DD’s Monthly Expenses – October 2009 – Halloween Party Edition

by Debt Destroyer on November 9, 2009

I’m going to blame the tardiness of this expense report due to my Halloween Hangover.  It’s either that or the time change.  It can’t be because I was too lazy to put this together can it? Nope, must be Daylight Savings Time.

Here is the latest installment of my family’s monthly expenses. Below are the results from October:

  • $840.39 – Mortgage
  • $759.20 – Health Insurance
  • $675.00 – Life Insurance
  • $531.67 –  Groceries
  • $450.00 – Preschool
  • $166.51 – Halloween Party
  • $160.00 – Student Loan
  • $158.18 – Gas
  • not-so-scary-halloween-party-pumpkin$120.35 – Electricity
  • $113.50 – Donations
  • $103.71 – Phone & Internet
  • $89.00 – Books
  • $75.82 – Dinning out
  • $61.02 – Utilities (Water, Sewer, Garbage)
  • $47.07 – Car Maintenance
  • $42.38 – Cookware
  • $31.26 – Clothes
  • $28.60 – Shoes
  • $26.60 – Kids Care
  • $26.53 – Gifts
  • $22.26 – Dance Class
  • $20.00 – Medical
  • $14.00 – Hair Cut
  • $10.74 – Beauty Products
  • $10.54 – Household Misc
  • $8.00 – Kids Fun
  • $2.00 – Tennis

For a grand total of $4594.33!

Actually considering that we paid our life insurance premium this month.  I don’t think this is all that bad.

Biggest Budget Busters:

  1. $531.67 –  Groceries.   Go back a couple of posts and you’ll see me talk about how I’m using my credit card for the next three months instead of cash to pay for groceries.  I said I hoped it wouldn’t alter my average spending on groceries which had been $381.43.  HA!  I blew that right out of the water.  But here’s the deal, I can’t totally blame this increase on using plastic.  A couple days after I wrote that post my wife & I decided to give Tony Gonzalez’s “All Pro Diet” a try.  The big thing for us was the smoothie for breakfast which will hopefully give us energy.  It involves hemp milk, protein powder, and a bunch of natural/organic foods.  Needless to say this increases our grocery expense. (My preliminary estimates are $55.41)
  2. $166.51 – Halloween Party – Back when Mrs DD & I lived in the Twin Cities a friend of ours threw amazing Halloween parties.  So when we moved back to South Dakota, my wife wanted to throw one herself.  I fought her off for years, but she finally wore me down.  It was pretty fun. We had great food (another reason this month’s budget is out of whack), games, and some fun costumes.  But the best thing is, my wife decided it wasn’t worth all the hassle, so we’ll stick to plain old “trick or treating” next year. When I told her this total, she was surprised on how quick everything added up.  But at least it was cheaper than my B-Day party.
  3. $89.00 – Books – I know what you’re saying, “DD how can someone who professes to love the library end up spending so much money on books?”  Well I’ll tell you how. Killing time in a Barnes & Noble is how.   My wife had an engagement shoot in Sioux Falls and I thought I’d waste some time in the bookstore.  Time wasn’t the only think I wasted. Actually only one of the books was an impulse buy.  The others are super cool and I’m glad I got them.  For example one is an historical account of my home town, and there is a picture of my house in it (with a horse & buggy going by).  How could I pass that up?  Of course this total also reflects the above mentioned diet book.  Time will tell if that ends up being a waste or not.

Biggest Budget Breakthroughs:

  1. $75.82 – Dinning out – It seems strange to me saying that spending $75 on eating out is a breakthrough, but with two out of town trips and a “girls night out” this total could’ve easily been much worse.  That is the breakthrough.
  2. $8.00 – Kids Fun – I already mentioned our family fall weekend that set us back a whopping $6, but I also wanted to bring up the best $1 I spent all month.   My mother in law was in town for Halloween(I think there was a witch convention or something) that meant a trip to the mall.   A mini arcade has gone in right next to the food court, so I thought it would be a blast to have our kids play the car racing game.  I was right! With my 2 year old son on my lap and my 4 year old daughter on my wife’s, my kids put on a clinic on how to drive.  It was hilarious.  I haven’t laughed so hard in a long, long time.
  3. $2.00 – Tennis – This is how much a can of balls cost me.  And thanks to four straight cancellations in my tennis league, that can will last a long time.  Hopefully I remember how to play.

~Let’s do the Time Warp~

Last October we spent $4211.94.

Considering that we weren’t paying for our own Health Insurance then, I think we’re right in line with our spending from last year.  I see that I complained about a high grocery bill last year too.

499.75 – Groceries – We’re getting too close to the $500 level for my comfort.  But I have good news. My daughter’s food allergies have weakened enough so we no longer have to avoid wheat & dairy.  This should help lower the cost of groceries going forward.

So clearly we like to eat high on the hog in October.

Until next time,


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

celticbuffy November 10, 2009 at 2:15 am

You guys must be super special because we’ve never had G’ma for Halloween! 😛 You need to hang out with me at B&N sometime. I can stay for hours and buy nothing but a coffee.


Zengirl November 10, 2009 at 5:19 am

It is pretty open of you to share your monthly budget. I think we can all improve our expenses once we see it on paper, it adds so fast right?


David November 10, 2009 at 1:02 pm

My expenses are like half of urs. My preschool bill is $0 per month and life insurance is also $0 a month. My food bill is around $180 a month, I guess 4 people eat more than 1 person.


Debt Destroyer November 10, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Thanks for the comments.

@celticbuffy – Well when she invites herself, there’s not much you can do.

@Zengirl – The problem is, is that is really isn’t a budget. It’s what we spent, not what we planned on spending. I’m horrible at sticking to budgets, but I’m good at tracking.


Jonathan@Friends&Money November 11, 2009 at 11:53 am

Health care is a major killer on the expenses front, but what can you do? It’s impossible to leave yourself exposed by not having it. I think that all things considered your spending looks good overall


Debt Destroyer November 11, 2009 at 12:26 pm

@ Jonathan – Health Insurance is a huge expense for us. I didn’t mind it when my employer paid for it, but now that it’s all on us, it bites. I’m hoping when my schooling is done, that I’ll get a job with decent health coverage.


Car insurance phi November 13, 2009 at 6:41 pm

It’s hard to save money when there’s always some sort of occasion that requires spending money that month and sometimes there are several occasions as well like Christmas and birthdays during December. Thanks for sharing. We’re all going through the same financial crises come holiday season!


blurayguy November 16, 2009 at 11:19 pm

We pay around 600 a month for health insurance and sometimes i wonder why? I recently had to go to the ER for a broken nose. (my kid hit me in the face with a bat! accident of course) anyway i get my insurance explanation of benefits and it says i am responsible for the entire ER visit! So needless to say i have to spend countless hours trying to deal with this garbage! I dont know how this whole government healthcare is going to work out but i would have no problem paying a little bit more in taxes just to have the same great healthcare the goverment does. The rest of the world does it why cant we? God forbid we weed out all of the crooked doctors out there that are running insurance scams then some senators would lose their big checks come campaign time. Sorry for the rant but something has to change!


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