Ridinkulous Quarterly Expenses: Q2 2016

Poli Genova, Batman! We had a tremendous savings rate this quarter. Almost 72 percent! How did we do it? See the specifics below, but basically we enjoyed a few extra paychecks by how the pay periods fell, and we didn’t have to pay any big bills like property taxes or home insurance. We also spent less than normal on most of our usual expenses. We had so much surplus cash this quarter that we paid off the rest of our student loans over Memorial Day weekend!

And according to our Planting Our Pennies-inspired Retirement Locale calculator, for the first time since we’ve been releasing quarterly expense reports, we can afford to retire somewhere in the world! Where could we immediately quit our jobs and move to? Read on to find out!

And remember, I exclude all income and expenses related to our income property.

Total Expenses: $11,194.08
Avg Per Month: $3,731.36

Without Debt Payments
Total Expenses: $5,745.21
Avg Per Month: $1,915.07

Savings Rate: 71.7%


The Necessary Evils :

Quarterly Total Monthly Average
Mortgage 2,083.74 $694.58
Student Loans Go Bye Bye 3,365.13 $1,121.71
Home Insurance N/A N/A
Property Taxes N/A N/A
Medical $193.68 $64.56

Bye bye, student loans! I will be more than happy to see this line item disappear. I got this delightful email from Sallie Mae when it was all done:





Mr. Bucket

Mr. Bucket

Home Maintenance and Improvements

Quarterly Total Monthly Average
Contractors $145.80 $48.60
DIY $10.58 $3.53

The only big expense here is hiring the professional to fix our leaky pipe.

Potato Pancake and Salmon (1)

Latke waffle with sour cream and smoked salmon


Quarterly Total Monthly Average
Groceries $1,228.59 $409.53
Wine & Beer $59.82 $19.94
Dining Out $321.53 $107.18
Takeout Food $164.14 $54.71
Total Food $1,732.98 $591.36

Fryday (2)The big investment in food preparation this quarter (and this is actually included under Home) was that I bought a deep fryer! I had my eye on it on Amazon, and the price dropped to $28 so I bought it. I rarely deep fry anything, but when I do, this will make it much easier than using a pan. Plus, you can re-use the oil! Since burned bits drop below the heating element, they don’t cause a nasty taste to develop.


Quarterly Total Monthly Average
Auto Maintenance/Other $79.00 $26.33
Gas $153.56 $51.19
Car Insurance $562.00 $187.33
Parking $95.72 $31.91
Bus Tickets $65.00 $21.67
Total Transportation $955.28 $318.43

Like I said, I will be eliminating that pesky parking expense that is deducted directly from my paycheck, saving about$90 a quarter. Seeing as how I take the bus or bike to work most days, (and that parking expense was more than the bus expense!) it’s a good idea to go without it.



Quarterly Total Monthly Average
Cable $104.97 $34.99
Gas $166.68 $55.56
Electric $156.06 $52.02
Water  & Sewer $119.75 $39.92
Telephone $12.69 $4.23

Super typical expenses all around for utilities. That telephone bill is made solely of our Ooma bill. We pay for our Tracfones once a year. And actually, mine isn’t due to be paid for another 18 months.

Mount Jo Hike (15)B

Maeby on Mount Jo

Fun Stuff:

Quarterly Total Monthly Average
Entertainment $177.11 $59.04
Recreation  $10.00 $3.33
Travel $199.25 $66.42

Though we made travel plans, our Travel expense this quarter was shockingly low. We went to Cape Cod for Memorial Day weekend, but since we rented a house with another couple (and got a partial refund because of a drippy toilet), it was a very cheap trip. We went to Lake Placid for a weekend, but since we used two freebie hotel nights, that was a free trip! And we booked some of our hotels for next January’s Thailand trip, but since hotels there can be very cheap, and I used Barclay Arrival points to offset the cost, they hardly had an impact at all. For envy’s sake, we will be staying at the Kate & Hasu Boutique Hotel in Chiang Mai, and the Sea Far Resort on Koh Kood.
Recreation expense was purely $10 paid to park at the Adirondack Loj for a hike near Lake Placid.
Entertainment cost was the usual – Netflix, Hulu, newspapers on Sunday… I went to a few roller derby bouts, and I bought albums on BandCamp by Carol Cleveland Sings and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. I’ve been listening to Smith’s antiquey beepy-bloops a lot while reading.


Quarterly Total Monthly Average
Boarding $30.00 $10.00
Food $187.45 $62.48
Medical $760.29 $253.43
Other $71.03 $23.68
Total Pet $1,048.77 $349.59

We all know why our expense was so high this quarter. Maeby got an ouch-y on her side after a very short stay at a dog park, which necessitated a trip to the vet on a Sunday and thus most of our Pet expense this quarter.  I’m still glad we don’t have pet insurance.

Maeby stitches (2)


Quarterly Total Monthly Average
Cash $112.00 $37.33
Charity $152.00 $50.67
Clothing $112.88 $37.63
Gifts Given $48.37 $16.12
Home $174.03 $58.01
Personal Care $71.23 $23.74

All pretty reasonable expenses here. Included under Charity is three dollars Marge donated to the Hillary Clinton campaign just to get a woman’s card. Brilliant piece of marketing, that.


Goal Progress

Back in January, I made up some goals for 2016. Here’s how we’re doing with them.

Total 2016 Non-Debt Spending of $30,000: 

  • Spent so far: $16,313.70 (Q1 = $10,668.49 / Q2 = $5,745.21)
  • On track to spend: $32,827

Pretty close! We really brought our expenses down this quarter. If we can manage keeping the rest of the year under $14,000 total, or $2,333 per month, we will meet this one.


Savings Rate of 65%: 

  • Savings Rate so far: 59%

After a disappointing savings percentage of 44% in the first quarter, this quarter really made up for it. Halfway through the year, we are almost back up to our goal of 65%! Our method for calculating our savings rate is shown here.


Pay off Student Loans: 

  • Balance at January 1: $5,916.51
  • Balance Today: $0

All gone!


Max Out 457 Plan and Roth IRAs

  • Goals: $18,000 in 457 Plan / $5,500 in each Roth IRA
  • Saved so far: $8,948 in 457 Plan / $4,375 in each Roth IRA

Easily on track to max out my 457 Plan. I have also been trying to max out our Roth IRAs early this year, so later we can…


Contribute to Marge’s 401(k)

Marge’s workplace still hasn’t transitioned to their new 401(k) provider, although she assures me they are making the transition. As it is, they are still with the provider charging astronomical fees.  Once the transition is complete, I am hoping we can max out her 401(k) contributions for the year, because the clock is ticking.


Read 24 Books

  • Read so far: 16 (Six this quarter)

The best I read this quarter was probably Dark Tide, a historical account of the 1919 Boston molasses flood. I also read and liked The Big Short and Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry, but you probably already know about those.


Watch 36 Movies

  • Watched so far: 22 (Nine this quarter)

Three recommendations: Everest is a tremendous survival film about the doomed 1996 expedition. If you like horror, you can’t do much better than The Witch. And I watched the oddest documentary called The Institute about a real life game / art project.


Write 52 Blog Entries

  • Written so far: 26, including this one.

Right on track!


Years of Savings:

This magical calculation demonstrates how long we could live off our investments.  We take our investable assets and divide them by our monthly expenses above. The number to shoot for is 25, because at that level of savings, you could afford to live forever on your money stash. According to our monthly average expenses and our investable assets, excluding debt payments, we have…

10 years of savings.

Retirement Location Possibility!

If we take that number of years of savings above, and divide by 25, we can figure out where in the world we could afford to retire right now by dividing another country’s cost of living  price index by our own cost of living. I use Rochester, NY, for our own cost of living since it is the closest city to us on Expatistan’s index and is comparable price-wise.

Our International Retirement Cost of Living Number is….


So for the first time, according to Expatistan’s index, we can retire… in Hyderabad, India!

I don’t know anything about this place, but when I Google Image Searched it, the second suggested word was “slums.” So I don’t see us moving there any time soon. It astounds me how profoundly disorganized and corrupt India is. They put our wealth gap and bureaucracy to shame! Usually the only news stories coming from India are awful things, but last week there was much ado about a relaxation of restrictions on foreign investment, so that should help bring in some much-needed jobs.


  1. Great quarter and congrats on paying off those student loans. Now you can funnel that cash to building assets!

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