DD’s Monthly Expenses – February 2009

by Debt Destroyer on March 9, 2009

It’s a good thing that February is a short month, because we here at the DD household went WILD!!!

Here is the latest breakdown of my family’s monthly expenses:

  • $1032.00 – Investing
  • $830.00 – Mortgage
  • $664.10 – Health Insurance
  • stocks-plummet-timing-confused$639.00 – Daycare
  • $520.36 – Vehicle Maintenance
  • $475.50 – Groceries
  • $468.23 – Electricity
  • $210.83 – Phone & Internet
  • $175.92 – Short Film Project
  • $175.00 – Student Loan
  • $169.16 – Medical Expenses
  • $161.41 – Household Misc
  • $150.00 – Obama Picture
  • $58.45 – Dinning Out
  • $53.00 – Movies
  • $52.11 – Utilities (Water, Sewer, Garbage) no longer billed quarterly I guess.
  • $48.30 – Gas
  • $22.00 – Donations

Grand Total – $5905.37

I’m Speechless.

Biggest Budget Busters!

  1. $1032.00 – Investing – I tried my hand at timing the market by buying some pretty well known stocks which are at very low levels.  This is something that people with a working brain will tell you not to do.  If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time you know that my brain power is questionable at best.
  2. $520.36 – Vehicle Maintenance – Now I know why people put a piece of duct tape over their check engine light.  This also makes me wish I would’ve been friends with the Motorheads back in high school.  Only $90 of this was parts, the rest of was labor.   I need to hang out with Five cent Nickel’s Mom.
  3. $210.83 – Phone & Internet – You might remember, that I posted about how I switched phone/internet providers.  They warned me that the first bill was going to be a doozy.  I just got the next one and it’s back down to earth($75), so this will be a one time budget buster.
  4. $175.92 -Short Film Project – Back when I was “interviewing” for this gig, I told The Happy Rock that I was a man of many passions.  One of which is film.  My hometown hosts a fun little film making competition every winter. You get 47 hours to make a “film” then they show them all on Sunday night .  They give out $1000 in prize money, but sadly we didn’t win any of it.
  5. $150.00 – Obama Picture – Remember when My kids & I were in Time Magazine.  Well we finally were able to attain the rights to the picture…for a price.

Biggest Budget Breakthroughs:

  1. $48.30 – Gas – Actually I don’t think we had any Budget Breakthroughs this month. But I felt like putting something down.  The low total in this category doesn’t really represent less gas used(well it does, but…), it just means that we didn’t go on any out of town trips this month.

Now for my rationalization.

If you take away the one time budget busters, we’re right in line with last months total.  I also think we went a little wild because we have been suffering from a case of cabin fever.  I can’t say for sure since I didn’t track expenses last winter, but I bet our spending increases every winter.  Mainly because there is nothing else to do.

Not saying that makes it right, it’s just a theory.

Until next time,


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

the weakonomist March 10, 2009 at 2:44 am

I was going to say something about the Obama picture until you explained it. That is worth $150. It looks fantastic, and that is memory for your family.

Budget busters find their way into my spending more often than I would like. Do you think we should set aside more money for this kind of spending, or is there some way to control this?

Thanks for sharing your finances.


Helen March 10, 2009 at 1:58 pm

I have a “Blow money” category in my monthly budget which is money I can spend on anything. I usually use it as a cushion for any category I’ve overspent in. Granted, it’s not a large amount, and wouldn’t cover huge budget busters, but it takes care of a lot of unintended overspending. It’s important for me to build in some flexibility, as it helps me stick to the budget.


Grog March 10, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Good Lord! The only thing that I can say is….You must be doing very well for yourself.


Discover March 10, 2009 at 3:44 pm

At least you posted the budget on a day where the investing seems like a very smart move, which I also think it will be in the long run.


Debt Destroyer March 10, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Thanks for the comments!

@ the weakonomist – I was hoping to get the picture for under $100 (really hoping to get it for free). According to the agency, they don’t normally sell private usage rights very often. So we’re lucky to get it at all I guess.

As for how to budget for monthly hiccups, I like Helen’s idea of actually budgeting for it.

@ Helen – The “blow money ” category would definitely be my favorite category.

@ Grog – I’d like to think we are doing just fine. But what you are seeing in the last couple of months is…GASP…me spending my student loan.

Without including our monthly income, you readers are only getting half of the story. I’ll be working on our taxes this week and when I get done with that I’ll have some income info for you all.

@ Discover – Sadly the investments weren’t made yesterday. Most of it was made prior to a couple rather large declines. But I’m a buy & hold type of guy, so I try not to worry about the short term ups & downs much. But with that said, I’m kicking myself for not waiting one more week :)


frugal living March 18, 2009 at 7:53 am

I am hoping to move to the Honolulu area in 6 months to a year and in the mean time I am trying to save up money for a buffer for certain expenses I somewhat expect but is it so hard to find honest and open answers on what to expect for monthly expenses. I am going to be by myself and I plan on buying a small condo so putting the mortgage or rent aside what other monthly expenses should I expect? Bills? Fees?


Debt Destroyer March 18, 2009 at 4:57 pm

@frugal living
I can’t say for sure, but I’d think you’d want to multiply my expenses by at least a factor of 2 for Honolulu. I live in NE South Dakota which is probably the exact opposite of Hawaii.

Besides the obvious expenses of Food, Shelter & Transportation, you might want to include: Health Care, Fun (you’ll be in Hawaii), & Misc.

Good luck!


haggel May 31, 2009 at 6:01 pm

6 grand is my expense for a whole year. My rent is $300 per month. I share a studio apartment with a room mate. I eat cereal n ramen noodles everyday. I dont have cable, phone, cell phone. I use yahoo messenger as phone. I have $800 1992 car. My daycare bill is $0 per month. Why did you have a kid when it costs a fortune. A kid costs well over half a million dollars.


Debt Destroyer June 1, 2009 at 10:36 pm

@ haggel –
I hope for your sake that this roommate you are sharing your studio apartment with is the kind that comes with “benefits”.

I’d recommend adding some rice & beans to your diet just to mix things up a bit. Although I know that Ramen comes in a variety of flavors (shrimp is my fav), so you’re probably good there.

With a $0 daycare bill, I’d have a litter of kids. I only have two now, and if it wasn’t for the cost of daycare I’d have more. Life isn’t about saving money, it’s about living. My kids have been nothing but a blessing, so even if they cost me $2 million each, they’d be worth it.


Jonathan@Friends&Money November 20, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Just wondering how your investments are going that you bought? Did they make you a good return? You’ve investment bill was pretty large but good for you!


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