December 2016 Spending: All Hail the Third Paycheck

Well, I’m a little behind the eight-ball analyzing my spending. Took a while to recover from my Christmas trip home.

Let’s take a look.


Support : $690.67

Interest: $.45

Library take-home pay: $2797.85!  Holy cow! That’s 3 paychecks plus a wellness bonus.

Substitute teaching take-home pay: $215.64

Trivia pay: $70

HSA reimbursement: $595.09

Christmas money: $550

Total money in: $4919.70


Rent and co-billed utilities: $1050.97

Renter’s insurance (quarterly): $33.50

Xcel (electric): $22.31

Ting: $26.75

Internet: $19.90

Laundry: $35

Cell phone repair: $86.18 (Plus parts–see below. I, uh, smashed it, and also it needed new prongs in the part where you plug it in. Now my Galaxy S3 is running great again. Total repair cost was about a hundred.)

Groceries: $187.99 (Low because we traveled at the end of the month)

Auto maintenance: $274.15 (My #$@&%*!? windshield cracked. Also snow tire installation and a wash.)

Gas: $31.95

6-month Geico bill: $489.42 (I have full coverage for my “fancy” car)

Parking: $6

Miscellaneous kids: $29.92 (includes their allowances and a birthday party gift)

Kid clothes and shoes: $23.34

Childcare: $32

Kid health: $95.69 (Just the tip of the iceberg. This is a payment on a $547 chunk of bill and we got another from the hospital for $1500.)

Restaurants: $45.30

Coffee shops and snacks: $12.12

“Out” entertainment: $45 (Did one of things where you drink wine and paint)

Frippery: $59 (haircut and razor cartridges)

Adult clothes: $26.44

Christmas presents and general festivity: $355.02

Miscellaneous shopping: $19.87 (About $15 was a new battery and screen protector for my phone.)

Uber to airport: $29.92

Salvation Army kettle: $2

Cat food: $26.90

Total money out: $3066.66

Surplus: $1853.04


Well, it’s certainly nice to have money left over. But it seems to me that all the surplus came from extra money, so I still have a ways to go to be living comfortably within my means. January will be tight. I will have no subbing check at all (the sub paycheck runs from the middle of one month to the middle of the next, and winter break means I didn’t sub) and not all that extra money. I’ll have to hope I don’t have any “oopses” this month–if I can keep from smashing from cell phone, cracking my windshield, or letter either of my kids injure themselves, it might turn out okay.

I had intended to spend some of the Christmas money on “stuff.” But then I realized I was actually pretty close to being able to pay off my lawyer, so I just earmarked the entire overage for my “professional services” category in YNAB. I will liberate some more money from my HSA (by submitting receipts I already paid for) and set that aside for the bill as well. I have no emergency fund.

Bottom line: I got a little breathing room this month, but I’m going to be skating on thin ice until I get a full-time job.



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.

5 responses to “December 2016 Spending: All Hail the Third Paycheck”

  1. TheGrimSqueaker says :

    Nice blog! I noticed it from MMM. I particularly appreciate your emphasis on DIY projects. If you ever want to swap guest posts, I run a blog myself and always appreciate advice about how to fix and clean things. You’ve got a ton of useful information.

  2. Leah says :

    RE: phone, “investing” in a good case is definitely helpful. I’ve got a lifeproof case (gift from MIL), and it’s fabulous. Dropped my phone in the toilet even and just had to wash it off. My kid has a knock-off lifeproof that works well but might not be waterproof (she got gifted an old cell phone that we use for occasional app/screen time when traveling).

    While your money is still tight, I’m impressed. I think you’re doing a lot better than many people would in your position. Your car insurance bill does look high — maybe your area? Did you shop around? I know some areas are just more expensive.

    Fingers crossed for you to get a full time job soon or pick up a lot of sub jobs.

    • frugalparagon says :

      My $7 case seems adequate to keep the phone from smashing… as long as I keep it on. I had removed it to check the battery and had not put it back on because it’s a pain. Lesson learned.

      I think that’s about what I have paid for full coverage in the past. I shopped around when we moved to CO but that was for liability only–I should probably get some other quotes on full coverage to make sure it’s still the best deal. Thanks for the reminder–adding it to the to-do list now!

      • Leah says :

        Agreed on using the case being most important. I had a cheapo case until I got a toddler and a new phone. But I am glad my case saved my phone from death by toilet.

        Hope the shopping around yields something good for you! I was shocked when I moved states and realized that my insurance provider was no longer competitive — in my case, moving to Michigan with GEICO was insane ($900 some for full coverage for 6 months on a corolla). Switching to State Farm there literally cut my premiums in half.

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