Closing Out the Books for July

We had another low key month, spending wise, and were able to keep our daily spending average at $39.99/day, still under budget but a little bit higher than last month. Once again this month we had several no spend days, and even though we had one big shopping trip to Costco and Trader Joe’s we spent less than we had on previous trips. Most of the upfront expenses for our getaway out to the coast were paid for in June but we did indulge ourselves at lunch and dinner the first day, spent $$ on cheese and other goodies in Tillamook, and bought a large amount of salt water taffy to divide up for the girls. We also spent more at the farmers’ market each week in July (berries, berries, berries!) and had to reload our public transportation passes. The first payment on my dental work didn’t help our daily average either.

We also had some big expenses come out of our travel fund this month. We purchased YaYu’s ticket back to Pennsylvania at the end of August, and also a round-trip ticket for her to come to England in October. I’d been checking prices but could never find a really good match between price and schedule for the London ticket, and ended up paying just slightly more than I wanted (less than $100) but got her an itinerary with non-stop flights each way that will work with her upcoming fall class schedule. I did make one other big travel purchase this month as well – I’ll have a post up about it next week!

Otherwise, I feel like we are in good shape heading into August. We still have quite a bit of food on hand that has to get eaten (almost too much it seems – why did we buy so much butter?) so we will have fewer trips for groceries. There are just two more local outings we’d like to make, to the art museum and over to see Pittock Mansion once more. We’d like to reserve a Zipcar for the latter visit as public transportation is not convenient. Brett has only two calligraphy class meetings this month so that expense will be cut in half. We plan to go out to dinner at a downtown restaurant one evening with our friend Joan, but will order off the bistro menu in order to stay within our budget.

Our goal for this month is to get our daily expense average for Portland even lower than it was in June and July. We will be on a tighter budget when we get to England in September (because of upcoming college expenses for YaYu) and one of our primary August goals now is to re-sharpen  our frugal skills.

2 thoughts on “Closing Out the Books for July

  1. You did great! We did well on our grocery spending, which is always rare around here. The kids being at camp for 12 days was the reason 🙂 We had one big dinner out with friends over that time period, but ate at home beyond that, which really helped from our typical pattern of eating out almost every meal when the kids are gone. Bad for the wallet & waistline. We had some very big expenses (doors, new refrigerator, fire pit, chairs, 2 chandeliers, etc.) Everything was planned & budgeted, but it still hurts!


    1. I hear you on even planned expenses hurting! The bills for myy dental work this summer, even though we knew they were coming and that the work has been necessary, have been painful. I will still need implants in a couple of years, but we should be able to save up ahead of time for those.

      It will be interesting (and challenging) to see how we do with a smaller budget beginning next month. YaYu will be the last one left in college after this year, and her financial aid will decrease considerably, so we want to be able to fill in the gaps for her so she can graduate with no debt, like her sisters.


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