Monthly Budget – January Update

Housing 4198.79
Food 2153.21
Utilities 2078.12
Discretionary 4052.46
Transportation 381.92
Clothing 0
Medical & Health 702.59
Savings 2662.28
Total Expenses  $16,229.37



Our income came to $14,900.54 in January. It exceeded our budget. We had a deficit of about -$1,328.83. Again, that’s mainly due to the water system. We live below our means. So January there was a one-time event that we spent that cause our to go over budget.

Our continued goal is to spend less than what we make every month to build our wealth towards Financial Independence.


I spent the most towards the extra mortgage payment. Back in October, we bought a four br, three bath model home. We are paying this aggressively with $1433.91 of the extra mortgage payment. I know it a lot, but I am planning to retire at age 55, we’d like to rid of this debt, sooner the better. Hopefully, once we build our taxable account, we hope to make a lump sum payment. With PITI, its comes to $2700.33 a month. Anything above that its peachy!


We spent on a new water system softener with reverse osmosis that cost $5K with installation; hence a big amount. It’s rare we spend this much except if we do it’s usually a one-time thing. The next time, it will be a vacation this summer.

The food was high that’s because we took out $1600 to set aside for January and February. Our food budget normally is $800 for on monthly, and yes we go over that amount by few hundred occasionally. Eating out is $183.01 of that.


We included the child care cost of $800 under this category since this amount does not change much. We paid two months in advance for child care cost that normally be around $1200 monthly.

Medical & Health

My wife and I subscribe to a diet program. It’s all about protein and the shakes. You know:-) Together that usually cost us between $63 to $259 a month based on what we need. This price will be steady to around $122 starting in March since we found a cheaper protein shake somewhere else. We also have a gym membership for the family that we pay for $89 a month. Not sure if we plan to continue paying this, but we may not renew it this year.


Of the $381, $349 spent on fuel cost; the remaining were for repairs. We own three cars, two used, and new 2016 Nissan Sentra Sentra used as my daily commuter car. We do have any car payment or any consumer debt.


Here’s the breakdown of our savings for January.

Emergency Fund 100
Savings 0 1428.07
Vanguard VWEAN 700
529 Plan 100
ROTH Vanguard 220
Acorns 114.21


I don’t plan to keep adding more towards our EF. Our goal is always adding to one of these buckets on a monthly basis. Our goal this year is to max the ROTH account. I’m putting at least $110 a week (weekly deduction from Checking to Vanguard VTSAX & VTHR). The savings account is what we used to set aside money for direct future spending; vacation, private tuition, gift, and Xmas fund. We started with $5000 in the account in January. After buying the water system, it’s now $500 balance.

It’s time to refill the bucket once again!

The goal is to have at least $5k saved before the tuition due in July. I just became a member of Acorn last December, so we saved an additional $60 a month. I like the concept, so I hope to keep this for at least a year see how much we can save through rounding.

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