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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. But I charge everything to the card to maximize rewards. As charges accrue, I transfer money out of the main account into the secondary one. 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 woke up a little groggy. Still, I caught up on emails and worked on the blog a bit before trying to lie back down. But by then I was pretty awake, so I gave up, got back up and went back to work on the blog some more.
About 10 days prior, Mom had noticed the main bathroom’s sink was backing up. She ordered some Liquid Plumr off Amazon using gift cards from Swagbucks. Unfortunately, given that Amazon is prioritizing “essential” items, it took 10 days to get here.
Even more unfortunately, the backup was so bad that the chemicals didn’t do the trick, so I had to call a plumber. Miraculously, they were able to come out half an hour later. I guess business is slow during a pandemic.
Apparently, the issue was hand soap of all things. I vaguely recall that the last time or two that I refilled the handsoap, the container had overflowed and I washed a bunch of soap down the drain. Apparently, it was enough to gum up the pipe. Badly.
So that was a $134 lesson: Mop up excess, do not wash it down the drain. Sigh.
The plumber came during what was normally my workout time, thus I decided to work out at 3 p.m. when I was off work. But by the time 3 p.m. rolled around, I was in the middle of a post and didn’t want to stop. So Thursday became a rest day.
The Hulu charge hit my account for $6.51. Every time I see that small charge it strikes me that I get a ridiculous amount of entertainment for such a low rate.
In the early evening, Mom and I took a walk in the park. The loop we do is at least a quarter mile, probably more, and we walk it twice. So at least it’s decent activity.
We came back and finished watching the latest season of Lucifer. I messaged a bit with some friends before falling asleep around 10 p.m.
Total spent: $140.51 ($6.51 out of weekly funds)
I woke up 15 minutes before my alarm. Grumble grumble.
I got up, got caught up on emails, polished Saturday’s spending diary and set it up to publish the following morning, and then putzed around for a while.
Mom did laundry, so I put $3.50 into the Washer/Dryer fund. I tried multiple times to lie back down but I couldn’t fall back asleep, despite being pretty tired. Ugh.
I noticed that I was $7.21 away from my main savings account hitting the next thousand. Getting to a nice even number was too tempting (I guess I’m a little weird), so I transferred $7.21 out of weekly funds to the Ally savings account.
It was an exciting day: the day we actually got to leave the house for more than a walk in the park! Specifically, I had a doctor appointment, needed to pick up two prescriptions, buy some contact lens solution and get groceries.
First, we picked up the prescriptions. One was a three month supply, so it was $111. Anything over $75 doesn’t come out of weekly funds, as that’s too much to ping a limited supply of money. But I did take $3.70 out of weekly funds for the second prescription.
Next, we went to Walgreens, where I picked up my contact lens solution ($11.56 plus $2 in saved savings).
After my doctor appointment, we hit the Dollar Tree for Mom to pick up a few things, and I went a couple doors down to PETCO and got a laser pointer for Josie. Hopefully, that $5.96 provides endless amusement for the cat.
Finally, we went to Fry’s, where we spent $39.12 with $6.29 in saved savings.
We got home, and I caught up on work. After I was off, I killed time until my virtual happy hour. It was good to see a few people, even if it was a little halting at times as sometimes people accidentally talked over each other.
The interaction was nice. Still not anywhere close to being around people out in the world, but better than nothing.
The only true downside of the evening was that I put on jeans and… Yikes! They fit — but just barely.
After the happy hour was over, I watched a little TV and fell asleep around 11 p.m.
Total spent: $179.63 (68.63 out of weekly funds)
I woke up at 7:30 a.m. Why????
So I lay in bed for a while playing on Twitter. I encountered a plea from someone who was in a bad way financially, asking people to buy her a “coffee” from Ko-Fi. The site is a way to donate funds in as small as $3 amounts. I sent $24 and wished her well.
I think my giving budget is going to get busted in the coming months. But there are far worse things to go over budget for.
My ceiling fan had been squeaking, so Mom looked up some remedies. Turns out, it just needed to be wiped down with a damp sponge to get dust off. Thank goodness we had put off getting some WD40!
I worked on the blog for a while. Then Mom and I cleaned out and organized my bathroom closet.
After that, it was time to work out, and then I spent the rest of the day just chilling out, working on the blog some more and watching TV. All in all, an excellent use of a Saturday.
I fell asleep around 10:30 p.m. to a wonderfully non-squeaking ceiling fan.
Total spent: $24
I woke up at 8 a.m. feeling pretty rested if still a bit groggy, so I got up and did some work on the blog. Mom took a morning walk in the park. She’s been taking a walk almost every day.
Around 10 a.m., I took 20 minutes and cleaned out my closet a little. I picked stuff that I hadn’t worn much (if at all) this past year and couldn’t legitimately see myself definitely wearing next time the appropriate season rolled around.
I ended up culling 10 tops, half of which I hadn’t worn at all since I bought them. Luckily, those were almost all from the thrift store, so only minor amounts of money were wasted. Still annoying, though. I’ll have to be pickier moving forward.
And on the bright side, going through my closet made me rediscover several summer tops I’d forgotten about. I’ll make sure to wear them this season — once we’re allowed to go out again.
At 1 p.m., I worked out (begrudgingly). I’m having a tough re-entry into wearing the 5-lb ankle weights again. It’s harder than I remember. Hopefully, my leg muscles will get stronger/more used to the weight over time.
After that, Mom and I caught up on Brooklyn 99 episodes I hadn’t realized aired. Sometimes Hulu doesn’t update the latest episode under “Keep Watching.” I was a little annoyed, but on the other hand, it meant we got to binge three episodes in a row, which is great.
Once those were over, I sat around watching Legends of Tomorrow while Mom did some work. She ended up in the other recliner, half-watching with me while she worked.
I watched until about 9 p.m. and was asleep by 9:30 p.m.
Total spent: $0
I woke up, caught up on emails and then worked on the blog.
My night dental guard is almost dead, so I ordered a new one for $21.71. (As an Amazon affiliate I receive a commission for purchases made through my links.)
When Mom and I cleaned the bathroom closet, I found a few items to put up for free on Craigslist/OfferUp/LetGo. My tenant ended up taking the pill organizer and Febreze Fabric Refresh. I put up some pet stain remover items and a puppy housebreaking spray on the sites.
I worked out, then finished out the workday. Then I got some takeout. Gotta support local businesses, right? Sure, I guess, but really I need to just buy a gift card to minimize my going out.
The takeout was $11.13, and I tipped $1 from my walking around money. Then I got home to find that the $50 automatic billing for my monthly massage had hit the card. They roll over for three months, so I decided not to halt the billing during this coronavirus crisis.
After that, I watched some TV, and Mom joined in a bit later. I went to bed at 9:30 p.m.
Total spent: $83.84 ($82.84 out of weekly funds) — ouch!
I woke up a little early (6:30 a.m.) to make sure I was dressed and done my morning ablutions when the termite guy showed up at 7 a.m. Sure enough, he showed up around 7:10 a.m., so it’s good I started a bit early.
Mom had noticed a termite tunnel, so luckily I have an Orkin protection plan. It’s only about $230 a year, so totally worth it!
It was a rest day, so no workout. Phew! Good thing, because my right leg was bothering me a bit.
In the evening, someone on Twitter was beating herself up for thinking of something frivolous like a new mascara when money was tight and given everything going on. I mean, seriously beating herself up.
I told her that we’re allowed to focus on distractions amid all this awfulness. That’s it’s understandable and okay. Then I got her email address and sent her a $35 Ulta gift card. (I chose $35 because that’s the free shipping threshold. Also, nice mascaras are expensive so that plus shipping could easily run over $30.)
She said she’d be sure to pay it forward herself when she’s in a position where she can, so I like to think that $35 bought some good in the world. At the very least, hopefully the mascara will make her a little happy when she uses it. And even a small bright spot right now is something.
I introduced Mom to Schitt’s Creek, which she seemed to enjoy greatly. We watched TV until 9 p.m. and I was in bed around 9:30 p.m.
Total spent: $35
The cat woke me up crying before 6 a.m. Turns out I’d forgotten to feed her before going to bed. Oops. (Though in my defense, she tips her bowl on its side, so there was plenty of kibble on the floor for her. She just ignores it.)
I got up, fed her, and went back to bed until 7 a.m.
I caught up on emails, but I didn’t feel like working on the blog. So I just updated this week’s spending diary, then went off to play on social media.
At 1 p.m. I worked out, and shortly I got off work, I also took a stroll with Mom in the park. I still don’t really see the effects of fresh air and sunshine, but everyone seems sure it’ll help me. So might as well try it, right? (At least until it gets hellaciously hot.)
Someone came by and picked up the puppy housebreaking spray and some odor/stain removers I’d also found. (I left them outside so that it was contactless.) And now a few more things out of the house!
We went home, and (shocker) I watched a bit of TV. Thanks to a reader, I found out that HBONOW was streaming some of its series for free through the end of April, so I wanted to see the last season of Silicon Valley.
Around 7:30, Mom was done her work, and we watched more Schitt’s Creek. After a shower and some brief texting with friends, I was asleep by 10 p.m.
Total spent: $0
Total spent: $462.98 ($216.98 out of weekly funds)
Well, ignoring the plumbing charge and pricey prescrption, I came in about $63 under the weekly budget, which is pretty good. But I still feel like I’m not spending all that much less than normal. I guess this week was a little skewed by the $50 massage charge hitting the card. And groceries are a little bit (but not that all that much) higher now that there are two of us. So I guess maybe those two things explain it?
How did everyone else’s spending go this week?