August 2022 Spending Report: Two States, Two Birthday Parties

Hello, financial freedom lovers. We hope your August wasn’t too hot. In Florida, the humidity was higher than it was last year. Fortunately, we were able to escape some of it by traveling to New England for a cooler outdoor experience.

August flew by while we were in Rhode Island visiting friends and family and celebrating a birthday with two parties.

It was wonderful to spend time in Rhode Island and reconnect with a childhood friend, Alberto, whom I hadn’t seen in two years. We’ve known each other since middle school, for 35 years!

We also discovered a small town in Rhode Island that was unfamiliar to us. I lived in Rhode Island for 14 years and had never visited this town. Wickford Village is a charming historic small town with excellent seafood restaurants.

August 2022 spending
Historic Wickford Village in North Kingstown, Rhode Island

Despite the warmer summer weather, we always love returning home. We returned home for a few weeks in mid-August, and I’m now writing this post from the Dominican Republic. I’m traveling with our daughter for a few weeks here so we can spend time with Grandpa.

Except for continuing to replace old electronics, our spending in August was relatively normal. So, let’s see how we spent our dollars in August.

August category spending

August 2022 spending
August 2022 spending

Food and dining

Evidently, we continue to spend the most on food and dining on a monthly basis. We spent $1,118 on food and dining in August, with $782 on groceries. Since we were leaving at the end of the month, we tried to empty the fridge as much as possible and spent less than average on groceries. Food and dining accounted for 30% of our monthly spending.

I didn’t lie when I said we had two birthday parties for our daughter. Here are two chocolate cakes to prove it.

The first cake was for a last-minute celebration in Rhode Island at a playground attended by about 26 family members and close friends. My sister assisted me in decorating this one, and the rest was done by me. My chocolate cake was a hit at last year’s birthday party, so it was brought back by popular demand. This one has a blueberry topping.

August 2022 spending

I baked and decorated the chocolate cake below for her Florida birthday party with her little friends. The outside is pink, the inside is chocolate, and the filling is blueberry. Okay, so our daughter assisted in the creation of the kisses, or nipple-looking things as my wife refers to them. Hahaha.

She requested a pink cake with Peppa Pig on it, and she got her wish.

August 2022 spending
Pink birthday chocolate cake colored with beet root powder


There’s no significant spending here besides the mortgage interest payment of $300. In the home category, we spent a total of $530.

We spent no money on the garden this month particularly, and we’re reaping the benefits of our labor. It’s great that we’ve been eating fruit from the garden since March. It started with mulberries, then blackberries, passion fruit, and now we’re nearing the end of the cherry season. We’ll soon see figs, passion fruit again, and our first papayas!

August 2022 spending
Barbados cherries from our backyard, as well as experimenting with the camera on our new smartphone!


Remember how I said we were constantly replacing old electronics? My smartphone was due for replacement this month. I was thankful for my Samsung Galaxy S8’s service of nearly five years. It’s still running, but the battery isn’t holding much charge and it’s no longer charging efficiently. I decided it was time to replace it.

I chose the Google Pixel 6A. It’s a good phone, and I like the Android platform, which is home to the apps I use the most, so switching was a no-brainer. There wasn’t much of a learning curve because I mostly use Google apps for spreadsheets, writing, and a variety of other tasks. I paid $384 for a refurbished one in excellent condition.

I also like how most new technological devices use the USB-C connector. Since Apple started using this technology, we can now charge our phones using our MacBook Pro charger. It was so convenient to only bring one charger for both of the devices on this trip. $507 was spent on shopping.

Bills and utilities

Last month’s spending in this category was unusually high because we renewed my wife’s Mint Mobile annual contract for $203.

The plan costs $15 per month plus tax. This includes 4 GB of data as well as unlimited voice and text messaging. The service works well in our area and her plan renewed for a third year.

If you want to save money on your cell phone bill, you can use my referral code to get $15 off! If you sign up, I’ll get a referral bonus at no extra cost to you.

Total spent on bills and utilities was $480.


We spent more on travel this month than last month as we were in Rhode Island. Travel expenses totaled $383. Tatiana took our daughter to the Roger Williams Park Zoo, which apparently had animals. LOL

August 2022 spending
A red panda at the Roger Williams Park Zoo

Health and fitness

For our trip to the Dominican Republic, I purchased travel medical insurance for our daughter and me for $53 for 14 days of coverage. It’s a small price to pay to know that if we need to go to a hospital in another country, we’ll be covered. It’s funny how I never used to buy travel medical insurance before, but now with a small one that could fall and get hurt easily, we wouldn’t travel abroad without it.

The total amount spent was $348.

Gifts and donations

As part of our monthly recurring donation, we donated $50 to ICAN. The rest went to gifts for birthdays. Total spent $158.

Auto and transport

On the car front, the 2007 Camry is still running strong as it approaches 200,000 miles. We spent $134 on gas, and that was it! 🙂

To save money on gas, we took advantage of a store promotion and purchased a Wawa gift card from Publix. It works like this: for every $50 spent on non-alcoholic items, you can purchase a $50 Wawa gift card for $40. This is a great promotion that we always try to take advantage of when it’s available. As we were busy with the birthday party preparation, we didn’t get a chance to go buy more cards.

Other expenses

The remaining funds were spent on entertainment and stamps, totaling $37.

In addition to all the fun activities, I also did a father-daughter activity at a nearby Lowe’s, assembling a car.

August 2022 spending
Our daughter building a car at a Lowe’s activity.

Total August spending

The total amount spent in August was $3,695. Despite our routines, no two months or even quarters in our household look the same in terms of spending. The lack of a job allows us to travel whenever we want and for as long as we want. This alters our spending habits.

Food & Dining$1,118
Bills & Utilities$480
Health & Fitness$348
Gifts & Donations$158
Auto & Transport$134

Our goal is to spend less than $4,425 per month, so we came in under budget for the month. Last month’s spending post explained how we arrived at this number. We’re averaging $4,150 per month year-to-date.

Final thoughts

This month’s spending report was easier to publish than last month’s. I’m finally finding my stride. Hahaha.

Back in 2017, we published this post in which we calculated our projected spending for 2021. We estimated our annual expenses to be around $38k, excluding health care and gifts and donations. Of course, that is what we intend to get from our portfolio, not our total spending.

We’re on track to withdraw $41,100 this year, and that’s, more or less, in line with our projections. Things are going well after three years of complete financial freedom. Now I have to get back to our daughter since I’m the full-time parent for another nine days!

Until next time, financial freedom lovers.

How was your spending for the month?


After dedicating 13 years of his career to Vanguard, José retired from the corporate world at the young age of 44. During his tenure at Vanguard, he expertly coordinated the production of both electronic and print educational materials for 401(k) participants. Now, he relishes in his early retirement, cherishing time spent with his family, indulging in his favorite hobbies, seeking out new experiences, and savoring meals in the comfort of his own backyard.

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1 year ago

You are an inspiration! Living the dream of financial freedom while being available for your daughter and wife.

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