Our San Francisco Vacation and other July Expenditures

July is long gone by now. School for my son has started and I am here playing catch up.

My monthly expenses were previously reserved for email subscribers but with our up and coming 4 month mini retirement I wanted to share it here.


Since I am going to share how much this adventure costs us,  you will need some baseline data to compare it against? Therefore, I will be including the July, August and September expenses here on the blog.

Now on to July stories and expenses.

San Francisco Vistas

We have lived in California since 2011.  In the past 6 years, we have spent all our vacations traveling out of state, not visiting the local attractions. Last year we decided to take our epic California road trip.  It was amazing but San Francisco didn’t make the cut. I made a list of places that we still wanted to take the kids. We did the Getty last month. This month we took a long weekend in San Francisco and I am hoping at some point we make it to Joshua Tree Park before we leave California.

Minnie and Jr eating lunch and enjoying the view before we attempt to cross the entire bridge.


During this trip we had a rare total family vacation. The 4 of us were joined by Jr’s dad. My mom, my sister and her SO. It was a big group and while we were there we visited my uncle and his family and also Jr’s uncle. It was lots of family time.

Our vacation was just 3 nights but we were able to work out some couch surfing and stayed with some family for one night.  It saved us money but mostly it was nice because we actually got to talk more because we were all right there. It was a fun experience, all of us crashing on the floor with just a few blankets and pillows.

This was the best picture, we made it half way on the bridge. Even on a hot day we were freezing on the bridge! Note: pack some gloves, a beanie and blankets.

As for the other costs. Lots them fell under our normal categories: food, eating out, gas and extras. But since that is a bit hidden I wanted to pull out the numbers, so here is what we spent on the trip.

  • Hotels $209.16
  • Activities $90.75
  • Going out to eat $86.1
  • Gas $120

We also bought some food at the grocery store but since our grocery food budget came in at the usual number I didn’t even separate it out.  Total we spent about $506.01 for 3 days and 3 nights in San Francisco. A bit pricey by our standards, but we had fun.

After jumping off the trolley! Bye Bye trolley!

During our trip. We rode the iconic trolley, walked the Golden Gate bridge, ate at Fisherman’s wharf, played games at the musée mécanique, saw chocolate being turned in Ghirardelli square and enjoyed some relaxing time at the very top of a building with this gorgeous skyline. There is still so much more to see in San Francisco but I think the kids have gotten a nice introduction.

I probably could have written a whole post on the trip.

A beautiful view of the San Francisco skyline.

Less glamorous, the eye exams

As part of our trip preparation we are trying to make good use of our insurance. So we went in to have our yearly eye check up.  While the co-pays weren’t so bad we did need some new items. My glasses were still good but after 4 years my year supply of contacts finally ran out.  I don’t normally wear contacts, but dance class and rock climbing are easier with them, so I used them a lot more.  New glasses for Mr. Roamer and a year supply of contacts for both of us with co-pays for 4 eye exams came to $573.

After paying we realized, we should have opened up another credit card. We just had some big expenses that we could have earned some sign up bonuses. Sigh.

How we track our $pending

Mr. Roamer and I use credit cards for our spending because it makes it easy to track every dollar that flows out the door. Cash spending is a rare occurrence but even then we still have a bank withdrawal to track it with.

We’ve been tracking our spending for a long time and my preferred method is a good old excel spreadsheet. On excel we combine all spending from all our accounts. It takes just 45 mins once a month. I then analyze and share it here with you all.

Rent  $1854
Car Insurance  $140.84
Phone Bill $62.3
Food $347.24
Gas $190.08
Utilities $111.61
Internet $49.99
Extras $168.56
Medical/Dental $573
Jr  & Minnie money $207
Mr’s Allowance $193.16
Mrs’ Allowance $109
Automotive $0
Travel $209.16
Eating out $203.38

Total $ 4419.32
Total (-rent) $2565.32

It’s kind of amazing to me to see that we spent extra money on a vacation and had medical expenses but overall our monthly spending stayed consistent. Our spending just dropped in other places naturally to balance itself out.

POOOF. Mind blown!!!

To toot my own horn a bit, I am happy to know that we have been doing this long enough to have our spending stay in a relative state of equilibrium. It really does blow my mind that it’s a natural occurrence. That is what I want for all of you. Which is why I track my spending and think you should do the same.

Just for FUN!

I’m including a simple math projection of our spending.

So while our monthly spending isn’t a flat consistent line I think it would be fun to see what out yearly spend for our family of 4 would be if it was.

If our monthly spend stayed consistently at $4,419.32 our yearly spend would be $53,031.84. Which puts us a couple thousand dollars lower then the average family of 4 income for 2015. I wonder what next months will be? I am hoping its lower then that! Our goal after all is only $3,000 a month. I will say I think after moving to Michigan our costs will drop drastically.

Here is what the rest of the year looked like.

  • June was $4352.08/ month, therefore $52,224.96/year
  • May was $4,563.82/ month , therefore $54,765.84/year
  • April was  $4,328.26/ month , therefore $51,939.12/ year
  • March was $3,985.26/ month, therefore $47,823.12/ year
  • February was $3,683.29/month, therefore $ 44,199.48/yr
  • January was $3,544.77/ month, therefore $42,537.24/yr

It’s amazing to see the fluctuations.

Still want more juicy details of where our money goes? Check out how much we spent on the Yearly Spend Revealed post. Or you can even see how much we spent on our wedding.

Also don’t forget, if you think I need to split these categories down. Let me know. Or if you have anything else to say leave me a comment below,  I’ll read and reply to everyone.


The Roamer traveling wallet

Want to see where money went on previous months. Join my email list and I can send you our previous spending reports. Let me know which ones you want.

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