September Spending Report

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I have never done a spending report before but I thought I would try one because I love reading other people’s! My favourites are at No More Spending and Give Me Back My Five Bucks.

I am not a low spender and I suppose I am opening myself up to criticism from those who are much more frugal than I. But that’s OK; I can take it!

Here is my month so far, and I’ll do another on Oct 1st  so I can sum up September.  This is an unusual month because I usually have a power bill every 2 months and a water bill every 3 months, and this is one of the rare months when neither is due!


  • $159.50  Rom and I each put $80 into our monthly entertainment fund and immediately spent it on tickets for an upcoming music festival. Balance in entertainment account for the rest of September: $0.50 !
  • $106.17 groceries (supermarket)
  • $7.38 snacks
  • $9.20 cold capsules
  • $2.30 cough drops
  • $1.82 tissues
  • $2.55 toothpaste
  • $1.50 small change put into “penny jar” (now that we don’t have pennies – nickels and dimes go here!)

Total spending for first day: $290.42  !!


No spend day! (I’ve always wanted to write that, LOL!)


No spend day!


  • $6.75 groceries (produce market)


  • $217.43 insurance payment for house and 2 cars
  • $35.00 deposited rolled coins in bank
  • $2.63 freezer bags
  • $2.17 candy
  • $50.00 gift

Total for Sept 5:   $307.23


  • $211.50 automatic biweekly payment to TFSA savings account
  • $204.00 automatic biweekly payment to RRSP savings account
  • $10.84 groceries
  • $2.88 chips
  • $3.43 more cough drops
  • $0.55 coins went into penny jar

Total for Sept. 6:  $433.20


No spend day!


  • $822.98 flights to Toronto for November trip (trip is fully saved for)
  • $155.00 deposit on B & B in Toronto (trip is fully saved for)
  • $52.06 full tank of gas for car
  • $50.00 purchased meal for two for charity event
  • $46.34 groceries
  • $8.05 toilet paper
  • $8.04 cat food
  • $5.50 snacks
  • $4.36 deodorant

Total for Sept. 8:  $1152.33


  • $6.00 parking for work meeting (to be reimbursed)
  • $8.10 favourite coffee shop next to work meeting – brought treats home for Rom and me for breakfast next day

Total for Sept 9:  $14.10


No spend day!


  • 6.00 parking for work meeting (to be reimbursed) – not near the good coffee shop this time
  • 33.35 cat litter (long-time supply)
  • 9.53 cat food
  • 6.65 groceries
  • 5.97 snacks
  • 1.10 coins to penny jar

Total for Sept 11:  $62.60


  • $166.09  Internet, home phone and digital cable bundle – monthly fee


No spend day!


  • $107.80  2 gifts and 2 cards


  • $64.18 groceries
  • $6.71 snacks
  • $5.00 food bank donation
  • $4.37 cleaning solution
  • $1.14 tissues

Total for Sept 15:  $81.40


  • $40.00 nice dinner out at Dharma Sushi
  • $2.35 take-out coffee

Total for Sept 16: $42.35


  • $4.58 snacks
  • $4.47 groceries – oops, that is not a good snacks-to-groceries ratio for the day 🙂

Total for Sept 17:  $9.05


No spend day!


  • $56.22 full tank of gas for car
  • $8.00 parking for work meeting (to be reimbursed)

Total for Sept 19:  $64.22


  • $211.50 automatic biweekly payment to TFSA savings account
  • $204.00 automatic biweekly payment to RRSP savings account

Total for Sept 20:  $415.50

New Windows Phone  (!) Nokia 520

New Windows Phone (!) Nokia 520


  • $178.25 new smartphone, set-up and service plan (one-time costs)
  • $62.25 shampoo and conditioner (litre bottles) – lasts the two of us 4 months – previous brand discontinued 😦
  • $6.95 groceries
  • $4.90 New York Fries

Total for Sept 21:  $252.35


  • $250.00 paid expense for 20-year-old ‘child’
  • $32.85 groceries
  • $11.50 screen protector for new phone
  • $7.34 case for new phone
  • $6.89 compost bin liner bags (to keep fruit flies out!)
  • $2.29 candy
  • $1.50 coins to penny jar
  • $1.00 bank charge

Total for Sept 22:  $313.37


No spend day!


No spend day!

And the grand total is:   a mere  $3718.76  !

I suppose all I can say is that I had a lot of one time expenses, the vacation is  paid for, $831 went into specific savings accounts, I spent just $285.20 on groceries (if you don’t include snacks, ahem!) and there were 3 birthday celebrations this month.

I’m sure that the vast majority of readers are feeling very frugal right now. Do you ever have really “spendy” months too?

Had a craving...

Had a craving…


  1. I am pretty sure I’d spend more, so don’t worry! The shampoo and conditioner seems expensive to me, but then I don’t use much even though I wash daily. I seriously have spent more than a week trying to ‘use up’ a hotel shampoo and still haven’t!! Maybe I should get on this band wagon – most work days are no spend, though yesterday there was a fundraising chocolate, and today there’ll be my hair cut, but with weekend grocery shopping, there’s few extra expenses day to day.

    • I am having troubles with shampoo and conditioner! Rom and I both have scent-free workplaces. The scent-free products from the natural foods stores are very expensive and come in tiny bottles. So we have found a few brands that are scented, but seem to go “under the radar” at work. In particular, anything with peppermint or tea tree oil is not noticed! I think it’s because they rinse away completely. Our last brand was discontinued so this time we got “lemon sage” and it cost over $30 a litre!

      • I’d love to know more about this idea of ‘scent free’ works, it’s totally new to me. But the way you explain it, the shampoo costs now make sense.

  2. Lisa

    Is this just your share of expenses? My family of 2 spends way more than this! And here I thought I was frugal (unless I am comparing with the US blogs…they have cheap groceries).

    As we have discussed before, my pet costs alone averaged $364/month last year, and this year will likely be higher due to the cat having dental surgery 2x and the dog contracting lyme disease! Also, having just bought a house, I currently feel like I am hemorrhaging money!

    • This is all of our expenses except: Rom takes the bus to work when I’m unable to drive him (costing about $45/month), he puts about $20 of gas in his car monthly, and he has some spending money. Our other monthly bills (not due this month) are: power $60/month, water/sewer $50/month, heat $170/month (averaged year-round), property tax $200/month, and bridge tolls $50/month. We’ve been trying to keep the groceries (food only) to $400. Next month will be a killer because I have dental work scheduled. I hope your pets come through everything OK!

      • Lisa

        Well then, I think you are doing well! Being that I am in a new house, I am not sure how much our power, heat etc. will cost per month, but in total I would like to keep the monthly costs below $4000. So far, not on track! I read quite a few financial blogs and am fascinated with the families that are living well on only $2500/month in the US. I don’t have cell phones, cable, expensive entertainment allocation or a mortgage, but the groceries pet costs and travel are high. Ontario is also expensive for taxes and insurance. Thanks for sharing!

      • By the time I add in utilities and travel savings, our expenses are almost never under $4000 a month either.

  3. Oh my goodness, every month feels like a “spendy” month to me! I honestly feel like no matter how hard I try to get spending under control and the budget tightened and something always goes wrong. Someday . . .

  4. Fiona

    I *don’t* think that’s very ‘spendy’! Many “Spending Reports” only include the discretionary spending and not the recurring costs (monthly internet, electricity etc.) Also, most “Spending Reports” don’t include special, “saved for” events like the Toronto trip. Plus, you don’t have a mortgage so if you want life’s small luxuries (like real coffee) then go for it! Loved reading this, it is great to see a comprehensive spending report with all the bills.

  5. Lol, I can assure you it has been ANYTHING but a frugal month for me! Pre-breakdown, I was planning on making September a heavy saving month. Post-breakdown, it’s kind of been anything goes. It’s embarassing, and it will show come my end of month update :s Your spending report is impressively thorough 🙂

  6. I spent a few hundred dollars less than you this month – mostly on rent, the blog conference and the electricity and internet bills (6 months worth). It was a spendy month for me because of the extra bills and the conference, but luckily I didn’t even need to touch the extra money I earnt working at the election – that went straight into savings.

    I notice that you didn’t include mortgage payments – have you paid it off? I imagine that would make a huge difference to your spending (I pay around $900 a month in rent alone).

  7. As you probably figured the grand total made my eyes bug out. 🙂 I have months where I it seems like the expenses just keep coming. I have 3 birthdays in September alone. Then there’s Christmas coming up which I split between October and November to get all the gifts I need. My normal months my expenses average around $500 a month (that includes rent) but I push that up these three months of the year.

    • I have never lived with the kind of expense level that you have, so I can’t comment, except that I know the details of my kid Link’s finances, and they would be similar.

      • I should have added that while your expenses are much higher than mine, I like the choices you make with your money. Most people would not have recorded investments in the future as a monthly expense first, but to spend your money on experiences, which you do, rather than mindless spending, which you don’t is the best way to use money. Not only will you have those memories but you are encouraging individuals to continue to do what they love, for example your concerts. If people did not attend the artists would not have the support to continue to create and share.

      • Thanks, Lois. While I will never be a Patron of the Arts in the classic sense, I really like spending money that goes into the pockets of musicians, artists, chefs, farmers, and so on!

      • I do as well, Dar. I don’t go to many concerts anymore as it’s just too hard to maneuver but I attend all the local music available here.

  8. We are on an economy drive right now, following a very expensive June, but boy we had a great holiday, a fantastic silver wedding anniversary, a new bathroom and a new motorbike (well second hand) now we are taking care. But definitely see where the money goes when a record is kept.

    • Congrats on your big anniversary! I go through phases of having big bills too, and then scrimping afterwards. But I don’t mind – some splurges are really worth it, and getting back to “normal” is fine.

  9. Juhli

    Those non-recurring expenses do seem to keep recurring don’t they? Our life is pretty much the same in terms of spending. I agree that most bloggers who list their monthly spending don’t include savings or planned vacations which lowers their totals substantially.

  10. I loved seeing your spending report. I feel every month in 2013 has been ‘spendy’ for us – it’s a good job I track it…..without that control I dread to think!!! Anyway, thanks for the link love!

    PS. I had to smile at the ‘child’ expenses – they still sneak into my spending reports occasionally too 😉

  11. I wish I had my car park expenses re-imbursed. I have to pay £61.00 a month to park for 4 days a week. I need somewhere safe for when I work late and it is dark. I need a conversion chart so I can get my head round what your spend is in English money!! i noticed you do have quite a few no spend days – probably more than I do.

    • I find when I travel in the UK that trying to convert the prices just doesn’t work. For instance, groceries in the UK are astronomically cheaper than in Canada, but housing prices are probably double in the UK. Restaurants and cafes cost more in the UK, but I know that cars and car insurance are a lot less. My workplace has free parking, but they pay my parking fees when I have to attend a meeting at another building.

  12. It did look a bit spendy but when you take out the travel and your savings, it’s not so bad. And for almost a full month …
    On a different note, I’m a little jealous of your lack of mortgage.

  13. I like your spending report! What other people buy is always interesting to me. It may have been a little spendy, but like you mentioned, a big chunk of that is travel (a great way to spend money, imo), and I doubt you do that every month. 😉 This holiday season is tough budget-wise because we have 3 nieces/nephews who were born in November, plus Christmas. So this year, we are spreading it out (just bought the birthday presents last week and the book portion of Christmas presents).

  14. I’m too scared to do one of these for myself…

  15. Have you by chance heard of the “No poo”? I’ve been thinking about giving it a go, maybe I will this weekend?!
    I need to be held accountable to my spending, because at the end of the week I’m wondering where my money went, on paper I should have a few hundred left over, but it never is that way when it’s all said and done. You have just encouraged me to give this a go. Thank you for that.
    Also… I clicked on the 2 links that you shared, good stuff! I’m going to follow them.
    I hope you have a great weekend,

    • I have heard of the “no poo” but haven’t had the nerve to try it yet. If you do, let me know how you like it! I also haven’t gone so far as to rinse my hair with vinegar even though I know you can’t smell it after it’s rinsed out.

  16. Pingback: Spending Report Recap | An Exacting Life

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