Frugal May

With our car payment gone - hallelujah! - I've been excited to look at our financials and see how things will start looking. Well, now we've started booking things for our trip this fall, so expect to see an uptick in Travel Expenses.
Let's take a look in greater detail:
Auto & Transport: WOOT! We spent 72% less than last May!

Bills & Utilities: We spent 47% less than last year. However, that is because two Duke Energy bills posted last May, and we only paid one bill this May. Our Internet costs were a little lower this month since we switched over from Spectrum to Cincinnati Bell; we received a partial refund from Spectrum to cover the prepaid portion of our bill.

Entertainment: Alas, we do not lead very entertaining lives. We spent zero dollars this year and $12.91 last year (music downloads and Netflix).

Food & Dining: Overall, our costs were 42% lower this year, but the breakdown is a little strange. We spent 88% less in Restaurants because we did a super-good job of not going out to eat this May. Literally, I went out to Bar Louie once with a friend after work, and Francisco and I went to Sleepy Bee for brunch one Sunday. There were a few fast food charges, but that was all. I'm surprised at how much we spent last May, especially because it was an abbreviated month for us. This was evident in our Grocery spending which was 133% higher this May. That is because last year's costs were artificially low - what, $134?! I can hardly even believe that. Anyways, long story short, we traveled to the UK last May, and our general MO for the weeks leading up to a trip is to avoid buying groceries and try to finish up what we have on hand. Apparently, we did a good job lol! No, just kidding; apparently, we made up for any grocery savings by going out to eat too often. :-P

Gifts & Donations: No expenses last year, but this year, I sent my brother a Geek Fuel box for his birthday and we picked up some stuff for my mother- and sister-in-law for Mother's Day.  

Health & Fitness: I had some Pharmacy expenses last year, and Francisco had some allergy meds this year.  Spending was 51% lower than last year.

Pets: 74% lower this year. We probably stocked up last year because we knew we would be traveling.

Shopping: We returned one of the mattresses we'd bought last year, so our spending for the month actually came out to -$24.63. This year, we really just had a handful of expenses totaling $57.37.

Travel: Finally, we had a sizable portion of our UK expenses hit last year. This included all of our hotel room bookings, some flights, and currency, along with other expenses while we were on the road. While we didn't go anywhere this May, spending was only 75% less because we finally bit the bullet and booked our flight to Europe for the fall. There will probably be some more booking expenses trickling in over the next couple of months, although we're not traveling until the end of September.    

 In summary, our total spending for May 2017 was 57% less than last May. Even if we take out the Travel expense category, we still spent 29% less.  In case it's more helpful to look at the bar graph without the Travel category distorting things, I've modified below.


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