November 2012 Cash Flow

Its been 2 years since I last showed a snapshot of our monthly cash flow. I've realized some things have changed with our growing family and over the past couple years I've put a focus on improving our cash flow (primarily through restructuring and reducing debt).

Well the more things change, it seems the more they stay the same. Despite all our changes this in general looks very similar to our Nov 2010 cash flow report in terms of total income and expenses.

Here are some highlights:

  • The biggest single change in our expenses is the increase in our Children's education and activities. Up until now I would have said time was our biggest single child expense. Now, we are now investing $205/mo in 529 college savings plans. Our 3yr old is also now in preschool which costs $220/mo. My wife and I have agreed we think we should have our children do 1 extracurricular activity at a time and currently our daughter is in a pre-ballet class @ $50/mo. There were some additional dance/preschool fees this month as well. These expenses are larger than I anticipated before having children. In addition they are also the worst kind of expenses -- subscriptions on a monthly basis for at least the next several years. When our second daughter gets older these expenses will likely continue to grow.
  • Income -- my income is up over the past 2 years due to cost of living adjustments and I earned a health rebate this month as well. My wife is no longer has any earned income, but is very busy keeping our household running and taking care of our baby.
  • Utilities are pretty consistent and include 2 cell phones, electric, natural gas, and Internet. We've done a lot of work to improve the energy efficiency of our home, but believe that work has been largely offset by the new data plan on my smart phone.
  • Gifts are higher than average due to Christmas shopping and some family/friend's birthdays.
  • Most of our other work to improve cash flow is not visible in this report. The majority of changes were with rental refinancing and the cash flow from our investments is not included in this report. We just refinanced our primary residence and expect to see a ~$290/mo change in our home mortgage payment in January.

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Comments (4)

Great post - funny, because I was just adding up my own the other week. I decided to do a side-by-side to compare. Biggest difference was in utilities and auto. Yours seemed low. What do you have rolled up into utilities account? Mine was gas, electricity, water, trash removal, cell phone, and internet. And for auto, does it include all gas and insurance?

Utilities include 2 cell phones, electric, natural gas, and Internet. We are on a well so that is mainly electric for the pump, etc and I haul my own trash to the dump so currently no cost there.
Auto would include gas, insurance premiums, maintenance, etc. In this month we only had gas expenditures - insurance is an annual payment; if I recall correctly ~$700/yr for both of us.

Alright so utilities does contain the same items. I'm at $606/month for all that stuff. We must just use more electricity and gas. I know we found those bills increasing on us after we had our first child 2 years ago.

But for auto, you're really doing well then. We don't have any car payments. But for gas, insurance, property taxes, parking, and maintenance......we're at $750/month. I probably drive 20K miles/year and my wife is at 15K miles/year.

Your expenses seem reasonable. I notice you don't have cable. I need to pull the plug myself.

Do you generate much income from your rental properties/investment portfolio? How much did you income fall when you wife came home?

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A personal finance weblog of my journey to reach my goal of $2 million + the value of my primary residence.
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