An Excuse to Food Pic Dump…Our July Monthly Expense Report

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Me at the zoo again near the penguin exhibit.

Going into July, I knew it was going to be an expensive-ish month. My friends were visiting Seattle from the Bay Area and our birthdays landed right next to each other.

The dining out bill alone was going to be higher than average and I was right.

The rest of the month, I was focused on mostly building the groundwork for 2 “deep life” projects, the basics of which has to be done before Spring semester of school starts. I have lots of time though before then.

If the 2 “deep life” projects go anywhere, I would give up on grad school or pause it. *If* at least one of these projects go anywhere, I would be over the moon.

Money Talk

We tried to be responsible with money even though I had a stupid birthday freak out. My goal was just to keep it at $3,000 for monthly expenses and we did do that.

I hate to be controlling since we’re almost kissing a net worth of $1.5 million now so…who the hell cares. But if I don’t keep our total monthly spending at $3,000ish then it’s like we succumbed to lifestyle inflation, which broadcasts poorly on this blog and myself in general.

FRUGAL GENES y’all. It’s in the genes 🙂

(Except I did succumb to buy these MAGNETIC eyelashes. Soooooooooo cool.)

Doing expense reports make me more conscious about my spending which is good because I track what categories are important.

We killed the “entertainment” category because it was so often neglected. When we have time to entertain or seek amusement that cost money, we will put it under miscellaneous.

You can get the free budget sheet and net worth sheet (downloads) – and follow all the instructions.

Past Reports

You can check out the other reports here if you wanted to:

Jan 2018 – Income Report & Budget Breakdown

Feb 2018 – That Time We Lived on $300 a Month

March to April 2018 – Budget & Financial Update Featuring…Our Readers!

May 2018 – Here We Go Again! Financial Update Snooze!

June 2018 Financial Update – A “Glam” Life

July 2018 Expenses

CategoryBudgeted ($3,000/m)July 2018Notes
Groceries$350$241.16There was about an entire week and a half we didn't eat anything at home but went out with friends. However, I did meal prep for 2 weeks of food in the freezer from sashimi fish to ethiopian foods so it wasn't an uber frugal month.
Dining Out$250$438.58
And this $$$ is the transfer from the food bill. We ate out a ton in July, on top of that there were my friends visiting for a week. There was the occasional McDonald's since they have their $1 app promotion.
Transportation$65$72.23We rented a car in July for $40, reloaded our bus card, and one partially comped Lyft ride.
Personal Care$100$280.27We spent $140 in this section, but the store returns that I sent back (about $140 more) has not been processed yet before July ended. We purchased a new shower head because our old one started dripping water. I got a sun hat from Nordstrom , sunscreen and mask, and...a pair of magnetic eyelashes.

I get extra, extra vain on my birthday month...
Home Maintenance$150$0.00We need to repaint our house eventually but we're waiting for the slim chance of a market dip in a few years. Construction and maintenance costs are 2-3x higher due to demand and everyone is building.
Misc. Expenses$100$131.13Seattle CityPass was the bulk of it, we swung by Lowes, and 2 random trips to our favorite thrift store to buy home decor items that were put on clearance. (If we don't, they get dumped in the garabage because of the size and materials.)
Pets$50$59.00Grace got her shots and annual exams. There was a 50% off coupon in the mail so we were able to save -$59 dollars off her shots and exams.
Vacation + Travel$50$259.80We purchased 4 separate flights, some with points, and some with cash because it will be reimbursed later (I got a scholarship) so this category should be $0 but again, to be accurate.
Mobile (RedPocket)$35$32.26We switched to RedPocket and prepaid for 2 months. The plan required advance payments.
Internet$60$60If only there were better alternatives to Comcast Internet.
Utilities$350$72.49Just the electricity this month, electricity is cheap in Seattle. We have about 7 living in this house on average so to me it's low.
Mortgage, Insurance, Taxes$1,365$1,364.34-
Spending Total$1,646Thanks to the not yet reimbursed flights, unprocessed Zappos returns, and mobile phone prepays - our expenses seemed high but it's really just eating out that was criminal.
Grand Total + Mortgage$3,011Although we're over $3,000 on paper, it's slightly lower once reimbursements kick in.

The only person I know that enjoys food pic dumps is my friend Frugal Asian but I’m a believer if I can just make one person happy then I did my job.

(Which is exactly what a chronic people pleaser would say, and as such, that is me.)

I wanted a food dump post because I have too many of these pictures on my phone hahaha. I need to clear storage space hahaha.

For those food lovers that want to learn and look at pictures of food that I threw into my belly this month…scroll on!

Food Trains Starts…

I think the most outrageous expense here was the eating out.

But in my defense…

We found freshly made sweet red bean pan molded Taiyaki inside mom-and-pop restaurant inside a local Korean supermarket.

$5 for 6. It was so good that we had to buy half a dozen. Only regret was I didn’t buy more. Seattle has a sizable Korean (and Ethiopian population) which basically translate to the food being really good.

$12 – Stir fry spicy pork.

Fried fish that came with a big combo of food.

$10 – Boiling yummy tofu stew.

$9 – Hot stone bibimbap with the fresh crunchy rice…still I don’t understand why it’s so popular. Every place I’ve been…I mean it’s just slathered in spicy sauce. There are so many better things to get.

Also, I burned myself twice on the stone pot because I’m clumsy.  Owowowow…

$15 – I was with Financial Orchid and this is what she got (I ate a lot of it haha…)

It was sooooooooo good! Perfectly flaky fried fish, no fishy taste and very buttery. Because the restaurant was inside a supermarket, we saw the owner just run to the seafood section of the store and grabbed a fish to fry hahaha.

$15 Stir-fried squid, really tender.

$8 – This is spicy fermented skate (fish) cold noodles with white pear slices. I get it every time because it’s SOOOO good.

Lots of sides.

More banchans.

$80 – Chinese beef brisket, sushi, Korean pancake, gyoza, sweet chicken, mackerel nigiri and some mousses. One of our many sushi and BBQ buffet plates.

Crawfish, sushi, tempura, sake nigiri.

One of our many buffet dessert plates at Bluefin Sushi buffet. (It was for my friend’s birthday because birthday goers eat free.)

$10 – Carnitas (fried pork) plate. Unlike Ethiopian food, I can’t make good Mexican food. It’s not in my blood, whereas I know for a fact I was Ethiopian in my past life 😛 We only get Mexican food outside.

$16 – Fried chicken tenders, on a maple waffle, with sweet slaw, waffle fries and a…bent pickle. It was not very good. Overdone. But it’s cafeteria food so the bar wasn’t set high.

Free – Company picnic, this was my first place but we had 3 more plates after. This was maybe 1/12 of the selection but I didn’t want to stuff myself.

Just half of the desert buffet. Really, realllllly good.

At the company picnic, we found a “secret” section of the zoo that was Mediterranean themed with cakes and food. It was beautiful – stunning – just UGHHH. Words can’t describe it.

This was our little section. There were these beautiful huge rugs, floating laterns, pom pom decorations, and fluffy pillows all over this giant green field where people can sit, chill, drink wine, eat cake, eat pita, talk until sunset quietly…I am blown away how much Ooooogle parties are better than Amazon’s. Sometimes I feel like cattle at Amazon parties.


Good life.

Wanted to show off my husband’s new manicure that I did. Matte pastel colors go well with his pale skin tone. For those that wondered if I was kidding in the last post, no, he really did want his nails painted.

I have married the most perfect man for me because androgyny has always been a HUGE thing for me. I’ve been this way since 1st grade so it’s definitely innate. It’s funny that he and I have matching quirks.

$20 – Ethiopian feast with starting with the white cheese Ayib, salad, misir wot (chickpea with berbere), alicha kik (chickpea with tumeric), shiro wot (shiro with spices), fir fir, gomen (spinach), kitfo (raw beef tartare), and in the center is lamb tibs (stir fried lamb) and doro wot (Ethiopian chicken stew.)

$16 – a separate order of Kitfo (beef tartare) because it’s my favorite dish in the entire world and beyond. It’s very lightly seared since I don’t think restaurants in the U.S. want the full liability. The powder beside is ‘mimitas’ which is Bird’s Eye chili grounded up on the side for an extra spice kick.

$16 – We went to another Ethiopian the very next day and got a platter again. From the top – beef tibs, tikil gomen, don’t remember, folosia, lamb stew, alicha kik, doro tips, and another alicha but with potato.

I’ve made everything on both these plate before at home…but restaurant food just tastes a little better. I have spent close to 5 hours prepping Ethiopian food this past weekend…I’m still cracking at it but different recipes soon from me hopefully.

I made these. Took hours. It’s now filling up my freezer! Meal prepping takes lots of time but it’s going to last a while.

I make Ethiopian food when I have time. I didn’t have time…but I still made it. It was tiresome because of the # of dishes required to make but it was fun. I don’t know if I will ever have the time anymore once school starts.

Oh yeah, free DIY Japanese poke bar again 😀 – raw tuna, octopus, and steelhead.

With some crab side salad and sweet hibiscus and rose tea.

Grace met an inverted version of herself 2 blocks down from us. All white vs all black! They greeted each other like long-lost dog siblings.

Frugal gods love me because I won a frugal books raffle from Budgets Are Sexy’s blog. I gave away one of the books (the 50 simple things one) but the other 3 I want to read. Heheheh. ^_^ Great bday gift!

I honestly do not know what better way to end this post besides sharing this little gem my husband and I found at the thrift store this week:

Hahahahaha I died.



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