August 2014 Cash Flow

Well its been nearly 2 years since I sat down and did a scrub of our monthly cash flow. I use to do this regularly w/ MS Money, but now I find it painful to do. Its a lot more complicated with all the puts/takes and I'm just not that happy with Mint's ability to help me bucketize expenses. Still I need to do this periodically as its useful to see how our hard earned money is being consumed.

The best way for me to use this is to compare to some of my previous monthly reports - the last one I have was from our November 2012 cash flow and August 2012 cash flow. Some things that caught my eye:

  • Income -- our earned income has pretty much flatlined in the most recent 2-3 years. Any minor pay increases I've received have been offset by higher benefit expenses and the loss of any part time income from my wife as she has her hands full as a stay at home mom.
  • Mortgage - We refinanced our primary home in Dec 2012 and I forgot how much of an impact it made on our monthly cash flow. Our new mortgage payment reduced our monthly required outflow by $286/mo.
  • Utilities - I'm feeling rather confident our work to improve the energy efficiency of our house is paying off. Of course it might be attributed to a milder winter/summer, but our monthly gas/electric bills are on average lower than 1-2 years ago.
  • We paid for a beach condo rental in September in August.
  • Children's Education/Activities - Our oldest entered Kindergarten in July which has reduced our monthly expense (no more preschool tuition). We invested $230 in the 529 plans this month.
  • Auto -In the past year we bought a new minivan w/ poorer mileage compared to the Nissan Sentra we sold, and I have shifted to working full time in the office vs working from home part time. These expenses have added up and are now seeing ~$400/mo in gas expenses for our family.

Related in Cash Flow:

November 2012 Cash Flow (Dec 03, 2012) 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...

Reducing Financial Impacts of a Job Loss (Jan 26, 2012) My wife was recently notified that the preschool she teaches at for a few hours a week is shutting down. It got us thinking about a more difficult scenario for us - the loss of my job. Given its by...

November 2010 Monthly Cash Flow (Dec 30, 2010) Im posting our monthly cash flow analysis given how tight things are these days with our downshifting to a single income and starting a family. I believe we need to continue to pay closer attention to our cash flow while...

Comments (2)


You spend a lot on food, nearly $30 a day. Why so much?

I agree the amount we are spending on food is a bit concerning but I think there are a couple factors affecting these as well: 1) A significant portion of our food shopping is at Super Target and its not easy to separate food vs non-food purchases, so at least some of this is non-food, how much is hard for me to estimate. 2) With 2 young kids we are struggling to be frugal food shoppers - my wife is "paying for convenience". We are buying a lot of convenient snack foods (such as those squeezy apple sauces, etc) that I would probably try to avoid if we had more time to strategize on food. 3) Surprisingly we don't eat out very often so this is largely groceries except for my occasional work lunches.

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