August 2015 Expenses (Mr. PTM)

Happy September! Here in Denver, fall hasn’t poked its head out yet, but fret not, winter is coming.

In fact, we expect this winter to be a doozy due to the El Nino weather phenomenon. Of course, terrible weather makes for low Lyft-supply, so there should be some good arbitrage opportunities for Lyft drivers who aren’t afraid of a little snow, i.e. me. ­čÖé

So let’s get to it; my first monthly expense breakdown!

I used to Mint to categorize the data, then exported it as a CSV file to Excel, so that I could create a chart with data labels. Mint’s charts are much more lovely, but there’s no option to add data labels. Bummer.

Spending Breakdown August

Student Loan – $872.90, 29%: Usually my largest monthly expense, this is my standard monthly payment to DR Bank. In a future post, I’ll share how I refinanced my student loans from 6.8% to 2.78%.

Home – $588.56, 20%: This includes $500 for “rent” (paid to Ms. PTM) and some various Home Depot buys to get our refurbished grill up and running again.

Food and Dining – $502.76, 17%: Sadly, this is much too high in my opinion. Ms. PTM and I had several weekend adventures last┬ámonth, which resulted in more dining out than usual. We’ll again have some out-of-town adventures this month, but I’ll work to be more conscious on how we can only eat out when it’s really going to bring us pleasure.

Bills and Utilities – $444.67, 15%: Also higher than usual due to a $260 f@$& up where I washed Ms. PTM’s iPhone 6 with the laundry (if you knew me personally, you would know I never make this kind of mistake, which makes it doubly frustrating and embarrassing). Fortunately, she was kind enough to endure the flip-phone life while we had T-Mobile mail us a replacement. At least I didn’t end up having to pay full retail for the replacement.

Auto & Transport – $257.98, 8%: Gas, gas, and gas. This is both from a couple of intra-state trips this month (woot! Gunnison and Crested Butte) and from Lyft driving.

Travel – $214.04, 7%: Full-day kayak adventuring┬áduring our upcoming trip to the Seattle-Anacortes area for a friend’s wedding next week. I’ll cover this while Ms. PTM will cover part of our lodging.

Personal Care – $21.15, 0.7%: Dry cleaning, a bimonthly┬áexpense, which it turns out is surprisingly cheaper for men than women. I brought in 5 shirts and 2 slacks for ~$21, while Ms. PTM’s 4 dresses cost her ~$54. Seriously.

Fees & Charges – $17.71, 0.59%: My employer’s 401(k) custodian, Fidelity, charges a $12.50 quarterly fee for access to a full brokerage account for retirement funds, which was the only way for me to access Fidelity’s biotech fund (FBIOX) and Vanguard’s Real Estate ETF (VNQ). The rest of this was from ATM fees that will be refunded by USAA sometime this month.

Shopping – $0.99, ~0%: I offered to replacement Ms. PTM’s mother’s iPhone 6 cracked LCD. I purchased the replacement part on eBay for $68.99 and funded $68 of it with an eBay gift card using my 6%-cash-back-at-grocery-stores AmEx Blue Cash Preferred (I’ll share more about this easy, cash saving strategy in a future post). Of course, she’ll reimburse me for all costs and it never hurts to earn a little goodwill from your future MIL.


Ok, so that’s August, totaling in at $3,004.26, which keep in mind is only my expenses (*groan*). Lots of room to cut down for the next month if we can keep travel-related indulgences to a minimum (or maybe value-maximum…that sounds better). Just for grins, I’ll leave you with a chart of my month-to-month spending since the beginning of the year to put this into perspective. I’ve had a couple of pricey months here, so the rest of the year will be focused on getting as close as I can back to that June 2015 number (seriously, ~$750?!).

Spending by Month