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These spending diaries are a way for me to be more cognizant of my spending. They’re also a peek into my daily life for those who care.
For those who are new, my style of “spending” is a little convoluted. I have two checking accounts. I keep the majority of my money in the secondary account, transferring $280 a week into the main account.
I charge everything to the card to maximize rewards. So I transfer money out of the main account into the secondary one as charges accrue. Then I make a weekly payment on my credit card.
A tad confusing, perhaps, but it works for me. Anyway, here’s how spending went this week:
I got up at a later hour, about 8:30, and then went to a couple of sessions at FinCon. I ran into various people I knew off and on throughout the day, and in between I’d go up to the room to rest.
I had a couple of protein bars in the morning and at noon, then at 3:30 I came up to the room and made a sandwich. We weren’t able to get a fridge (there was a wait list at the hotel) so we had jury-rigged one with the ice bucket, laying a towel over top to keep the cold in.
After that I went to help the Plutus folks stuff some bags, then came back to chill out for a while in the room. Later I had cheese and crackers for dinner.
At 7:30 there was a reception by Ally Bank (love those guys) before a screening of Playing with FIRE. The film definitely had its problems, but maybe I’m just being pissy. At any rate, it was worth sitting through for a few free drinks (the Ally Bank reception beforehand). That said, Mom and I ducked out after the film was over, before the panel began.
Alas I wasn’t able to schedule anything to do that night, so I went to bed at the reasonable hour of 10:30 pm. Ho hum.
Total spent: $0
I got up at a luxurious 9:30 a.m. — I was already pretty beat from the day before — and went to some sessions. Midway through the day I paid a heinous $3.95 for a bottle of water in the hotel store. (This came out of my walking around money.) Mere minutes after opening the bottle, I found out that there was a Rite Aid about two blocks away. Sigh.
At the end of one session, I ran into Brynne from Femme Frugality and Zina Kumok, a freelance writer. We all chatted for a bit then Melanie Lockert (Dear Debt) showed up with her hotel roommate. They were going to a happy hour I hadn’t heard about but was on the schedule. When I tried to RSVP it turned out to be sold out.
Still, I figured nothing ventured, nothing gained. So I tagged along with Melanie and her roomie (who also hadn’t RSVPed). Turns out it was a rooftop affair with a very strict capacity limit. We were turned away.
Brynne showed up and it turns out she hadn’t RSVPed either though she thought she had. So she and I admired the view (from the part of the bar accessible to everyone) then took a Lyft back to the hotel.
We had dinner and drinks at the hotel, which I charged to my business card since I was traveling on business. Hopefully, the accountant confirms that it’s at least 50% deductible because the bill (remember we were in the hotel restaurant and bar) was $54 after tip. And I only had a sandwich and two drinks!
We parted after dinner to get ready for the Plutus Awards. (I have to say that Bitches Get Riches was robbed in multiple categories.) Anyway, at the post-awards reception I met up with Jana front Jana Says. It turns out that Brynne her roommate for the conference, so she was also in attendance.
I got two drink tickets because someone didn’t want theirs, and I tipped $1 for each drink (a surprising number of people didn’t, tsk tsk). That came out of my walking around money.
Jana had declared she wanted to go to a bar. Which I couldn’t blame her for. The drinks — which were well drinks, mind you — were $13 at the reception. So we all agreed to go to a bar nearby.
Unfortunately, the two gals disappeared when I went to use the drink ticket I had left. I went to the agreed-upon bar, but they weren’t there either. I texted Jana twice and messaged both her and Brynne on Twitter, but I got no response.
After some tequila shots — without even the benefit of a lemon, blech, but I did it anyway — Kitty decided she wanted fried chicken. We discovered Popeyes was open until midnight (it was 10:45 p.m.) so we trudged the 0.6 miles to the store. Only to find it closed. As we were all thoroughly drunk, we railed against the Internet for failing us so utterly.
There was a Safeway across the street, so Piggy went and got some cold fried chicken. But we all agreed it wasn’t satisfying after having set our sights on Popeye’s. Disheartened, we went back to the hotel.
By then Brynne had finally answered my tweet and said they were at the agreed-upon bar. Things were winding down with the Bitches so I walked over to the bar (just two blocks away) and met up with Brynne and Jana.
I had a couple of drinks, which I paid for out of my walking around money. The drinks were a little over $13 after tax and tip, but they were tastier and stronger than the ones we’d get at the reception.
Brynne stayed in the bar til almost 3 a.m. and I stuck with her because a) I was having fun and b) I didn’t want either of us walking back to the hotel drunk and alone at that hour.
I fell into bed around 3:30 a.m. Man that was a long day!
Total spent: $86.65, ($0 out of weekly funds)
Somehow the last day of FinCon already!
I went to two sessions in the morning, one of which I left partway through because it wasn’t helpful. But at least the other one was.
Local FinCon groups were meeting up for lunch, so I ate with some fellow Phoenix FinConners (try saying that five times fast). It was $10 after tip, but it went on the business card since we discussed business and, again, this was a business trip.
I went to one more session, then rested up in the room for a bit. At 6 p.m. I went to dinner with Angela from Tread Lightly Retire Early and a few other including Fiery Millennial. Unfortunately, the place was 1.1 miles from the hotel — it was the recommendation of a local FinConner — so I had to Uber there and back. I didn’t want to tire myself out before the closing party.
The Uber trip was $7.79 there and $7.29 back after tip. But it’s travel while on a business trip so I whipped out the business card and didn’t take the money out of weekly funds. The food was $7.24 for the food, but again my business paid.
I realized I was low on walking around money, so I borrowed $20 from Mom and sent her $20 via PayPal.
I went back to the hotel and got ready for the party. Which was loud. So very, very loud. It was still fun but man oh man.
I did find Shannyn from Frugal Beautiful outside (where you could chat without shouting) and talked with her for a bit. By 11 p.m. most of the people I wanted to hang out with had left so I went upstairs and went to bed.
I tipped for all of my drinks out of the walking around money ($5).
Total spent: $57.32 ($20 out of weekly funds)
Mom and I woke up around 8:30 and were done packing by 9:30. We putzed around for an hour, then I sent her off in an Uber (she still has a flip phone) to get a Megabus to Philadelphia. From there she’ll take a bus to New Jersey and visit with relatives for a few days.
I’m not counting the trip out of weekly funds because she is reimbursing me for the expense.
I checked my bags with the bell hop (which cost $1 for some reason, presumably so they actually get tips?) then I headed to Safeway and CVS for snacks.
I’d gotten bitten up by mosquitoes the day before and got several more on my 0.6 miles walk. Seriously, I counted 17 bites when I got home that night. Given the interminable itching, I got cortisone gel for $4.19 after $2 in Extrabux were applied. The $2 went into saved savings.
I couldn’t find any good deals on snacks at CVS, so I went to Safeway and got a couple of bagels and a big box of Whoppers. That was $4.87.
On my way back I realized I’d dropped the $2 I had on my pocket for the bell hop. Alas, the bills were nowhere to be found. So I headed back into Safeway and got a $0.50 bottle of water to break a $5.
I got back to the hotel and grabbed my bags, tipping $2. Then I called an Uber to get to the airport. That cost $21.25 after tip, but that was on the business credit card.
Once I got to the airport, I had trouble at the check-in kiosk. The thing wouldn’t recognize my frequent flyer number, so it charged me for a checked bag. I’m supposed to get it for free since I’m an American Airlines cardholder.
I gave up and paid for the thing, stupidly using my personal card instead of my business card. D’oh! Oh well, I didn’t take it out of weekly funds because apparently I can get it refunded. (Update: I did.)
I dropped off my baggage and went through TSA with relative ease. Once I got to the gate I realized that I’d need the bagels for dinnertime on the plane, so I got a pizza for $13.02. Since I was still traveling for business, that went on the business card as well.
I needed to take my energy med and was generally thirsty so I bought a bottle of water for $4.97(!!!) and my business paid for that too. It’s all still cheaper than the per diem I’m technically allowed to take per the IRS.
Then I just had to kill three and a half hours until the plane boarded.
The flight ended up being pretty decent. I didn’t feel as squished this time, so my Restless Leg Syndrome didn’t act up, meaning I was comfortable despite it being a 4.5 hour flight. (Well, except for having to sit on my bug bites. That part sucked.)
I got my bag pretty quickly from baggage claim. A quick Uber home ($32.90 after tip, on the business card), and I even had time to hang out with the ex-plumber for a bit before I conked out.
Total spent: $93.05 ($11.06 out of weekly funds)
I got things done like a boss today!
I called in a prescription for refill, I ordered some black ink from Staples using a $30 off $60+ coupon I got in the mail ($50.98 but it’s a business expense and went on the card). I finally signed up for Mint Mobile ($60). I emailed American Airlines about getting a refund. I sorted through 10 days’ worth of mail. And I deposited my Mr. Rebates check and my paycheck.
I also wrote out payments for a couple of bills, but I’d run out of envelopes, so I couldn’t mail those off.
Then I went out and got the prescription ($16), some groceries ($17.48) and a few things at the Dollar Tree, including envelopes ($3.09).
My bug bites were still bothering me a lot, so I didn’t work out. I didn’t think jarring my itchy flesh with aerobics sounded like a smart idea. I’ll start again tomorrow.
After work I just sat around watching Working Moms on Netflix. I called it a night around 9 p.m. since I was still a little weary from FinCon craziness catching up with me.
Total spent: $144.46 ($96.57 out of weekly funds)
I got up begrudgingly (even though I’d had plenty of sleep). I was locked out of the system at work for about two hours until my boss got my request to be let back in. So I answered any emails that didn’t require checking people’s accounts, then worked on the blog until that was fixed.
After I was let back in and caught up from the lag, I worked on the blog a bit more and made some calls.
I needed to see a specialist, so I made an appointment there. I also had to sort out Josie’s Banfield pet plan. Now that Tim and I are divorced (and I’m no longer covering Pandora’s plan) we had to split the accounts. Luckily, they waived the registration fee, since I was just transferring to a new account.
I also wrote out my paycheck to myself and deposited it, then plotted out finances for the coming month. Then I worked out.
I had forgotten that I was running low on another medication when I went to Fry’s the day before. And it turned out I was also low on Cadbury bars. (I have a third of one a day as my dessert when I’m on a diet.) So I sheepishly trudged off to Fry’s a mere one day after my last trip. I picked up the medication ($6.99) and two chocolate bars ($3.58).
I also got takeout ($9.34) and filled up the car ($32.52).
Then I went home and played on Tinder and watched the second season of Scream.
Total spent: $52.43
I worked and worked out.
The weeds got out of control when I was in DC (stupid rain), so the yard guy came over and dealt with those ($60). Also, I had a beauty service in the afternoon ($40).
I had a date in the evening. With a 24 year old. During our date it came out that he was born the year before I graduated high school. Oy.
Even so, we had a good time, and he texted me after the date to tell me what a good time he had and told me I’m beautiful. So he’s earned a second date.
Total spent: $100
Total spent: $533.91 ($280.06 out of weekly funds)
Holy crap, I/my business spent a lot of money at FinCon! About $60 was walking around money, which means my business spent around $140 at FinCon plus the $50ish for the ink on Monday. About $45 of the $140 was for transportation, which means I spent about $100 on food. Not bad for four days, I suppose. But still, that bill is going to hurt.
As for money coming out of weekly funds, it was a lot too; but really it was Mint Mobile ($60) and the day I spent $100 (yard work and beauty service) that killed me this week. Such is life. Let’s hope next week is quieter financially.