Goal Setting, Positivity, Retirement Journey, Spending

A July Challenge Update….a little late.

Photo by Jorge Urosa on Pexels.com

I apologize for this late update, a lot of unexpected stuff came up and my blog fell to the wayside. I closed out July on Saturday, and thankfully it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Spoiler alert: I did not meet my challenge goal.

Let’s just get right to the numbers–

July’s spending:

  • Groceries/Eating Out: $623.00
  • Personal Care: $182.00
  • OTC/Medical: $74.00
  • Clothes & Accessories: $395.00 (hubby bought a few items too!)
  • Gasoline: $32.00
  • Gifts/Spontaneous giving: $352.00
  • Mom &Dad: $80.00
  • Pet: $66.00 (dog food and misc. accessories)
  • Travel (road trips and misc. travel products): $665.00

Total: $2,117.00

I was $1,367 over my goal of $750.00. I can honestly say I do not regret any of the spending. After analyzing the different categories and amounts, I realized that at least $1,000 of the $1,367 overage was for my trip to Italy this September. Planning this trip has sparked so much joy, that I’m not the least bit discouraged from failing this challenge. I’m actually energized and excited for more opportunities to travel, especially in retirement. 🙂

I know some of you were doing the challenge with me, and have been successful! Congrats! Please let me know what you are going to do with all that extra money you saved!

How was July for you?

17 thoughts on “A July Challenge Update….a little late.”

  1. I am amazed that you only used $32 in gasoline! We spent our entire $200. Color me green with Italy in September. That is, by far, the best month. Are you cruising?
    I knew July would be a huge bust for us. We had saved for it all.
    We finished putting in our lawn ($3k) Our oldest brought her kids for a visit. Yellowstone, float trip, dune buggies. It was worth every penny.My kids were not big eaters when they were young, but my grands can put away some food!
    My Mom’s birthday was mid July so I flew to Phoenix for 48 hours. We also paid for an Airbnb for December in Maryland to see the grands. That trip will round out our entire budgeted “vacation money” for the year.
    On the good side our natural gas bill was a whole $23. and electricity was $58.Not looking forward to January. No matter what our bill is I “use or save” $200 for utilities each month.
    This month my check book will get less of a work out! October and November are usually our low spend months overall. I cannot wait!


    1. It sounds like you had a wonderful month! Phoenix in 48 hours? Wow! Yes, our gas bill was low because we didn’t count the money spent on gas going to NY – we put that in the travel account. My husband only drives 2x a week to work, so we didn’t need to fill up. We are indeed going on a cruise – We start in Barcelona Spain for a couple of days and end up in Rome, Italy – where we will stay for two days. In between, we will see Marseille and Nice, France as well as Florence, Pisa, Portafino, Naples, and Sicily. I’m on the struggle bus trying to figure out what to wear and fit in a carry-on suitcase (it doesn’t seem wise to check luggage these days. 😉 ) I’m pretty excited! 🙂


      1. You’re going to Barcelona too! That was on my bucket list! Way to go! My sister swears by cruising. She loves it. I can’t believe all the wonderful cities you are going to see. Good for you!! Take lots of pictures and share, share, share, share!!

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  2. Hi Sharon, This month had some great surprises . My daughter got a huge promotion and I hosted a hot butter lobster roll dinner getting five lobsters steamed @ $7.99lb and brioche buns for $60. SIL had them all cracked, chopped and in butter in twenty minutes . He got corn at his CSA farm and tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.Amazing feast at $10 a lobster roll! Their now $35?to $40 at restaurants! .
    Spent $5.54 more in groceries totaling $37.54 for the month. I spent only $66 on gasoline, $200 less then usual, End up spending only $108 on clothing and used the $10 star reward to order three pairs of capris for $32. 97. They haven’t arrived yet. Gasoline has gone down to $4.03 per gallon, 56 cents cheaper then my July 6 fill.
    Funny You should ask what I am spending the savings on. Which includes my dividends checks . My share of a family Cape Cod vacation, SAS sandals on sale for 20% off summer clearance plus $5 for mobile app of my local store., new tires. A total year of my property taxes with the Marriott Bonvoy to get six nights free to use next year on my European trip or Hawaii. I am going to get the IHG card to get more Free nights . I am going to take some painting classes and do some home projects. Using DRIP- dividend reinvestment program I now have self insured for any eventual nursing home care and can pursue my travel dreams since I no longer am needed for daycare for my grandkids. Chris at Can I Retire Yet reviewed a book called Taking Stock and it is so appropriate for this time of my life . You should check it out. Sincerely, Lara


    1. Oh my gosh, the lobster roll dinner sounded amazing! What a great way to celebrate! Great job on the groceries too! We used to spend all summers in Cape Cod — my Mom was from Boston and we’d visit family while vacationing. Such great memories. I love how you spent your savings. Where is the first place you would like to travel to?

      Hey, Chris has a blog?? Please send me her link! 🙂


      1. I have been vacationing on Cape Cod since 1973, missed one summer when my DH passed. Owned a second home in Harwich but love Dennis and Chatham more now. Which town s did you like? Sincerely, Lara


  3. We didn’t spend too crazily this July but come late August and early September we have a big repair that needs to be done on our side entrance door. Apparently it gets hit with all the wind and rain and it rotted out the core. I’m not looking forward to that repair! Also we’re putting in a whole house, automatic generator ASAP. Hubby hates hauling out the temporary generator every time the power goes out. Our monthly spending basically stays the same because I keep a daily running tab on it all. When it nears the top, I make an announcement and tell the hubby all spending must cease until the end of the month. LOL. It never goes over well. We spend between $200 to sometimes $300 a month on gas and yet we go nowhere. Thankfully, the price is coming down and maybe one day we’ll get it back down to $100 a month (that’s where it was before all these shenanigans started).


    1. I think it’s really smart to get a whole house generator. We got an estimate for our home, but unfortunately the noise it generated was too loud. 😦


      1. Nick’s going to install it. He’s planning on placing it away from the house specifically because of the noise! I hear ya on that! And then he’ll just trench the wiring. Nice to be handy, eh? My hero!!!


  4. Topped off my gas tank at $3.92 a gallon this weekend. My BF paid $3.65 in Ohio! They have state taxes and here they have eliminated them till November! Elections I think influenced the extension from June 30. What’s it costing in your area? Sincerely, Lara


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