April was a defining month for our budget. We made some key decisions and tightened up where and when we needed – yet were able to make some memories and accomplish a few must haves.
Tax Refund/Roth Contribution
We received a substantial tax refund and contributed the max to our 2020 Roth IRA. This was a difficult decision for me as I’m really interested in funding my startup.
Food Expenses Packaged Up
We minimized food and grocery expenses but also spent considerably on optional home furnishings and a family trip. We only spent $1060 on groceries/household and $270 on restaurants. Unfortunately, May is off to a terrible start in the restaurant category. We only spent $140 on clothes. Early in the month, we were low on cash because we maxed our Roth IRA (backdoor style) with $12,000 cash. It’s amazing how well our income can cover overspending, which becomes fairly evident when we buckle down. We’re absolutely blessed.
We spent about $930 on new tires for the family car. We’ll probably have to spend a similar amount for tire on my truck, soon.
Cell Phone Service Savings – May Not be Worth It.
We spent only $50 on monthly cell service in April via Visibile. Visible service is fine at times and also really terrible. The service is so bad at times, that we’ll probably move to another provider soon. Moving to a post-paid plan will likely run us about $120+ for two lines with unlimited data. I favor prepaid plans because you avoid certain taxes and it’s a better value, in my opinion. The carriers claim that their prepaid plan’s data is secondary to their post-paid plans, but I did not notice any issue when we were with Verizon prepaid. We can move to Verizon prepaid for about $100/month for 15GB of data, which should be sufficient.
Entertainment and Family Memories
Our entertainment spending was very high at $904. This was due to spending $320 on two nights in a hotel and about $287 on tickets to a baseball game. We enjoyed ourselves and made memories for life. Well worth it. Miscellaneous spending was also high at $600. Nothing really to show for it either since it includes $330 for TurboTax and another $60 for a dumb crypto tax prep service. Spending $60 on a tax prep service annoyed me, so I sold all my crypto in April. My small play investment provided a nice return that I’ll write about soon. My wife also spent $325 on a new rug. Not what I’d consider fun, but she is generally pretty frugal – so I’ll allow it (ha)!
Giving Continues to Bless
We also continued our increased giving in the month of April. It’s truly been eye-opening how the increased giving has not hurt our bottom line. Perhaps, there is some practical truth to proverbs 11:24, which says “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer. Another withholds what he should give and only suffers want.” However, I think giving changes your attitude about money and life, which is true riches despite your net worth. I hope to continue our obedience to call to give, but I’ve still got a ways to go and no longer have any expected windfalls to make it work.