Well, this month was ridiculous. In a good way. But for a crappy reason. Specifically, this pandemic keeps me at home, not spending as much.
Let’s see how I did, shall we?
I can’t believe I spent less than $1,500 this month. I mean, yay for the lack of spending but booooo for the reason.
Or as someone on Twitter recently put it: booray!
I suppose I should temper that low figure because there are a few things not accounted for in the table above: my mortgage (since I always pay extra and would therefore be chronically over-budget), my giving (since I’m not comfortable sharing that) and (since it was mainly giving), the stimulus money.
Anyway, disclosure aside, let’s take a deeper dive into the spending for these categories, eh?
Most of this category’s “spending” was actually savings. I count saved savings (money I saved via coupons, sales and store rewards) in this section, and I saved just over $103 this month.
That’s because I used an iTunes gift card (which was a Christmas gift) to pay for a Jackbox games download (to play games with my friends over Zoom). I also did decently at grocery store sales, and I saved a bunch of money at CVS via sales, regular Extrabux and the $10 in Extrabux from the CarePass. For the record, I highly recommend the CarePass. You pay $48 for a year and get $10 in Extrabux every month, plus free shipping on some items online.
Other miscellaneous spending highlights include crew and ankle socks ($31.47), a housewarming gift ($18.45) and two masks from Military Dollar ($20). If you’re looking for masks, it’s worth noting that she actually charges significantly less than $10 per mask. I gave her extra much because she’s selling masks to help cover the cost of donating masks to people in need.
Nothing too exciting here. We did two extra loads of laundry to de-dustify (totally a word) some clothes that had been sitting in the garage and that I decided to donate.
It’s worth noting that, like saved savings, this laundry money is not spent but rather saved. I put $3.50 per load into a Washer/Dryer fund to eventually replace the current units. I’m nearly at $1,400. Pretty wild — especially considering up until recently I was only putting in $2.50 per load. Then again, Tim created a lot of laundry.
The lack of spending here was startling. Not only did I not have to put any gas in the car this month (I usually fill up about every three weeks), I still have half a tank left. I last filled up on March 29th. Wowza.
The only spending here was for the plumber. The sink backed up to the point that usual remedies — the plastic strip thingy (to use the technical term), baking soda/vinegar and even Liquid Plumr — didn’t budge it. So I called in a plumber for $134. Ouch.
My lip wax, beauty salon and other beauty service provider were all closed, so no money was spent here. Those places are actually all open again, but I’m going to wait until mid-June to see how infection rates go now that things are reopening. Then I’ll decide from there when I feel safe going back. So this category will be $0 next month as well.
Nothing terribly interesting here, except that (thanks to a BOGO50 deal and $11 in Extrabux ($10 being from the aforementioned CarePass) I got two $13 bottles of contact lens solution for $8.41 total.
I also picked up some toilet paper because there was some in stock (finally). And I received $5 in Extrabux after filling a prescription, so I used that for some deodorant.
Try not to be jealous of my glamorous lifestyle.
I’m surprised I went over (even just a little bit) in this category because my Medicare premiums were supposed to be lower this month. Which they were… sorta.
In February and March, I got double-billed by Medicare for my full premium (almost $400 a month), so for now I’m only paying for Part B ($140ish) while the difference gets made up. Except that guess who got double billed again this month — this time for Part B? (The issue is that the payment isn’t always processed in time before the next bill goes out, even when I send the payment the day after I get the dang bill. Grrrrr.)
So my premium this month was $289. Plus I had two pricey prescriptions. One was a three-month supply for $111. The other was a $75.87 prescription. Thankfully, the latter will last me a minimum of six months.
Add in the $50 monthly auto-charge for my usual massage (which thankfully rolls over for up to three months), my supplemental vision/dental coverage ($24), a mouth guard for when I sleep ($22) and three other prescriptions (about $37 total) and voila! You have a slightly busted Healthcare budget.
What with the lockdown, I knew there’d be no trivia. So I budgeted $0 for the trivia food section. And came in exactly at budget! Given that it’ll be a while before my group feels safe in bars, I’m going to remove this category for the foreseeable future.
This is supporting local business, right? Right?
Two orders of two meals (one for me, one for Mom) from my favorite takeout place, plus two pricey pizza delivery orders added up quickly. Well, I actually ordered three from my takeout place, but one was paid for with the $100 gift card I got with stimulus money. So I didn’t count that, though I guess in the future the cost should go to saved savings?
It turns out that last month’s nasty $150 city services payment (which included two months of back bills — oops) had included this month’s bill as well. So that kept this month’s utilities spending lower.
In addition, I thought this was the month that my electric company adjusted my averaged-out bill to account for higher summer usage (about a $20-30 difference per month). Apparently, that didn’t happen, so again, spending came in lower than expected.
Welp, it’s not like I could go to the movies or anything. So I budgeted exactly enough for Hulu and Netflix. Surprise surprise, I was right on target.
I’d say $204 for two people is pretty darn good! Granted, this doesn’t include the cost of protein bars that I eat, which come to around $76 a month. (I don’t count those because they’re paid for with a discounted gift card that I accounted for in a previous month’s budget.)
Still, even with that, we came in right around $280, which is decent for two people. Mom has cooked all but three of her meals in the six weeks she’s been here — and cooked very frugally of course — so she’s just not costing much.(
All in all
So a pretty low-cost month overall.
Even if you did add in my mortgage payment ($700 more than required) and my giving (which unsurprisingly went over budget this month), I spent less than $3,000. So I consider that pretty good!
Is anyone else’s spending down? Is it effort on your part or the pandemic (or both) keeping spending lower?