Chronicles Of A Father With Cents

Simple Life. Personal Finance. Family

The Expense Chronicles, August 2017: Ikea and Diapers

Expense Chronicles

Welcome to my second edition of the Expense Chronicles.If you haven’t seen my first edition from July, check it out here.

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 saved on our groceries this month

With that said, here is how our expenses went in August.

Rent  $  1,000.00
Electricity  $        25.20
Internet  $        50.00
Car Insurance  $        78.26
Gas  $        39.49
Groceries  $     252.89
Restaurants/Fast Food  $        13.14
Retail Shopping  $     260.50
Mobile Phone  $        80.75
Grand Total  $  1,800.23

Breakdown of each category:

Rent – $1000

Electricity – $25.20

Internet – $50.00

Mobile Phone – 80.75

I lumped these four into one since it’s about the same amount as last month.  If you want to read my breakdown of each of these categories, check it out on my July Expense Chronicles

Car Insurance – 78.26

This is less than usual for our monthly car insurance charge from MetroMile.  For those that are not familiar with them, MetroMile is a pay-per-mile car insurance company. They track the miles by using a tracking device that you plug into your car.  This device was the reason for the low monthly rate in August.

I got an email from MetroMile early in the month saying that the tracking device malfunctioned and couldn’t track the miles we drove for almost a two week period.  For this reason, they waived the miles we drove until they mailed us a new device.  After reading this, I contacted Mother with Cents to see if we wanted to go anywhere to take advantage of the complementary miles.  You will see later in post where we went. =)


Tracking Device from MetroMile

Gas – $39.49

This is our normal monthly charge for gas.  The last couple months were out of the ordinary where we only paid around $20 in June but close to $60 in July.

Groceries – $252.89

We got a small break from using MwC’s gift card she got from doing a survey with Google. We used close to $70 in groceries from that gift card.  So we really used $322 in groceries in August. Thanks Google for picking my wife to do a survey and providing us with a gift card!!

We bought our usual grocery items from Costco and Trader Joe’s!! Milk mainly for Baby with Cents, bread, berries, carrots, snacks, ready-made salad and lunch meat.

Retail Shopping – $260.50

Our zero spending in this category ended only after a month and did we ever go above zero.  First purchase was a pair of boots MwC got from Kohl’s close to $13 after using their promotional coupons we get from them through email.  To prevent us from paying shipping charges we opt to pick it up from one of their stores.  Unfortunately the Kohl’s closest to us did not have it on stock but another Kohl’s store did which is about 30 miles from us.  To take advantage of the free miles MetroMile gave us for having a malfunctioned tracking device, we went on a shopping spree and drove from SF to the Peninsula in Redwood City to pick up the shoes.

Right after Kohl’s we also went to Walmart since it’s about five miles from Kohl’s and bought a toy police car for BwC for a $1, mega blocks 80 piece set for $15 and  I got a 24.5 oz bottle of men’s face and body moisturizer lotion from Walmart’s store brand, Equate, for $3.50.  It’s much cheaper than and as effective as the premium brands.

20170901_154708 (1)

Table for Baby With Cents. Tennis balls not included!!

Lastly after Walmart, we ended our shopping spree at IKEA.  We went through the IKEA maze of room and kitchen models.  It’s fun to see how IKEA design them but at the same time it’s tiring after going through numerous rooms, kitchens and bathrooms.  We were here to buy a table set for Baby with Cents but going through the maze can tempt you to buy other things that you didn’t plan on getting.  That’s what exactly happened to us, we added an abacus, a roll of drawing paper and a baby set of cereal bowls and utensils.  It all added to approximately $65.

Later on in August, we restocked in diapers.  After BwC’s birthday, we switched from cloth diapers to disposables and bought about a five months supply of them.  With the five months coming up, we had restocked for another five month supply.  We ordered the Pampers brand on Target’s website and picked it up from the store a few days later.  As a small reward, target gave us $30 worth in gift cards for ordering that many boxes of diapers.  The total cost for the diapers ended to about $180.


Boxes of Diapers from Target.

Restaurant/Fast Food – $13.14

Another zero category that ended after one month.  After shopping at IKEA, we went to their food court and bought two dishes of meatballs at $6 each. The meatballs were pretty good and it comes with veggies and mashed potatoes.  Pretty filling after walking through the IKEA maze.

What did you think of our expenses? How were your expenses this August?  Feel free to comment below!!


  1. IKEA is deadly, you can escape unscathed! No wonder Ingvar Kamprad is a billionaire. They lure you in with their cheap breakfast too. I do like going through the maze though to see their designs and ideas, but when I am rushed for time I try my best to head in and out.

    • Hahaha, I think that was Kamprad’s idea behind the IKEA maze. They lure customers with their nice setup and that they should buy something whether it’s a plate set or a bed frame. Walking that long maze persuades you to get something from IKEA.
      Cheap breakfast?!? I definitely need a trip back to IKEA soon!!

      • I used to think that I would ‘outgrow’ Ikea stuff (and buy more ‘durable’ and more expensive stuff) now that I”m in my 30’s, but nope, still love it!

        My friend is Swedish and she said on the weekends, the thing to do is to just go for breakfast at Ikea and hang out there on Sundays lol.

        • I had the same feeling with Ikea too. When I was in my 20s, most of my furniture came from Ikea but had an assumption I would move on to other furniture stores that was more suited from older adults. But here I am still going to Ikea and planning to buy a bed frame from them once we buy a home.
          Hahaha, your friend has it all planned out for breakfast at Ikea’s!!

  2. Great expense report, I love all the detail for context!

  3. wow your electric bill is low! man and here I am complaining the my August bill is almost $200. grrrrr! couldn’t help it tho, we live in a really hot area where it’s not very windy. A/C is complete must or else we are all sweating and grouchy lol.

    Thanks for sharing your breakdown! It’s so interesting to see these types of reports from people that live in different places.

  4. This is so crazy! Less than $14 on eating out?!?! Talk about lean! My goodness I miss Ikea food. We’re 42 miles away from the nearest IKEA! How depressing!!! 😉

    • Yeah luckily I get food at work so I don’t have to go out to eat and both of our parents makes us take their food which also prevent us from going out as much.
      Yeah I kinda wish IKEA had a store closer to us so we don’t need to make a trip out there. I could try out more of their food if they had one closer.

  5. I keep filling out forms and hope they pick me for the Google Surveys but I’ve never ended up getting invited 🙁 MWC is so lucky! How do you like MetroMile? Have you had any accidents that require filing a claim with them? I’ve heard they aren’t the best at getting to things promptly, but if you’re accident free it sounds like such a steal! I’m doing some scoping for my potential car purchase next year! Your rent is so low, it’s amazing!

    • We like MetroMile so far, had them for about a year now and had no issues with them. No accidents yet (fingers crossed) so hopefully we won’t go through their claims dept. If you end up buying a car and you or your bf don’t drive a lot, MetroMile is the way to go.
      I was selected to do a Google survey recently but they decided to cancel it the last minute for some reason. Hopefully either or both of us gets selected to do one.

  6. Dear Kris,

    Incredible numbers, even with your Retail Shopping splurge (which except maybe for the Ikea visit, darn Ikea, I love thee), you saved money by spending it (in my opinion).

    I’m not sure what your saving/spending goals are but with numbers like that, you’ll surely meet them.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Besos Sarah.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


%d bloggers like this: