First Month of Solo Spending

I haven’t always posted my monthly spending on my blog, for this reason: I have often been embarrassed by it. I mean, for heaven’s sake, I’m a frugality blogger. How could I come on here and admit that we overspent our income for the month… again? I won’t bore you with the details, but the financial dynamic in my marriage was unproductive, and that’s not something I was comfortable exposing to the interwebs.

But… it’s all me now! I did a “fresh start” budget in YNAB, started a new YMOYL “wall chart” (actually a line graph in a Google Sheet), and here you have it, my unadulterated income and spending for August.


Net Earnings: $1012.79

Selling stuff on Craigslist: $50

Child Support: $350

Spousal Support: $383

Reimbursement: $210 (from Mr. FP for boys’ July health insurance)

Total Income: $2005.79


Housing: $697.50

Internet: $68.33

Electric: $53.19

Water: $25

Total housing/utilities: $844 (This is my share–Mr. FP covered the parts of these billing cycles that dated to before his move-out.)

Home supplies: $83.55 (flannel sheets, Goodwill vacuum, parts to fix vacuum)

Groceries: $192.79

School lunches: $41.83 (This is 2-3 months of lunches as the boys are now on reduced-price lunch at $.40 per meal)

Wine: $10.78

Total home/school food: $245.40

Gas: $44.81

Parking and bus fare: $12.55

Total transportation: $57.36

Bike supplies and maintenance: $59.95 (this is a floor pump, Mr. FP having taken his, and new brakes for my bike–parts only, labor to follow in September)

Boys’ allowance spending: $6.78

Clothes and shoes: $49 (new uniforms)

School supplies and swim lessons: $63.87

Total kid spending: $119.67 (Again, this is my share–Mr. FP reimbursed me an approximately equal amount as I had done all the back-to-school shopping.)

Adult health: $8.70

Restaurants: $22.79

Coffee shops and snacks: $40.07 (Higher than usual because of house being on the market and me having to leave at weird times)

“Out” entertainment: $22.60

Total Entertainment: $86.46

Frippery: $68.73

Adult clothing (Thinx): $60

Gifts: $5

Can’t remember what I bought at Target: $20.42

Total Shopping: $154.15

Travel: $76.38 (My budget for family vacation was $100. That’s almost exactly what I spent–I paid for my own Uber, slipped my niece a twenty for babysitting, and bought some booze, but then my aunt insisted I take a twenty when I got on the airplane. Thanks, Aunt B! Giant thanks to Great-Grandfather FP for the funding and Grandma FP for the planning.)

Cat food: $24.75



First of all, I think that a 12% savings rate on such a low net income is nothing to sneeze at. And I participate in a mandatory defined contribution pension plan at 8%, so my actual savings rate is higher.

That said, I’ll need to be putting away more than a couple hundred dollars a month if I’m ever going to pay off my lawyer, rent an apartment and rebuild my life. So I’ll obviously be working to reduce the categories of Coffee Shops, Frippery, Adult Clothes, and Bike Supplies and Maintenance. All of those categories had non-typical charges in them.

And I’ll need to make more money. I am in the process of signing up to substitute teach and have been picking up on-call library shifts. After-school child care remains a big hurdle–more on that later.

How was your August spending?



About frugalparagon

I'm a part-time librarian and mom to two small boys. I blog about striving for the long-term goal of financial independence while running a tight ship at home.

9 responses to “First Month of Solo Spending”

  1. Mrs PoP says :

    Definitely nothing to sneeze at there, and hopefully the coffees out while in exile due to home showings will pay for themselves with an offer sooner rather than later. =)

    Our spending this month was exceptionally terrible as expenses associated with a trip that Mr PoP has been dreaming about for over a decade started piling higher and higher as the month went on. I didn’t realize it was going to be quite this pricey (not sure Mr PoP really did, either, TBH), but it’s definitely a bucket list item (now crossed off,) so I shouldn’t have to worry too much about this becoming a regular thing.

  2. Grandma FP says :

    Frippery seems like such a necessary expense, I don’t think I’d try to cut it out. 🙂 Since you asked, we’ve been bleeding money-just had to pay $4500 today to get the well pump replaced. Water is definitely not optional.

  3. ChooseBetterLife says :

    You’re amazing, FP! Kicking booty, taking names, and with a smile.
    For income, have you considered editing with Edanz? It takes a while to get set up, but I did my first three articles this week and it went well. You can do it from home on your own time, and as a librarian you probably have a great eye for detail and a love of language. Bonus-you get to learn about new research as you edit the articles!

  4. Susanna says :

    Doing good Ms. FP !!
    I have only recently started following you, so I am joining you as you turn the page to begin your new life. I can tell you that quite a while ago I was in your exact place. My ex was , among other heinous things, a financially irresponsible liar, and I recall feeling such joy and relief during my first solo financial month. Sure I had less money to work with (until alimony and child support kicked in), but I was finally in control. No more uncertainty, no more ugly surprises. And even though I chose to sell my beloved house and downsize to insure that I would be ok financially, I was happier and more secure than I had ever been while married.
    Best of luck to you- even though you don’t need to rely on luck. You’ve got this!

    • frugalparagon says :

      Welcome, Susanna! I’m so happy to hear that you’ve gotten to a better place. It’s hard for me to let go of the house but I think it will be best in the long run. Maybe someday I will own my own little place.

  5. Hawaii Planner says :

    You are rocking your first financially independent month! It’s a huge lifestyle change, and you are doing a fab job.

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