Well, my financial month is over (it runs mid-month to mid-month), so let’s see how my spending fit my projected budget.
Here’s the broad overview:
But let’s look at the spending a little more closely (because who doesn’t like seeing into how other people spend their money?):
Quite a bit of this category’s “spending” was actually saved savings. That is, money I put into a savings account when I hit a sale or when I use a coupon, store rewards or a gift card to get something I would’ve bought anyway. It also included my therapy copays, since right now that $25 isn’t required for telesessions.
So of the $164.12, $119.51 actually went into a savings account. The remaining $45ish went to several thrift store puzzles ($20.11), $15.50 for two locks for the back gate (the first one didn’t fit but I’d destroyed the packaging too much to return it, sigh) and some waterproof sunscreen for when I visit my friend with a pool.
Never a scintillating category, I know. With Mom here for most of the financial month, we did one more load of laundry than usual. So a small overage here.
Every other month I have Orkin come out. They spray for roaches and other bugs plus they deal with the gophers that somehow keep finding my backyard. It’s not the cheapest at an average of $42.18/month, but I haven’t seen a single roach since we got them. So it’s well worth the money in my opinion.
And the good news is no repairs were needed this month. Hooray!
I hadn’t planned on getting any services this month, so I budgeted $0. But one beauty service I get seemed safe enough to venture back. She sanitizes thoroughly between customers, and we were both wearing masks. So I got it done and went over-budget here.
I went over here because I loaded up on a sale on my fiber gummies. (Yes, I’m a 41 year old woman who takes her fiber in gummy form.) Between that and needing to get another jar of my moisturizer, I went over the budgeted amount significantly.
I’m driving so little that I didn’t need to fill up — even though I’m trying not to let the tank get more than half empty.
This overage couldn’t be avoided. Last month’s paycheck came pretty early, and this month’s arrived late. So I got charged for Hulu twice during this financial month. Grumble grumble.
Similarly, due to the longer financial month I got charged for two months’ Banfield plan premium. The best laid plans…
Vastly overestimated how much I’d spend here. I was planning on eating out more to support local restaurants. But I’m also trying to lose the seven-pounds I gained at the start of the pandemic from stress eating. (Four down!)
So even if you counted the four takeout meals I bought with a gift card (one trip where I bought for Mom and me, two trips for just myself) it still would’ve been only $97.40. And I don’t count those because that extra amount went into saved savings.
The two takeout trips that I did count were when I bought Mom and myself some Thai takeout and an extra-large pizza plus cinnamon sticks from a place with delicious but expensive pizzas.
I budgeted more than usual for groceries because, well, feeding two people is more expensive than feeding one. In reality, Mom didn’t add all that much to the grocery bill since she cooked almost every meal while she was here. But it did go up a bit — just not as much as I was expecting.
A note that this category doesn’t include the $76.80 I spend on protein bars (I eat two a day) each month. Those are paid for with a discounted Target gift card, which was accounted for in a previous month.
I was expecting the electric company to raise my monthly amount by about $30, since it normally does that in the summers. But that hasn’t happened yet, so I came in under budget.
My gas bill (for my hot water heater) is always low. This month it was only $24.02.
The aforementioned electric bill is averaged out for the year, so I “only” paid $131.52. I’m sure that’s a lot in many parts of the country, but here summer bills can easily be $300-400, especially for someone who’s home all day every day, so it’s not too bad.
City services (water/sewer/trash) was pretty reasonable at $44ish, but I rounded up to $55 for the low-income assistance program.
I should mention that this category’s total doesn’t include my Internet, since that’s a business expense. I don’t count business expenses in my general spending.
This is by far the biggest amount in my budget.
I came in under budget because I’d been double-billed by my insurance (twice) a few months ago. So the premium was lower than the usual $400.
This category included my artifically low premium ($289.20), two psychiatrist visits ($50 total), my vision/dental add-on for insurance ($24), and $113.59 in prescriptions. This included a second fill of my new medication, and that second fill was a 90-day supply at $35.24. The category total also included an inhaler, which isn’t usually in there. Though if I do indeed have adult-onset asthma, I guess this will become a semi-regular expense.
I don’t disclose my charitable giving right now. I’ll see if I feel more comfortable in the future. The $1,443.93 also didn’t include business expenses (Internet and chipping in for a giveaway on Mom’s site) or my mortgage.
Still, this post is about how much money I spent in a month, so it seems unfair to just list the $1,443.93 as my total spending. Thus to get around my discomfort in disclosing charitable giving, I’ll give you my total spending for the month including all of the above not-included expenses. It’s a good compromise, I think.
Including a large extra payment to my mortgage principal, I spent a total of $3,399.22. If this amount held steady each month, I’d be spending about $41,000 a year. Or — if the world is ever safe again and I go back to getting my hair done, going out for dates, MeetUp events, trivia and a couple of movies (with popcorn) every month — around $46,500.
Those number are a little high for my taste, but I remind myself that about $11,000 of that would be extra mortgage payments, which isn’t the usual kind of “spending.” So excluding that, I’d be down to $30,000/$35,500 a year.
That’s not bad for someone who’s indulging herself with beauty services and (when it’s safe) going out — rather than staying home/looking for only free entertainment, cooking and otherwise being laser-focused on frugality. And of course, if I needed to go to an emergency budget, I would take it far lower.
So all in all, not bad if not ideal.
How did your spending go this month?