March Spending

A bit late, but here is a quick summary of our March spending:

Housing* $98
Transportation $161
Insurance $28
Leisure $279
Student debt $715
Taxes/SS/and other required withholdings $1175
Investments/retirement savings $4394
Food $1038
Healthcare $282
Home/preschool tuition/Misc. shopping $945
Total Spending $9115
Discretionary Spending** $2831

My spending was significantly lower than in February — yay!  But I still see room for improvement.  My food bill, while lower than the previous month, can still drop some.  This includes both groceries and dining out.  We live in a part of the world where groceries are more expensive than what we’d pay for the same stuff in most parts of the U.S., but we can still lower this expense if we try.

On the student loan front, we paid more than the monthly minimum payment ($574).  In the next month or two, I expect to significant ramp up our student loan prepayments in an effort to rid ourselves forever of student loan debt.  More on that in a later post.

Notes about our calculations:

*We are very fortunate in that we live abroad on an expat package, and our housing expenses are paid for.  This comes with many downsides, but the financial upside is tremendous.

**”Discretionary Spending” is that level of spending I would expect to maintain after retirement/financial independence.  In calculating discretionary spending, I exclude current retirement savings (I’ll be spending, not saving, in retirement), taxes/SS (of course I’ll pay taxes in retirement, but much less than today), and student debt (these will be paid off well before retirement and therefore will not constitute a retirement expense I’d need to budget for).

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