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Seriously, sometimes when it rains it does indeed pour.

Last month we had some unexpected expenses.  I spent a little more on a new laptop for my wife than I really needed to.  However, the extra cost is worth the mental relief of not having to be her IT support.  I also need to make sure she has the resources she needs to continue her work for the next several years.

We also had car maintenance and ended up buying a new set of tires.  This month, it seems to be my truck’s turn.  Luckily, this one is paid off and I rarely drive it more than 10-15 miles per week.  The engine light came on and luckily it was only a couple of faulty sensors.  However, with that and the regular oil change and tire rotation, I’m looking at another $1000 expense.  At this point, I’m still willing to put around that much per year into maintenance since I know I’ll get another 5-10 good years out of it.  It serves it’s meager purpose.

Finally, there’s the touchy subject of pet healthcare.  My wife is an avid dog lover.  Her first is a 14yr old and was here before I was.  I married into this so to speak.  Unfortunately, she has cataracts and is mostly blind.  This is starting to require a lot of help getting her around the house and yard.  My wife discovered that there is corrective surgery and is passionate about pursuing it.  This is estimated to cost around $4200.  According to my cash flow sheet, we’ve already spent $4063 on pets care so far this year.

This is an incredibly touchy subject.  My wife loves the dog and would do anything for her.  She has her own savings and is willing to use her money to pay for it.  I do count that savings as part of our family net worth, so I feel this is a setback to my goals for the year.  However, she has promised to use her part-time income to pay back the saving.   While I wouldn’t make the same decision, I completely understand why she is willing to do so.

Mr. Money Mustache had a somewhat poignant post about this topic right as all of this came up here: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/09/07/great-news-dog-ownership-is-optional/

While I did marry into this situation, it’s definitely something that most folks don’t think about when jumping into pet ownership.  Something to consider.



August 2015 Progress

Well, August hit like a freight train.  There were a couple of whammies this month in the form of my wife’s car needing new tires and her laptop dying.  We also had our anniversary dinner where we splurged a little and I had a work trip to Vegas and spent a bit extra on a dinner with friends.  Needless to say, our expenses were elevated.

Luckily, and I do realize how fortunate I am, we got a bonus from work that, combined with proceeds from an ESPP sale, made up for the extra spending.  If I hadn’t know that the bonus was coming in, I probably would have been a lot more conservative this month.  Even though we’re focused on cutting back, it’s hard to not spend the extra.

Here’s how we did.


  • Reduce overall outstanding debt (including mortgage) by 10%.
    1. At the end of August, overall debt reduction is 7.71%.  Still on track.
  • Make contributions to investments (taxable and retirement) of 10% of salary.
    1. Combined saving in investment accounts is 10.55% of income.  This includes 401k, IRA, ESPP.
  • Eliminate any monthly interest payments due to credit cards.
    1. We maintained $0 in credit card interest in Aug. for a five month streak.

Total expenses for August were $14924 which was the second highest compared to Feb, but the difference being in Feb we made a $6200 payment against outstanding credit card debt.

Also, with the bonus we were still net positive by $2300 for the month.  That money got divided between debt and investments.

We’re going to really buckle down and try to have a couple of calm months before we hit any holiday spending.  I’m confident since I’m still on track for my goals, but it would be great if we could accomplish a little extra!