Spent a little more on groceries and a lot more on restaurants than last month, probably a consequence of going out for pizza with friends and my sister-in-law being in town. Three big lump, non-recurring expenses this month: $1,235 for my first (annual) life insurance premium, $400 for registration for a neuromodulation conference in January (hopefully reimbursable in the near future), and $1,050 for flights to and from the midwest for Christmas. We don’t live near a big airport, and we always end up getting burned on connecting flights.
Beyond that, I added a few new categories this month so that ‘Miscellaneous’ doesn’t continue to balloon into absurdity like last month.
Health Care + Pharmacy
Fairly self-explanatory. We have some recurring prescriptions, and health care costs always have the potential to be a large part of the budget even if they (thankfully) aren’t right now. Makes sense to have their own category.
Education + Work Expenses
I’m hopefully past many of the big-ticket items that would have gone in this category (textbooks, licensure, boards registration), but I’ll use it for things like conferences and courses. Much of the stuff in this category should ultimately be reimbursable (via CME funds and the like) but I will often have to float it on my own dime for a few months.
Another down month, at least in part due to the spending above, but also because the markets have been a little less than happy. I’ve considered not even looking at net worth more often than quarterly, to avoid perseverating on short-term trends, but I’m going to keep this as a monthly feature for now. My emergency fund has dwindled a little, mostly because I diverted some of those funds to our Roth IRAs and the 529, but I don’t plan on letting it get below $5,000 (except of course for a real emergency).