Expenses from January 2020 to June 2020

The year is half done so it is time to share how our expenses are coming along for the year. Our expenses are for 2 adults and 8 children. 7 of them are currently living at home and we are supporting one other who is on a service mission with our church.

June 2020 chart of expenses for the last 13 months

As you can see we had a pretty good last 6 months. The spike in March was because of property taxes. June was because of some extra medical costs. Some of the spikes last fall were because of University costs. We don’t include income taxes or charitable contributions in this chart because those are both based on factors that can completely change based on how much money we are making from year to year.

Here is slightly more detailed information for the last 6 months:

January to June 2020 expenses

Each of the categories we track have had some ups and downs. The two biggest decreases though are to our Amazon spending (“other” account) and our food budget.

Earlier this year we chose not to renew our Amazon Prime membership. One of our concerns with canceling this was that we would end up spending more on shipping costs than we were saving by not having the membership. In order to counteract this we decided that we wouldn’t make impulse orders. If we wanted something it had to stay on our Amazon shopping list for at least a week. Often this has meant that when the time came to actually click the purchase button we had changed our mind and no longer needed the item we were planning to buy. We have also never ended up paying for shipping since we have always been able to wait until we had a large enough order to qualify for free shipping. Overall this has saved us far more than just the $120 Amazon Prime membership fee.

As for our food bill the savings here are a little harder to quantify. Since March no one has been going to school and that means no lunch box food. We are also eating more meals as a family and this means we can make larger, cheaper meals instead of everyone making their own meal. What isn’t clear though is if these savings are permanent, our food bill may go back up once our children are back in school. It is clear though that we are seeing significant savings in this area of our spending and we hope that as we continue to be vigilant in this area that these cost savings will continue.

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The goal of all of this isn’t specifically to spend less money, the purpose is to be more financially aware. The goal isn’t to decrease our standard of living, but instead to keep our same standard of living but in a way that is less expensive. So far, with just a little extra focus, we seem to be able to reduce how much we are spending on the things that don’t even really matter to us. In fact in some cases, like with food, we are probably eating healthier and better than we were when we were spending more money.

We hope that as you continue to follow us on this blog (sign up for email updates) we will be able to share some of the ways that we have been able to reduce our spending.

Each day we are moving closer to our goal of being financially independent. We expect both good years and bad years ahead, but as our investments continue to increase, and as we keep our expenses under control, our financial independence will continue to improve.

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The purpose of “The Couple Project” is to learn more about what makes a strong marriage or relationship. We share what we are learning, which ideas we are trying, and which ideas helped improve our relationship. We realize not everything that works for us will work for you, but we still hope you will find our journey valuable.

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