I use Personal Capital to keep track of my finances. Given how many different cards we use to manage our household finances, I find that this is the best free online tool available to help me keep track.
On to the numbers!
Car / Transportation
We have 2 cars, both of which are paid off, and we still find a way to spend a ridiculous amount of money when it comes to transportation. In fact, this category accounts for roughly 20% of our annual spend. HOW SWAY!!! At some I need to dig a little deeper and calculate the true cost of owning these cars. To be fair, gas, tolls and other miscellaneous items (like scooter rides) are included in this figure. Unfortunately, the air conditioner decided to stop working dead in the middle of summer. And with a pregnant wife who sometimes drives for a living, this was a top priority.
There were no other surprises in July (thankfully). The other expense are mostly self explanatory.
The bulk of the expenses coded as travel in July went towards credit card membership fees. We recently earned the Southwest companion pass which achieved (partially) by signing up for the Priority Card. That cards comes with a $149 annual fee. We also paid a $99 for our JetBlue Business card.
Lastly, we took a weekend trip to the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa And Marina. We had a great time and I hope to post a review soon.
Progress Toward Financial Independence
Our contributions to our HSA, retirement accounts, etc., are deducted directly from our paychecks and are not reflected in these calculations. My goal as time progresses is to develop a better way to track and measure our progress toward financial independence. After all, what gets measured gets managed!
Still, the money we spent fixing the car was completely unexpected and we’ll likely need to dip into our emergency fund to pay for it.
Although the car expense was unexpected, I am grateful that we learned from past experience and set up an emergency fund to deal with this. I took the opportunity to meet the minimum spend required on the Southwest Premier card to help us get the Southwest Companion Pass. And, I secretly desire to become a one car household, so having the car be unavailable for 2 days gave me a little peak into the challenges that this will present.
Hopefully it’ll be sometime before something else breaks down. Time to rebuild that emergency fund!