April 2017 Spending: Ouch

Well, I had some nasty surprises in April. Here’s how it breaks down.


Library take-home pay: $1462.92 (Why so low? I upped my HSA contributions, and the boys’ spring break hurt my earnings)

Costco return: $10.76

Substitute teaching take-home pay: $44.06

Interest: $5.95

Support: $743

Total Income: $2266.69


Rent plus included utilities: $1085.31

Home supplies: $10

Laundry: $40

Speeding ticket: $305 (So frustrated with self! I was driving an unfamiliar road and didn’t see the school zone sign)

XCel: $19.31

Ting: $24.54

Comcast: $9.95

Groceries: $305.91

Wine: $12.94

Auto maintenance: $153.31 (When I went to have my summer tires put back on, one of them turned out to be broken and had to be replaced. It was new enough they said I could just do the one.)

Gas: $44.91

Parking (reimbursable): $11

Kids, misc. (allowance, field trips, ice cream): $27.62

Kids, clothes and shoes: $82.10 (2 pairs new sneakers, 1 pair Batman PJs with cape)

Restaurants: $101.70 (Yowza! My boyfriend had a birthday and a cousin visited from out of town in the same month.)

Coffee shops and snacks: $22.88 (I promise there were a lot of times I wanted it and didn’t get it.)

Tickets to special Viking exhibit at museum: $20.85

Work clothes and shoes for me: $271.40 (Because if I want to be taken seriously, probably should not wear hiking shoes to work, right?)

Some things from Target: $20.12

Cat litter: $14

Total Expenses: $2577.83

Income minus expenses: -$311.14


Eh, I can live with it. By now, I’ve gotten used to my low-income, low-expenses balancing act tipping sometimes into the black and sometimes the red. It’s more often black, so I’ll live. I had enough money to cover the shortage without dipping into my emergency fund. And I still have money set aside for various projects (like an upcoming trip and taking the cat to the vet).

Possibly, however, I sobbed when I got the speeding ticket. There is a definite mismatch between how long it takes me to save $305 and how long it took me to lose it! At least I had the money. I blew my nose, mailed a check, and lived to fight another day.



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.

11 responses to “April 2017 Spending: Ouch”

  1. annie says :

    Your spending looks quite good to me…nothing extravagant….its only the speeding tickets that hurts… As for coffee and snacks, I have imposed a total ban, if it doesnt come from my kitchen/fridge I cant have it. Its my shield against temptations ..lol

    • frugalparagon says :

      Hi Annie! I admire your total ban but can’t live up to it. I am an afternoon coffee drinker and often want coffee at times and places where it is not possible or practical to bring one’s own. But I have showed some restraint. Sometimes I’ve managed to make a 10 AM leaving-the-house coffee last all day :-). And sometimes on the weekends at my work, someone goes on a burrito run, and what can I say–I want to be a part of it!

  2. The One in Debt says :

    Ouch on the costs of the speeding ticket. That’s a bummer the popo didn’t just give you a warning. Perhaps they were filling their quota (they hawk our freeways during that time)
    I bet the Viking exhibit was cool. Sounds neat. And I think I will add a wine expense category (it’s actually combined in the grocery category). but looks great when it stands out on its own!

  3. Athena says :

    I think April was the month for speeding tickets, I got one too! Hopefully our April luck (I mean lead foots) don’t follow us into May!

  4. Mrs PoP says :

    Ugh, so frustrating that the delta between income and expenses is pretty much spot on with the value of the speeding ticket. =(

    It actually reminds me of when a friend of mine was pulled over for going ~40 in a school zone when we were teachers. When the cop saw her school badge and commented on it, she briefly thought she was going to get off with a warning. But instead she got a lecture on how as a teacher she should know better and care more… “for the children!” So her ticket cost $300ish + a healthy dose of shame.

  5. MustardSeedMoney says :

    Speeding tickets are the worst!!! I definitely can’t wait for driverless technology when I can sit in the backseat and let the car do the driving for me 🙂 If they go over the speed limit they can mail a check to Google/Uber/Tesla (ie whoever has taken the market share in driverless technology by that time 🙂

  6. Lily @ The Frugal Gene says :

    Oh no! Sorry about the speeding ticket! I think they should make those signs bigger and more reflective. When I was driving I missed a bunch too!

    *Oh hai Mr. Mustard Seed Money above me haha!*

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