The Monthly Expenses of Early Retiree – November 2020

Monthly Spending of Early Retiree

In November, we voted, celebrated the result of the election, celebrated Thanksgiving and hunkered down. I’m glad the election is over. I’m happy with the result but I did spent a lot of time refreshing my browser asking google for election result. We also had a small Thanksgiving celebration. Our initial plan is to have my family over, but with the COVID cases going up, we canceled it. Instead, we celebrated it as a family of four, watched Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on TV and had a whole chicken (because the Turkey we got is HUGE), mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Max had fun watching the parade, especially when Elmo showed up. Football was also on the background while cooking and feasting.

We spent $1,858.33 this November. Below are some notable items.

Food – $725.17

This is the most we spent on food for this year. We are still shopping in WINCO and Costco. I think we spent quite a bit on snack this month. I added a line item to separate the junk food we’re buying. I need to stop going through a whole bag of Ruffles or Donuts or Toblerone. Yikes!

Furnishings $302.69

We definitely cranked up the heat this month I ordered 2 heaters for the boys’ rooms so we can lower the heat for the whole house at night. Right now it is set to 68 degrees from 8AM – 7:30PM and 50 degrees for the rest of the night. The small electric heater seems to work out so far.

Christmas Lights

I bought 2 strands of LED Christmas lights to wrap around my tree. Last year, we didn’t put up any lights on the tree, so I made sure to order one before Thanksgiving. Luckily it arrived just in time so we put up the tree after Thanksgiving. I like the lights except for the fact that it didn’t come with a standard male/female connector so I can’t connect my tree topper and have to connect it with an extension cord. It’s ok for now, but it was annoying to see it. I might return it and buy a different led lights after Christmas when it is on sale. We decorated the tree with new to us ornaments from my Mom. Some of the ornaments are from the Philippines and I love seeing them on my tree.

Our tree with handmade Christmas stockings

Baby Supplies – $71.89

I can’t remember the last time we bought some diapers. MBP is still in Pull Ups at night and AHP is using disposables at night and cloth diaper during the day. A pack from Costco typically last us 6 months. I am really glad that we are using cloth diapers. Some folks were hoarding diapers and I know that there were instances that Costco was out of stock of diapers and diaper wipes. Cloth diaper for another win!

Christmas Cards – $44.79

I also successfully printed and mailed our Holiday Cards before the Holidays. Last year, I sent it after Christmas, so I made sure that I have enough time to get some photos taken, create the card and get it printed. My little sister came here last October just before it got too cold and we managed to get some decent family photos with both the boys and the dog actually smiling. We walked to the park on the end of our cul-de-sac and was able to snap some really good ones. I used Canva to create the card and printed 50 cards. I ordered these envelope separately through Amazon because it is cheaper and it looks a lot better. The card looked nice but not necessarily thick enough, even though I ordered the deluxe version.

Alright, so here are the line by line items.

Groceries708.39The highest in the month, but we hve to eat, right?
Furnishings302.692 Heaters
529 College Fund200.00
Baby Supplies71.89Diapers
Shopping(63.56)This is negative because I returned the rainboots I got from Amazon. It was too big.
Household Supplies79.22Probably toilet papers
Electric and Gas75.33
HOA Dues68.25
Clothing54.73Some clothes for Mr MMD
Christmas Cards44.79
Pet Food & Supplies39.28Christmas presents for our fur baby
Business Services35.95I renewed my PTIN
Gas & Fuel34.88
Electronics & Software25.68Mr. MMD bought a new keyboard. It's more expensive than this but he was able to get some gift cards from Walmart
Home Improvement17.48Not necessarily sure but it is an order from Amazon
Snacks16.78Junk foods. New line item that I will try to track
Mobile Phone16.29
Grand Total 1,858.33

One more month for 2020. This year is definitely proving to be our floor in terms of spending. It’s a weird year, overall, but we are safe, healthy and have a privilege to spend all our time with our kids and not worry about work.

How was your November?

The Monthly Expenses of Early Retiree – October 2020

The Monthly Expenses of Early Retiree

October is a month of getting into a routine and anticipation of the election results. We are starting to get comfortable with our new normal. Our routine includes going to outdoor preschool 2x a week, seeing my family every 2 weeks and getting groceries once a week. This month, MBP’s class visited the Thomassen Family Farm for their annual pumpkin patch. We made it a family trip and AHP tag along. We ended the trip with a drive thru order from McDonalds for lunch. The farm was outdoors and all adults are wearing masks. We had fun and glad that this field trip happened despite some restrictions.

I also had my annual exam and established care with a new physician closer to our area. Luckily, my new physician was able to get a women’s physical therapist. I started seeing her this month and so far it really helped my back and get back some of my core strength. All of these expenses are covered by our insurance.

Alright, for our expenses, we spent $5,033.77 this month

Property Taxes – $3,043.39

We paid our second half of property taxes this month. It is expensive and will likely jut increase next year. Our property taxes is base on the value of our house. There are a lot of demand for single family housing. Two of our neighbors in the cul-de-sacs sold their houses for $650K+. I appeal our taxes in our old house in Seattle twice and won. I know that the assessment was reasonable so I’m not going to appeal this one, but I do keep an eye on this because sometimes, the county assessment is higher than the market.

We don’t include the value of our house in our net worth, so I probably shouldn’t care too much. I am happy to pay that tax if it means better public school for our community.

Food – $537.61

We spent over $500 for food. This is probably our normal spending now. This includes $507.42 on groceries and $30.19 on fast food. My husband is our primary chef but I’m starting to run some errands now. I can see this go up once the pandemic is over when we venture out more and start eating out.

Transportation – $218.09

We paid $198 for a 6 month auto insurance for our 2014 Toyota Prius. I still have my 2011 Volkswagen Jetta that is park in the driveway. We need to get rid of it at some point. Maybe once the vaccine is out and I can actually go to the dealership and get the recall and the tire fix.

Education / Hobbies – $198

This month, I also sign up for a one year membership at CPE Depot. I need to complete some continuing professional education to maintain my CPA license. This can fulfill the CPE needed for 2 years, as well as the ethics program. I also attended a virtual summit Mama Talks Money. I paid $69 to access the content after the summit. It was great to hear from more women talking about money. I still need to act on some of our to do’s particularly our will.

2 more months until the end of 2020. Our spending is considerably low this year because we basically stay in. I expect this to be drastically different next year as we start traveling, eating out more, preschool expenses and healthcare (on another post)

Here’s our every line item we spent this October:

Property Tax 3,043.39 Second half of property tax
529 College Fund200.00
Auto Insurance198.006 month auto insurance of our prius
Education129.00CPE courses to maintain my CPA license
Furnishings83.85Heater for AHP's room
Shoes78.86I bought some rainboots but returned it. The return wasn't processed until November
Electric and Gas75.39
Hobbies69.00Mama's Talk Money Virtual Summit
HOA Dues68.25
Kids60.25Class Photo and MBP's Big Bird Costume
Pet Food & Supplies52.45
Fast Food30.19Trips to McDonalds
Entertainment29.96My husband bought some game and one ticket to Thomassen Family Farm
Home Improvement28.35
Shopping25.23Some school / craft supplies
Gas & Fuel20.09
Mobile Phone16.29
Pharmacy7.09Some OTC medication for my husband
Electronics & Software0.55Last AWS billing to host this website. I moved to Google Cloud Platform
Grand Total 5,033.77

How’s you October?

The Monthly Expenses of Early Retiree – September 2020

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree

Pacific Northwest experienced some fire this September which was very unusual. We were 5 miles from the evacuated area, which is too close in my opinion. We left our house and stayed with my parents for 3 nights because I was being overly cautious. The kids had fun with the sleep over with the grandparents, but we were glad to be back home with our house intact. It was a terrifying week.

Back to School

MBP’s first day of outdoor class

MBP also started 3s class. We were lucky enough to be part of the coop that held an outdoor preschool with limited students. There were so much thoughts and efforts that were put in planning the outdoor preschool and we are very appreciative of the school, the teachers and parents involve. This is our second year in the coop and my first year holding a board position.

In September our early retirement spending was $2,319.77

Tuition – $573.42

Our biggest spending this month is MBP’s preschool tuition. I prepay the tuition through December. We get 10 percent discount by prepaying, but I donated the 10 percent back to school. Our coop is very affordable as is and we want it to continue as long as it can, not just for MPB but for other kids in the area. I love being part of the coop because we get to work with the teacher, get to know the parents, and watch our kids learn. MBP has been going to a coop since he was 1, back in Seattle and I’m so glad that we found this school here in the burbs. It is a little bit of a drive for us, but totally worth it. MBP love love love his school. He seems to be more happy now that he have something to look forward to.

Food – $476.13

I was surprised to see our food spending under $500. We continue on our plant based meals except when we were at my parents house due to fire. There were also some McDonalds drive thru breakfast when we left the house. Maybe we stocked up enough last month? I really don’t know, but I’m glad to see this go down.

Kids – $396.71

This consist of $200 college fund, outdoor clothings for MBP and crib mattress for AHP. I bought MBP an Oaki Rainsuit, an REI down jacket and Bogs boots. He needs proper rain gear because his class is 100% outdoors. I did a lot of research and asked around for proper rain gear, especially boots that are not heavy. MBP has a rainboot but he had a hard time walking and complains that it is too heavy for him. His teacher mentioned Bogs boots and he really like it so far. We haven’t tested it on downpour rain, so we will see if it holds up. I also bought a crib mattress for AHP because he is using MBP’s old mattress that sags down in the middle. AHP is rolling over a lot now. He is seating by himself, love solid food, napping by himself and even slept through the night for 3 nights in a row!

Pet – $250.78

This consist of our furbaby’s annual exam, annual supply of heartworm and flea medication, annual shots and some treats. We go to a mobile vet clinic for her preventative care. Apparently our furbaby is very overweight. It looks like all adults in our household, including the dog are trying to lose weight. We do need to take her weight seriously because she is getting older. Being overweight is not good for her little legs.

Shopping – $232.42

My husband found a way to wired his internet connection on our modem. He constantly complain about our internet access especially when he is in the middle of a game. I don’t have any problem with our internet, but I’m also not a gamer. I’m just glad that it is working for him.

Others – $390.31

My little sister graduated from college this spring and celebrated a virtual graduation ceremony. Go Zags! We gave her $100 as a gift and celebrated with her at my parent’s house. We also renew our Costco membership this month for $60. The rest are normal utilities, supplies and blog hosting fee for $.57. This is the last month that I will pay for blog hosting fee since I moved this blog from AWS to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and I’m only using the free tier. It doesn’t make sense to pay for hosting until I get more readers.

The detail spending are below.

Preschool Tuition573.42
529 College Fund200.00
Kids120.21Rain Gear
Baby Supplies76.50Crib Mattress
HOA Dues68.25
Subscription60.00Costco Membership
Gas & Fuel54.70We actually gas up this month!
Internet30.00We receive $15 credit because the internet was down for 3 days. This happened during the fire and we were not in the house.
Household Supplies25.00Paper products
Pet Food & Supplies23.78Treats that we need to stop buying!
Alcohol & Bars22.00
Mobile Phone16.28Our very very cheap mobile plan from Xfinity
Fast Food11.41McDonalds!
Parking1.25Street parking in Seattle when my husband visited our rental
Electronics & Software0.57AWS fee for hosting this blog.
Grand Total 2,319.77

How about you? How’s your September spending?

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree – August 2020

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree

We enjoyed the sunny month of August. There were very warm days and we had to turn on our portable air conditioner. We don’t have central AC. In fact majority of the houses in the Pacific Northwest do not have AC. We rarely experience 90 degree weather and it always cool down at night. An open windows and a fan makes it comfortable at night. It cost over 5K to install central air and it doesn’t satisfy the cost considering it will only be use 10 times a year, at most.

In August our early retirement spending are $2,408.77

Food and Dining – $711.34

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree
Weekly fruits

We continue on our Plant Based / Whole food diet. One of the barrier on promoting a plant based diet is cost. Our snacks are fruits and veggies. It is ridiculous that fresh fruits and vegetables are more expensive than junk foods. For example, a Costco size Ruffles cost $5.99 while a pack of mangoes cost $7.99. Both are also not taxable. The only fruits that are not expensive are bananas. Eating healthy is still cheaper than taking medications later on. I am also enjoying the sweet peaches, mangoes, cantaloupe, and apples. Our household love fruits! We also ordered a Burger King take out. It wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. I think my taste pallet is changing.

Auto and Transportation – $475.84

We paid $356.64 for annual tab for our Prius. It is high because of a new tax subsidy for light rail. We also spent $98.36 to get a change oil, $18.84 bucks for gas and $2 bucks for parking.

Utilities – $447.46

This looks high because I forgot to pay for electric and gas last month. We also paid for water and garbage bill this month. Our sewer, internet and and very cheap cell phone plan are consistent month over month.

Kids – $378.57

We bought this expensive high chair for MBP. I’ve been looking for a second hand for a while but this is hard to come by. I think people keep this chair until their kids go to college. AHP is starting to seat by himself and we started on some solids. I want to move MBP out of his high chair where he would feel comfortable and seat on the table. He loves his “big boy” chair! He can seat and get off his chair by himself. He also wants to seat there to color. I’ve been thinking of getting him a table, but I probably won’t do it since he can just use the dining table now with his chair. We also bought a coloring book and pull ups diaper for MBP.

Pets – $115.55

This is our furbaby’s kibble, treats and some toys ordered online from Petco and Amazon.

Health and Fitness – $96.98

I bought contact lenses from Costco. This should last me a year until my prescription expires.

Others – $183.03

Some household stuff, a printer cartridge and our HOA fees.

Below is the details of our spending. This line item is very detail. I added more categories on mint. I like to see trends for each item so I can see if there are opportunity to optimize some expenses.

Groceries658.23A lot of fresh fruits and veggies
Auto & Transport356.64Annual Tabs
529 College Fund200
Electric and Gas143.672 months for electric and gas
Kids Gadgets131.65MBP's High Chair
Water113.79Water Bill
Service & Parts98.36Change Oil
Pet Food & Supplies97.52Kibble
Health & Fitness96.98Contacts
HOA Dues68.25
Shopping53.24Cartridge, etc
Household Supplies44.8Sanitizer, etc
Baby Supplies40.97Pull Ups
Alcohol & Bars40.14Alcohol from Costco
Gas & Fuel18.84
Pets18.03Some other treats and toys
Mobile Phone15.92The cheap phone plan from Xfinity
Fast Food12.97Burger King (a disappointment after going on a plant based diet)
Subscription6.55Prime Monthly Fee
Kids5.95Coloring books
Parking2Street Parking when Mr. went to Seattle to visit our rental condo
Electronics & Software0.57Hosting fee for this blog

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree – July 2020

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree

July 1st marked our first year anniversary of early retirement. It was fastest year, yet many slow days with a toddler and an infant. Our spending is not normal. This is the year of paying Cobra, giving birth and the pandemic. The first two contributed to an increase in expenses while the pandemic probably decrease our expenses. It is hard to say if our spending will stay consistent. I don’t know what a “normal” year will look like.

In July, we spent, $2,341.59

Groceries – $739.16

Groceries continue to be on top of our spending. This month, we decided to eat more plant based recipe. We watched Forks Over Knives and changed our diet to eliminate most meat. We are eating more plat based / whole foods and limit our meat to once or twice a week. This change is probably the reason of the increase because we don’t have a go-to recipes. We have been have been experimenting with ingredients. Maybe we will be better on this once we accumulate some bulk ingredients.

Electronics – $491.32

Mr. MMD got a new iPhone. I got a new one last December and he’s been using my sister’s old iPhone 6. It is no longer charging. He finally got a new iPhone SE. He returned his old iPhone back for a rebate, but we won’t know the rebate amount until Apple gets the phone.

Home Improvement – $404.16

I am making some roman shades for the kids bedroom and their playroom. There are 4 windows in total. I bought a black out insulated windows and drapery fabrics and some materials needed for the shades. We finally installed one for MBP’s bedroom. It’s not professional looking, but it does the job. I also didn’t add the pull mechanism yet because I don’t want the kids to be playing with the strings. This is good for now and it is a lot better than the former curtains.

Two of our carbon monoxide and fire alarm detector also expired, so we bought a new one. That beeping was really annoying, especially when it happened at nap times. Oh well, we know now that these alarms expires every 7 years.

Others – $706.95

The rest are pretty normal expenses. There are monthly expenses like 529 college plan and HOA dues. I also split our utility bills as a category for each bill. I separated electric and gas as 1 bill, sewer, internet and mobile phone as another. We also have some discretionary expenses and bought some toys and kids supplies and we had some fast food take out because I’m craving for it.

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree
Our Neighborhood Fireworks

Celebrating July

This is the second year that we celebrated 4th of July in an unincorporated county. It is legal to have some fireworks here at certain times, unlike in the city. HOA frowned upon it, but the neighborhood doesn’t seem to care. Last year, we were invited to a party in our block. I basically just walked around and our neighbor invited us. This year, there were no parties but all our neighbors were out in their front porch. We set up some chairs and watched our neighbors fired up some fireworks. MBP enjoyed it. It was hard to tell a 3 year old to keep 6ft apart from the other kids though, but we tried to make sure that we keep the social distance. AHP slept through all the fireworks while our furbaby thought that it was the end of the world.

Overall July was great considering that we are still in a lockdown. Maybe we were just getting used to this new normal and our expectations were low. It was a bit more expensive, but not alarming.

Here’s a recap to our spending in 2020:

And here is the breakdown of our expenses in July

Groceries739.16We are changing our diet ot be more plant based. At some point, we're hoping to optimize this.
Electronics & Software491.32Mr. MMD got a new iPhone
Home Improvement404.162 fire and carbon monoxide alarm and materials for roman shaes
529 College Fund200
Electric and Gas86.41Trending down so far
Shopping68.34Batteries, iPhone case and toothbrush head
HOA Dues68.25
Sewer60.16I started another category to divide our utilities to what it is
Household Supplies59.54Cleaning supplies and toilet paper
Internet45From Comcast
Baby Supplies29.99Some supplies for MBP and AHP
Fast Food28.41Take out from KFC because I was craving for it
Mobile Phone15.91Our very cheap plan for 2 lines in Xfnity Mobile
Toys14.97Some more toys/books for MBP
Alcohol & Bars13.59Some craft beer for Mr MMD. I'm still not drinking because I'm still nursing and it's just easier that way
Toiletries9.83Some soap
Subscription6.55Prime subscription
Grand Total2341.59

How’s your July?

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree – June 2020

It is still hard to believe that the first half of 2020 is over. It was the quickest and yet the slowest year at the same time. AHP is officially out of the newborn phase and we celebrated MBP’s 3rd birthday in the middle of the pandemic.

Spending wise, in June we spent 1,812.03

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The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree - June 2020
The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree – June 2020

Groceries – $623.89

Groceries still top our spending. There are really no other way to spend money in quarantine aside from food. In June, we (I mean my husband, mostly) cooked everything we ate. We haven’t had a chance to discover any new restaurants in the area to get some take outs. For those times that we did, pre COVID-19, we were disappointed, so it is fairly easy to just cook everything at home. We did spend quite a bit on groceries, majority of it spent at Costco and WINCO.

Household Supplies – $200.49

This category seems to be catch all for everything we needed to maintain the house. We bought a new lawnmower because the battery of our old lawnmower was no longer charging. We found some hacks to revive it but my husband doesn’t think it will last. My husband bought one that plug in to the electric outlet. He seems to like it better even with the cord. We thought about buying a gas powered mower, but getting gas is just a hassle and the thought of keeping it in our garage scares me.

Utilities – $316.05

Utilities includes water, sewer, electric and gas. My husband says that our water bill is $40 higher this month since we turned on the sprinkler on our front yard. We are trying to revive the lawn and I guess $20/month is not so bad. I didn’t recognize the trend since our water bill is lump to utilities. Electric and gas is $40 cheaper though since we are no longer using the heater.

Gifts – $125

The fundraising event for MBP’s coop was canceled for the year because of COVID-19. Majority of the funds for his coop comes from this event. We decided to donate the cost of 2 tickets to the coop.

Birthday, Anniversary and Father’s Day

We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary this month and MBP’s 3rd birthday. He was born a day after our anniversary. Mr. MMD got some flowers and we had a pretty low key celebration.

We invited my immediate family for MBP’s birthday. This includes my parents, my grandmother and my 3 siblings. I made a rainbow cupcake, some rolls and bake chicken while my parents brought some Filipino food. It was a lovely day and our bellies were full. We had so much fun seeing MBP get so excited for his birthday. A week before his birthday, he was asking what day it was and keep on telling us that “today he is 2, but on Saturday he will be 3”. It was hilarious and he was so happy blowing his birthday cake. I was a bit bummed since I thought that this is the first time that we can celebrate his birthday with his classmates, but he still had a lot of fun! He was really excited with all his gifts. Just shortly after, we visited the kids pediatrician for AHP’s 4 month check up and MBP’s 3 year check up. It’s the only adventure out for the kids. We stayed home for the rest of the month, but enjoyed the sunny weather and the trails in our neighborhood.

I made the birthday cupcakes for MBP’s 3rd birthday

We also celebrated Father’s day and just like other celebrations, it was very low key. MBP “made” a card and my husband cooked some pancake ~ the usual breakfast every Sunday.

The Best Dad Card

Here’s a recap to our spending in 2020:

We’re tracking under 40k if we assume that our expenses will just double through out the year. Holidays are always expensive though, and we still don’t know if MBP’s school will open for the year.

And here’s the breakdown of our May expenses

Groceries715.8A bit high for the month
Household Supplies200.49Our new lawnmower
529 College Fund200
Utilities166.39Water and sewer
Gifts & Donations125Donation to MBP's coop
HOA Dues68.25
Garbage62.64This is for 2 months worth of garbage and recycling
Shopping52.39Rolling pin, portable fan and other stuff that I can't remember
Alcohol & Bars19.11Some beer from Costco and from WINCO
Gas & Fuel17.71
Mobile Phone15.912 lines from Xfinity mobile
Amusement14.99Flowers for our anniversary
Clothing14.21Some clothes for the Mr.
Subscription6.55Monthly Prime Subscription
Electronics & Software0.57AWS monthly fee to host the blog
Grand Total1,812.03

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree – May 2020

In May we spent, $2,059.62

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree - May 2020

Groceries – $623.89

Food is still our biggest spending. My husband shops at Costco, WINCO and Amazon for our groceries. He goes every two weeks, or longer if we can.

Home Insurance – $537.72

We also renewed our home insurance for the year. Surprisingly, I got an e-mail from our former insurance provider about renewal of our home insurance for our old house. I thought that the bank automatically notifies them about the sale of the house. They didn’t and I received a refund for the 2019 policy. It feels good to deposit the check.


We also got some size 3 diapers for AHP from Costco. We use disposable at night so these diapers will last us until he outgrows it. We actually size up on purpose since I know that he will outgrew size 2. I’ve been covering the disposable diaper with a cloth diaper shell to make sure it’s in place since it was still big about a month ago. Our diaper expenses is low since we are using cloth diapers that I got used. MBP used it until he is potty train. The cloth diapers is now covering its third baby butt and it is still going strong and looking very cute on AHP.

Celebrations – Priceless

We celebrated Mr. MMD’s birthday. He bought an IPA from Costco, MBP “made” him a card and MBP helped me baked some small batch cupcakes. We happily sang him a Happy Birthday and MBP excitedly blew the candles. He bought a $5 game as our birthday gift for him.

The card that MBP made.

I also received some coffee filter flowers from MBP for Mother’s Day, as he sing “cause making something is one way to say I Love You” from a Daniel Tiger episode.

My coffee filter flower. Note that the vase is a shot glass

AHP turned 3 months in May and we made some banana cake that looks like a Panda, because MBP wants a “Pandy” cake. I also want to try some banana cake and a cream cheese frosting. The cakes look terrible but it’s actually delicious. I’m now a big fan of cream cheese filling. It’s a lot better than butter cream.

The “Pandy” Cake and the Adam’s 3 months cake (it’s really just excess).

MBP turned 3 this June. I thought that this is the first year that we can have a celebration with some of the kids in his preschool, but COVID happened. Instead, we had a simple celebration with my family. We got him some blocks, a sand box and a book from Amazon as our birthday presents. We got this in May since we didn’t know if it will arrive on time for his birthday. Usually, I will get at least some of these on a consignment, but the one that happens around Spring was cancelled, so we got some new toys and books.

AHP is now sleeping on his own crib (way to go!!!) and we’re enjoying some sunny weather. I can actually get some one on one time with MBP during the day and we are enjoying the trails. My fitbit said that I made 3K steps on our walk one time. I’m really surprise that his little legs can hike that far.

The park and the start of the trail about 3 houses down from us.

Here’s a recap to our spending in 2020:

And here’s the breakdown of our May expenses

Groceries623.89Trips to Costco, WINCO and orders from Amazon
Home Insurance537.72The lowest quote I got is through Nationwide Insurance
529 College Fund200This is our 529 contribution for MBP. I made a one time contribution on AHP's account last April. It will go back to $400 in 15 months.
Utilities186.21Electric, Gas and Sewer for this month
Toys105.593rd birthday gift to MBP
Pet Food & Supplies89.54We started ordering online for our fur baby's pet food. My husband can't help to add some treats and toys in that order 🙂
HOA Dues68.25We live in a Master Plan community that is unincorporated. This due help maintain the many parks and 20+ miles of trails that we enjoy.
Household Supplies68.2
Baby Supplies35.99Diaper.
Business Services35.93Renewal of the domain name through blue host.
Mobile Phone15.97We're going through one year of Xfinity Mobile and we are still paying dirt cheap for 2 lines.
Alcohol & Bars6.3Beer for Mr. MMD
Entertainment5.45Our gift to Mr. MMD
Gym1A trial for Noom App
Electronics & Software0.57Another month of cheap hosting for this blog through AWS.
Grand Total2,059.62

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree – April 2020

We incurred many one time expenses for this month and our spending is A LOT higher than usual.

In April we spent $8,666.55.

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree

529 College Plan – $3200

Our contribution to the kids 529 college plan was high for this month. I opened AHP’s 529 account with a one time contribution of $3000. Vanguard has a minimum requirement of $3000 to open an account. We did the same with MBP and now we have one with AHP.

Property Taxes – $3,043.38

This was the first half of our property taxes. The first half was due in April which was extended to July because of COVID-19. We decided to pay it now since we have the money anyway.

Lawn and Garden – $771.56

Aaahhh we live a very luxurious life and hired someone to take care of our lawn. We reseeded the front lawn last year, but it didn’t seem to work. We don’t have the time to take care of the lawn with the newborn and the toddler, so we decided to hire some one else to do it. We will see by this year if it is worth it.

Groceries – $689.8

Groceries are averaging to be about $600 – $700 per month even pre COVID 19. So, the pandemic didn’t seem to change our spending habits. Mr. MMD is currently in charge of our groceries, planning our meals and our main chef. At one point, we used to switch every 7 days but, pregnancy, giving birth, and having a newborn happen. At some point, I’m sure I’ll get back out there.


Auto insurance also kicked in this month. The insurance is for 6 months liability coverage of our Prius. We did not insure my Volkswagen because we never used it.

It’s really weird to be writing this monthly expense in the midst of pandemic. Our spending wasn’t affected at all. We passed the first quarter and our total spending for the year was at 15k. The trend was also downward, perhaps because of the lockdown. Although I’m not sure if we will spend more in normal circumstances. Just to recap, our spending for the year is below:

529 College Fund 3,200.0 As described above
Property Tax 3,043.4 Half of our 2020 property taxes
Lawn & Garden771.6Bill for our lawn and garden maintenance
Groceries689.8Food, mostly Costco and Winco
Utilities379.5This includes garbage and water for this month
Auto Insurance192.5Car insurance for our Prius for 6 months
Kids129.2Some items for the kids
HOA Dues68.3
Household Supplies67.4TP, Paper towels, sponges
Pet Food & Supplies31.4
Mobile Phone16.0Another month of Xfinity mobile for 2 lines using less than 1GB of data
Electronics & Software15.3
Alcohol & Bars7.7A beer for Mr. MMD
Subscription6.6Prime monthly subscription
Grand Total 8,666.55

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree – March 2020

We hit our lowest retirement spending this month. Our spending was very bare bones given the stay home stay safe order in Washington state. The whole chaos was hard. I was very much looking forward to being normal after being on a modified bed rest. The COVID-19 virus also brought some anxiety in our family. Our son, MBP has a weak lungs, as a result of prematurity. Just last January, we were on urgent care for a cold that needed a breathing treatment. The traumatic experience from the NICU and post partum hormones are not good combination. I am better now but I still have some overwhelming days. My body adjusted with lack of straight sleep. I still get 6+ hours of sleep at any given day, just not straight.

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree - March 2020

In March we spent $1,685.85

Food – $646.93

It makes sense that this was our highest spending for three months straight now. We didn’t eat out, but we stock up on groceries. We also ordered some food from Amazon. We were able to stay in for three weeks before my husband have to do a grocery run. We probably could have go on for 4 weeks, but we ran out of fresh veggies and fruits and some key ingredients for a meal.

Utilities – $200.91

This was for sewer, electric and gas. Gas was pretty high this month since I set our heating to 65 C at night. I thought that it will help our baby sleep through the night. It didn’t. I moved it back down to 55 C.

Kids – $114.51

I ordered 2 copies of AHP’s birth certificates, some baby wipes, MBP’s rain boots and some bubble juice. I bought MBP some rain boots since his class will start having some outdoor time rain or shine. He haven’t used it because (1) He complains that it is too heavy for him and (2) His class was cancelled for the year.

Internet – $99.9

This was for 2 months. The February bill was posted in March.

Pet Supplies – $92.93

We bought our furbaby her kibble and her monthly treats.

Gas – $17.5

We didn’t go anywhere in February.

Shopping – $16.38

Socks for the Mr. because a lot of his socks have holes.

Mobile Phone – $15.97

Another month with a very inexpensive mobile phone bill for 2 lines through Xfinity Mobile.

Subscription – $12

Monthly payment for Amazon prime and a subscription for PBS channel for a month. MBP really loves Daniel Tiger and we are getting tired of seeing both Season 1 and Season 2 over and over and over again. We tried getting MBP to watch other shows, but his answer is always no – he wants to watch Daniel Tiger.

Electronics and Software – $.57

This is my AWS bill for hosting this blog. I am almost done with the promo year and I will need to find a way to move this site somewhere else. I think there is a way to keep it in AWS.

Groceries646.933 trips to Costco, 2 at WINCO and 5 orders from Amazon
529 College Fund400
Utilities200.91Electric, gas and sewer
Kids114.512 copies of AHPs birth certificate, rainboots and bubble juice for MBP
Internet99.92 months through Xfinity
Pet Food & Supplies92.93Kibble and monthly treats
HOA Dues68.25
Gas & Fuel17.5Gas
Shopping16.38Mr MMD's socks
MobilePhone15.972 lines from Xfinity mobile.
Subscription12Amazon prime subscription and one month subscription to PBS Kids
Electronics & Software0.57AWS fee to host this blog
Grand Total1,685.85

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree – February 2020

Our second son, Adam Henry or AHP completed our little family on February 15, 2020. I made it to term at 39 weeks and 3 days. AHP was born at 7 lbs 12 ounces and 20.5 inches long

As of this writing, we already survived one month with 2 kids, and a month of sleep deprivation. The chaos surrounding us with COVID-19 virus didn’t help, and it doesn’t seem to have an end.

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree - February 2020

In February, we spent $2,192.44

Food – $599.34

Food is our highest expense for 2 months in a row. We ordered some takeouts while I was in the hospital. It includes a take out from Burger King, right after I gave birth and a take out from an Asian Restaurant for dinner during the night that I spent in the hospital. Aside from those, our meals were cooked at home. We spent $566.86 in groceries. $301.33 were spent in Costco and $223.93 were spent in WINCO. The rest were scattered between Fred Myer and Walmart.

Utilities – $366.04

We paid for garbage and water this month. Both were paid bimonthly.

Doctor – $193.05

We chose to circumcise AHP. The procedure was elective and not covered by insurance. I was surprised of the cost. My quote from my OB office was about $400. I found out that AHP’s pediatrician does it and we chose her to perform the procedure instead of my OB office. Our pediatrician is local and we will be able to save the drive. I didn’t even asked for a quote. I was prepared to pay upwards of $400, but was happily surprised when the receptionist told us the price. My husband and I looked at each other because it cost half of the quote I received from my OB’s office. It was also half of the cost the the insurance paid for MBP’s circumcision.

Baby Supplies – $184.9

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree - February 2020
If only I can put him down.

We bought some newborn diapers, size 1 diapers, diaper cream and a formula for AHP. I supplemented with formula because my milk didn’t came in until day 4. We bought diapers since the size of our cloth diaper will not fit AHP until he is about 10 lbs. Our plan is to get through the size 1 diapers and the switch him to cloth diapers. The baby supplies also included some bottle nipples and saline solution for MBP. Shortly later, we were able to convince MBP to give up his bottle and drink his milk straight from the cup. Win win win here. He is also doing well on potty training and is only on diaper at naps and bed time.

Furnishings – $99.4

We bought this at Amazon for the guest room / my husband’s office. We thought about a murphy bed for the guest room / office, but it didn’t make sense. Murphy beds will cost more than our current bed and will be used 10+ days in a year when my in-laws are here. We got this bed so we can fold it and keep it in the closet along with the mattress whenever we don’t have visitors.

Shopping – $71.19

Mr. MMD bought some crocs, socks and dry erase markers.

The rest were some routine monthly expenses like HOA, Gas, Cellphone and Prime Subscription. Gas expenses was down this month since we didn’t go anywhere. We also received a discounted membership for Prime since we are eligible for Apple Healthcare. Cellphone bill is cheap at $16.12 for two lines from Xfinity Mobile.

Overall, expenses remain low. I will never forget the month of February with the birth of AHP, the artificial highs in the stock market just to see it plummet in a couple of weeks.

And here’s our expenses for February 2020. I hope you are all doing well. Take care, wash your hands and practice social distancing.

529 College Fund400
Utilities366.04Electric, Gas, Sewer, Water and Garbage
Baby Supplies184.9
HOA Dues68.25
Preschool Tuition60Registration fee for MBP's school next year
Gas & Fuel48.48
Pet Food & Supplies36.78For our very spoile baby fur
Personal Care23.19Some lotion
Household Supplies18.53
Mobile Phone16.12This is dirt cheap through Xfinity mobile
Electronics & Software0.57
Grand Total2,192.44