August was our second most expensive month to date of 2021, and it felt like it. I felt like we were constantly paying for something, and even though it was mostly planned it still hurt.
Our renovations continue to be our biggest expense and to date we have spent over 16k this year on completely renovating the ground floor of our house. August renovation expenses came to just over 4k, and we have at least another 4k to go (maybe more). It’s important to note that the money for the renovations doesn’t come from our income earned during the month, and instead is coming from our savings.
August also happens to be our Wedding Anniversary month and each year we go to the same hotel, and enjoy a kid free night away. I see this expensive night away as an important investment in our marriage. This year we almost didn’t go because we just didn’t have the money for it thanks to some unexpected expenses. Thankfully I didn’t cancel it and instead decided to do a stocktake of the house. We managed to find a tonne of stuff we no longer needed so we listed it over a weekend and made over $500.
We also had a few unexpected and unbudgeted expenses including vet bills, two kids scout camps, and my annual skin check. We had to dip into our emergency fund for these, and will need to rebuild this in the coming months.
August has been fun, but I’m definitely hoping September is a little less expensive.
To view all previous expense review tagged posts click here.
Top 5 Expenses – August 2021
- Renovations = $4,077.39
Notes: This month a major payment for our bathroom tiling contractor was due (3k). We have been really happy with the quality of the workmanship, but less than impressed with the time it has taken to do the work. I would love to say that we are close to finishing, but alas that’s not the case. Due to the higher cost of the renovations than budgeted for we are having to do a lot more of the work ourselves to remain within our fixed budget. As a result of having to do more of it ourselves it’s slowing down the renovation significantly, but ultimately without the funds to outsource that’s the way it is. We are now hoping to be finished our renovations by the end of October (and might have it listed on Airbnb in November).
- Mortgage = $1,560.00
Notes: A normal month for us with our mortgage. Our refinance didn’t happen in August, and will go through in September. We are refinancing to a lower interest rate (1.99% from 2.67%), and restructuring our loan to enable us to start debt recycling.
- Food and Alcohol = $913.28
Notes: In August we spent money at our usual shopping locations (see table below). We also renewed our Costco membership ($60) in readiness to get a few bulk food bargains for Christmas. We shop pretty exclusively at Aldi and shop at other places depending on the specials available. We shop at BWS to make use of cashback rewards (If you want to sign up use this affiliate link – You’ll get a $10 bonus once you make your first transaction.).
|Bakers Delight (Bakery)||$34.40|
|Local Fruit and Veg Shop||$19.49|
- School, Extra Curricular and Pocket Money = $966.90
Notes: It was a super expensive month for extra curricular activities. My eldest son is off to a camp in September which set us back $650. My youngest had a camp in August as well which set us back $150. We also paid the last instalment payment for our eldest son’s school laptop. The rest of the year should be quiet for school expenses (fingers crossed).
- Health and Medical Items = $906.78
Notes: Our Health and Medical expenses were much higher than usual due to two specialist appointments (one for my husband’s chronic condition and one for my yearly skin check). This category is also made up of our Private Health Insurance (Silver Family Cover for Hospital and Extras), which costs $156.85 per fortnight. Health and medical costs are a non negotiable in this medically challenged family.
Year to Date Comparison
We spent $11,612.73 in August and $10,008.95 in July which is an increase of $1603.78 on last month. We spent $374.60 per day in August which is up from last month’s $322.87 per day.
Other Expenses (% of total expenses) – August 2021
Restaurants, Eating Out and Activities
Eating out accounted for 2.15% of our total expenses in August which is in line with our spending in July.
In August we:
- Went to a Carnival. We spent a tonne on going on all the rides, buying showbags, and eating show food (hot donuts and dagwood dogs). It was awesome.
- I went out with my old work team and had dinner and drinks.
- We enjoyed fast food twice (kids request).
- I had a networking lunch with an ex colleague.
- I had three diet cokes to get me through crappy days at work.
The total for the month of August on this category was $250.18 compared with $214.20 in July.
New Expenses (August)
No new expenses.
Changes we’ve made this month (August)
One of our car insurances was due for renewal in August so I took the opportunity to review it as it was increasing. I looked around and ended up switching which enabled us to keep the same rate as we paid last year. Always take the time to review your insurances yearly to make sure you are getting the best rate.
My wage reconsideration went through and I ended up being back paid just over $1000 (after tax). I’m now being paid an extra $150 a fortnight which is being automatically invested.
Changes to expect next month (September)
Next month we expect the following changes.
- We are getting a refund on the flights we had to cancel in July. We are looking forward to getting this money back in our hands (no ETA was given from the airline carrier). It will be put to work on our renovations.
Year to Date Expense Overview ($)
Total Spend 2021 (To Date) = $69,755.71 or an average of $8719.46 a month for 2 Adults and 2 Children (Aged 13 and 10).
Investment Rate 2021 (To Date) = 45.8% (includes wages and side hustles)
Our goal investment rate at the start of the year was 60%, however we created this goal before I took a 30k (after tax) pay cut in March. Given the massive pay cut and the renovations we are doing this year I’m happy with where we are at. More importantly we are still tracking to our current goal of hitting financial independence by January 2027.
Notes: I track my Income and Expenses via my tracker available on my Etsy Store Link Here .
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