Chronicles Of A Father With Cents

Simple Life. Personal Finance. Family

Expense Chronicles – July 2017

Chronicles of a Father with Cents (1)

Welcome to my first edition of the Expense Chronicles.  This is a monthly check up of my expenses and it is broken up into categories.  Few things to note:

  • We are a one car family so our gas and car insurance charges are all for our Toyota Prius C
  • I do have complimentary breakfast and lunch at my work. If the food is really good that day I usually take a box to go for dinner.  But on some occasions I bring my own lunch if I don’t feel like eating the food from work
  • We mainly use credit cards for our purchases and pay it in full each month.
  • Mother with Cents received a $100 gift card by doing a Google survey. Fortunately there is a Google building in downtown SF where MWC was able to take the survey.  And put the card to action, which reflects the $0 spend on going out to eat

OK, here is what we spend in July. Check it out

Expense Chronicles – July 2017 Edition
Category Amount  
Rent  $  1,000
Electricity  $  25.81  
Internet  $  50.00  
Car Insurance  $  85.64  
Gas  $  61.96  
Groceries  $  276.79  
Restaurants/Fast Food  $      0  
Retail Shopping  $      0  
Mobile Phone  $  85.00  
Blog Payment  $  61.88  
Baby with Cents’ Hospital Fees  $  45.00  
Parking  $    2.00  
Clipper Card (Public Transit)  $  30.00  
Total Expenditures  $1,724.08  

Here is a breakdown of each category:

Rent – $1000

We lucked out getting a 1 bedroom apartment at this price five years ago right Mother with Cents and I got married.  San Francisco is an expensive area to live and we very fortunate that we got a landlord that just wanted the apartment to be occupied and at that price too. He told us that as long as we get the rent payments on time, their are no complaints and keep the place nice he would not raise the rent.  For the past five years we have done exactly that and the apartment has no structure issues.  With our rent being low, we have taken advantage of it by saving up to buy a house during that whole time.  We now have enough to make a good down payment amount and are currently looking for one outside of SF.

Electricity – $25.81

This is pretty much a standard amount for us.  We do not have a microwave and use either our toaster oven or gas stove to heat food up.

Internet – $50

We definitely need internet and no cable.  We used to get a monthly rate of $30 a month from Comcast up until a few months ago when the promotional plan expired.  I could not get Comcast to keep it @ $30 so we will just deal with the $50 rate for now

Car Insurance – $85.64

Since we do not own a home yet, car insurance is our only monthly insurance payment.  We go through MetroMile which charges by the mile.  They give us a base rate of $43 then charge about $0.06 a mile.  This is perfect for us since we do not drive an enormous amount of miles, usually 10 to 15 miles a day but we did drive to the east bay to my cousin’s place for a birthday party so that gave us a bit of an increase.  We usually get a monthly charge in the low $80s

Gas – $61.96

We usually go to the pump about twice a month but we only went once in June and we ended up paying just over $20.  This month balanced out by going to the gas station three times and it costs about $20 each time so this is pretty much standard.  We go to Costco for our gas so it saves us compared to the other stations like Chevron and Shell.  Also driving a Prius helps out too with MPG(miles per gallon) just over 40.

Groceries – $276.79

We usually go to Costco and Trader Joe’s for our groceries and we are satisfied with the prices with both stores.  At Costco, we got milk and berries for Baby with Cents while the two of us got mainly groceries on sale.  I have the Costco app and always look forward to what they have on sale for the month.  Typically a few days before the monthly sale starts, Costco releases the sale items on their app and I got through it to see what we could get.  Last month our main purchases were wontons and Honey Bunches of Oats cereal and we grab lots of quantities for each one since they were the sale items for July.


Bought huge quantities of these two at Costco

We also stocked up on baby wipes for BWC since it was on sale too.  Other items we bought in Costco were a tub of organic yogurt, two loaves of bread and a variety pack of lunch meat for sandwiches.

For TJ’s, I bought greens for salad and sandwiches, a dozen eggs, carrots for BWC’s puree that he has for breakfast and chips to snack at home.  I get the cheese puffs and they are really addicting.  I lost count on how many bags I bought for them but I will try to cut down on to 2 bags in August. =/

Restaurants/Fast Food and Retail Shopping – $0 combined

We don’t go out to eat a lot so not spending anything on going out to eat is extra plus for us.  We did go to In and Out Burger last weekend and used MWC’s gift card to grab the burgers.  The only bad news, we got end pieces for our fries. Oh well, we can’t have all the glory.


In and Out Fries end pieces =(

We had the same type of spending on retail shopping.  BWC received plenty of clothes from baby showers, hand me downs and his birthday so we don’t really need to shop for him for a while.  He has an okay amount of books and toys but we buy more to add to his collection within the next month or two.

As for the two of us, we have a good amount of clothes to wear for work and going out and about so we do not really spend a lot in this category and $0 spending showed in July.   However, in the beginning of August MWC bought some boots from Kohl’s so we won’t be seeing a $0 amount for the August report.

Mobile Phone – $85

I have a no contract plan with Boost mobile and pay $30 a month for unlimited talk, text, data if using wifi. For 4G LTE data, they limit me up to 2GB and the most I’ve used was close to 1 GB.  I mainly use the wifi at home and the free one at work so the only time I’m on network data is when were out.  We also pay for both my mother and father in-laws’ phone plan which is the same as mine as a courtesy for taking care of BWC during the work week.  Boost gives me a $5 discount for going on their auto-reboost plan(monthly auto-pay) and that rounds out to $85.  MWC uses her work mobile phone that has an unlimited plan across the board so luckily we do not need an expense for her phone.

Blog Payment – $61.88

My first and only payment for this blog until next year (unless I want to upgrade my plan).

Baby with Cents Hospital Fees – $45

We got a bill for BWC’s prescription from May that totaled $25.  We also took BWC to the hospital for physical therapy for a $20 fee.  He’s 16 months old and has not started to walk yet.  Both of us(well mainly MWC) was very concerned of his lack of progress which is why we took him to see a PT and he gave us tips to motivate him to walk and techniques to make him confident to use his legs independently.

Parking $2

Amount we paid for the parking garage adjacent to BWC’s hospital for his appointment.  Unfortunately there wasn’t any free street parking in the area.


Clipper Card for Bay Area Public Transit

Clipper Card (Public Transit) $30

I usually drive to work since I have a parking space but there were a couple days in July I had to take the streetcar to work because MWC had to use it during the day.  The funds on my clipper card were getting low so I had to add more value to it when I scanned my card on the street car.  I setup the card to add $30 when the funds are low.


So there you have it, my first expense chronicle is in the books.  What do you think?


  1. These monthly expenses look pretty good, especially your rent of $1000 when you live in SF! We currently have cable, but once our contract is up we’re thinking about canceling it (again).

    • Yeah Kim we were fortunate to rent at that rate because SF and most of the Bay Area is a really expensive place to live. I believe the median price to rent in SF is close to 3K a month so were just grateful that we are way below that.
      Unless you and Omar watch numerous cable channels, both of you should really consider cutting cable. It saves so much money and plus their are cheaper options out there if you want your TV fix. Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and Hulu are just some options you can go. And if you watch a specific channel like HBO, they have HBO go @ $15 a month.

  2. Wow those are some incredible #s for living in SF!

    I didn’t realize Costco offered an app with their monthly coupons. I’m definitely going to check that out.

    • It was a combination of luck and smart spending that gets us pretty good numbers for living the SF. Getting complimentary lunch at work helps cut the grocery spending down and also both of our parents also live in SF helps since we could stop by so they can play with Baby with Cents and they can feed us.
      Yeah Costco’s app shows the stuff that’s going on sale before it starts so you could plan on what to get.

  3. Wow, I have never heard of a company providing breakfast AND lunch for employees!! I’m so jealous of those grocery bills!

    • Thanks for stopping by. The food at work is cafeteria style so its not the healthiest but beggars cannot be choosers.
      My wife thinks the grocery bill is too high and should budget to $200 or less…lol!! I told her that were lucky to spend that much in a month because the average for a family of three is $500 or a bit over. On top of the lunch I get at work, both of our parents live in SF too so we can come over and grub on food over there. That really helped cut down our grocery bill too.

  4. I always forget how nice utility bills are when they’re done every months instead of every two months like Seattle does it.

    Great score on the apartment and price! My parents paid $1200 for a 3 bedroom at the edge of outer sunset 6-7 years ago and that’s a pretty sweet deal you won’t find these days.

    Where are you guys looking to buy?

    • That’s a good deal your parents got especially in the Sunset where its really high. Just saw a open house for a standard row house(2 BR, 1 BA 1100 sq ft) in Sunset listed at 850K and that’s considered the average price over there.
      We are looking at the Peninsula from Daly City to San Mateo so hopefully we find one that we like in that area.

  5. Your total expenses for the month were $1700? I’m speechless…!

    I cannot imagine not spending anything on eating out and only $277 on groceries for the entire month WITH a baby! If I could limit my expenses to $1700 a month, I wouldn’t even have to work anymore. Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks for commenting Darren. We’re lucky to spend that low on groceries. From having free food at work to eating at both of our parents’ house it really helps keep the grocery bill down.
      Unfortunately that grocery bill and shopping cost will go up this month since we bought diapers for Baby with Cents and also went to ikea to buy some baby furniture.

  6. I’m very impressed by your expenses!! Your grocery bill! So impressive. Your rent is such a steal of a deal, you can’t even get a bachelor apartment (studio) with that amount here in Vancouver. Actually some of the cruddy “SRO’s” (single room occupancy) rooms in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver are $500 a month and you have to share a bathroom lol.

    • We were fortunate in getting the rent that low compared to other places in SF and the rest of the Bay Area.
      I heard Vancouver is one of the most expensive if not the most expensive city to live in Canada. I guess one of the contributing factors for that is a lot of actors/actresses come to film their movies in Vancouver. That’s kind of like here in the Bay Area with the tech industry booming and lots of workers from various parts of the country and the world coming here to work.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Gen Y Money!!

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