April was an amazing month from a (lack of) spending standpoint. We had no major expenses, in fact, we had a pretty substantial refund from a travel purchase (about $1,000) that makes our spending look artificially low for the month.
Excluding the refund, we spent about $3,000 in April, which is all-in-all not too shabby.
We didn’t travel during April which is the main cause of our lower than average month. Travel spending continues to be our biggest outlay so going without for a month really shines a light on it’s impact.
Our travel frugality was partly offset by rampant spending on Merchandise. I guess we’re typical consumers and just couldn’t help but spend money on something… Seriously though, our bump in other categories during a non-travel month is a signal that when we do slow our wanderlust roll we won’t see a dollar for dollar drop in total spending. That’s an important insight for future planning.
Food – $693: We ate out more than usual in April. We must have subconsciously been filling the void left by not travelling…
Merchandise – $560: We bought what I can only assume is a lifetime supply of makeup, lotions, and sunscreen. Here’s to hoping. We also spent a bit above average on clothing – inspired by future trips (it’s all about travel).
Entertainment – $306: Beautiful weather and a slower pace at work means more time (and money) spent having fun 🙂
Home – $256: Spring is in the air and weeds are in my lawn. Lawn care products and light bulbs drove this category, but it was helped by lower than average utilities (thanks again weather).
Vehicle – $234: I dropped a cool Benjamin at Walmart on oil change and other supplies for both cars. Small used cars are the best! But apparently the rest of America disagrees…
Other Services – $161: April saw the return of our internet bill. We dropped cable in February and thanks to the goofiest billing I’ve ever seen we somehow prepaid 2 months of internet. This category will creep a little higher in the near future as our 4 months of prepaid DirectTV Now is about to run out.
Travel – $(344): Never thought I’d see this category at the bottom, let alone negative! We received about $1,000 in refunds for a trip we didn’t end up taking. The $1,000 had come out as an expense in earlier months, so I ran it back through expense when the refund was received. That means we really spent $656 on Travel excluding the refund. We didn’t go on any trips in April (sad day) but are prepping for some doozies this summer 🙂
Waiting to be Zapped – $49: I gave advertising another run to very mixed results (a mix of bad and worse). I’ll go into detail in the monthly blog update.
Our projected 2018 spending dropped precipitously thanks to April’s strong results. Merchandise went up while Travel went way down. I’m very pleased with the $57,000 projection considering we spent $8,600 on a new (to us) car earlier this year. I’d expect our spend to creep back up, but ideally we’ll keep it under $60k for the year. We’ll see…
Unsurprisingly we went on a savings tear in April. This continues our trend from March and is our best single-month savings rate of all time! Hurrah!
Because of math, our YTD savings lept higher. We’ve managed to climb over 50% for the year after a slow start (the whole car buying thing). Our unspoken, but often written, goal is 50% so it’s nice to be on pace.
Just as a brief note. We are fortunate to have high paying and very steady and predictable employment. I’m not trying to act like saving a ton of money is easy for everyone, it’s not. We’re extremely lucky and trying our darndest to take advantage while we can.
Our Net Worth increased $10,953 thanks entirely to our prodigious savings. Whoop!
One of our non-investment accounts wasn’t updating in Personal Capital causing total Net Worth to be understated for April. It self-corrected in May, so I’m not too worried about it, but consequently, the swings in Net Worth and Portfolio are out of sync for April.
Our portfolio balance went racing $24,058 higher because of an upswing in stock prices and our continued contributions to savings.
We contributed $5,073 to our investment accounts in April and our employers added $1,191 on our behalf.
The stock market rebounded in April and gave a nice $17,794 boost to our portfolio.
If you’d like to track your net worth simply and freely I recommend you get Personal Capital. It’s bomb, everyone’s doing it, you’ll be a cool kid, your neighbors will respect you, and so on with limitless benefits. It really is cool and easy, plus if you sign up through my link I can get a small commission while it remains free to you. How bout that.
In less salesy wrap-up. April was a strong financial month, probably the best ever in terms of things within our control. We paid off our house early, drive small used cars, and prepare most our meals at home. Once you set up your life in this way, keeping monthly expenses relatively low is kind of automatic. We had an extremely frugal month (for us) and never felt deprived or burdened.
Money is cool. We’re stockpiling as much as we can with no real goal in mind. We just keep plodding along, trying to figure a destination while doing our best to set things up for future us. Hopefully they’ll have their acts together.