill for more than $35,000 made me realise how I needed to be prepared for such sudden and unexpected expenses in the future. It is a lesson well learned for me.
Wise words, Pat. I guess that part of this exercise is to try to guesstimate the possible expenses over a 12 month period and allocate a suitable amount to each category. Thanks for the insights.