I keep two budget formats. One for the constant, steady prices, such as budget electricity and utility payments, insurance payments, etc. And I keep another budget format for our variable expenses such as food, gas, dog and entertainment. I very rarely look at my steady budget because most of those payments are set on automatic. I do, however, keep keen, almost daily tabs on the variables. The month of July, DH and I overspent in our grocery shopping and dog expenses. Normally, we spend $25 a month on dog food and treats with one annual vet visit @$150. This year, our dog’s annual visit was $225 PLUS she needed meds (to contain her ongoing Lyme disease) and that cost an additional $125.
The food budget, however, is totally out of control. That’s because DH and I have been living it up and eating extraordinarily great food! Normally we spend between $450 and $500 a month on food. This month we spent a whopping $655. (note: our restaurant meals went down substantially. Last month we spent $255 on meals out and in May we spent over $400 on meals out, so maybe we’re improving?)
July hosted some excellent deals on NY Strip and Porterhouse steaks, so we purchased 8 of them and stocked up our freezer for the summer! Usually, these steaks sell upwards of $12 to $14 a pound. The sale was at $7.99. We must have spent $75 this month on steaks alone. I mean, really, who could resist this:
Also, we went on a fresh fish buying bonanza. We haven’t had a good piece of fish in three years (since we sold our Newport RI beach house). We bought a few fresh dozen RI clams plus fresh caught swordfish (grilled to perfection and served with cilantro lime salsa…..my favorite!) Two swordfish steaks cost $23. Oops. Who could resist this also:
In our entertainment category we bought two tickets to see the comedienne Sebastian Maniscalco, who BTW, is touring with a brand new show, conveniently called “Stay Hungry“. How’s that for a coincidence, because DH and I certainly are.
Needless to say, Nick and I are enjoying our retirement immensely. We have gone without for decades. I think it’s time for us to reel in our good fortune, losen up the purse strings and have a good time. Eating well, caring for our precious dog and paying for experiences are good for us right now. We had to cancel our week long vacay on the Jersey shore due to rain, but we can grill up some fish here as if we were there! Next month we are spending two weeks in Maine. Now, we’ll have a few extra bucks to enjoy some lobsters and a few bottles of brew.
Note to self: (but I really do have to get our spending down a bit)