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 and go through emails depressingly quickly. I really hope business picks up, or things are going to get dicey.
It was well past time to change my sheets. I sleep on one side for a while, then switch to the other side so that I can get away with going twice as long between sheet changes without getting gross. But it was still time. So I stripped the bed and put on new sheets.
This meant I had two loads of laundry, but my tenant was using the machine. So I waited on laundry and started the Roomba. As I said last week, I’m trying to keep up on small household stuff to make sure depression isn’t creeping in. If small tasks start to feel like too much, I know to talk to my psychiatrist.
I also realized I’d forgotten to take out the recycling the night before, but I hadn’t heard the truck yet. So I dumped what was in the house into the bin — which was very full and definitely needed to go out — and got it out to the curb. Perhaps 15 minutes later, the truck came by. Phew!
I was down to just one post pre-written, but I was utterly uninspired about what to write. Everything — even money — seems so trivial with the state of unrest in this country.
I killed time until my tenant had finished her laundry, which wasn’t until 1 p.m. So I only had time to do one load of laundry before peak rates kicked in. I put $3.50 into the washer/dryer fund.
I very nearly put off working out, but I forced myself. Thankfully, I would get a rest day the next day.
All day I had been debating going over to a friend’s house that evening. He was going to have a house guest — a mutual friend needs to crash with him for a week or two — and I was concerned about keeping a good distance from two people at once. So when he messaged, I begged off citing energy issues. And to be fair, my energy had been up and down all day.
But after a little back and forth I found out the house guest wasn’t coming until Saturday, so I told him I’d suck it up and come over. I figured best to see him now, in case I don’t feel comfortable going over while the friend is there. (Since I planned on at least weekly visits to stay sane now that I’m alone in the house, this houseguest development is a big deal.)
We chatted for a while, and I introduced him to Leverage, which he’d never seen. I left around 9:30 p.m. and was asleep by 10:30 p.m.
Total spent: $3.50
I woke up a bit before my alarm, so I wasn’t as groggy as usual. Shortly after I got up, the other gal at work texted me to see if I could switch overtime weekends with her. I was supposed to work that Saturday and Sunday, but I was happy to put that off for a while.
There was a decent number of emails for work (hooray!), so I was busy a little later into the morning, which was a nice change of pace. Once I was caught up, I scheduled the spending diary to go up for the following day.
Then I started the remaining load of laundry ($3.50 to the washer/dryer fund), folded the previous day’s laundry and cleaned the litterbox. Later, I ran the Roomba. Third day in a row and it’s still picking up a ton of dirt. #desertlife
So far so good on keeping up with the small stuff.
The Banfield plan charge hit my account for $33.95.
Unfortunately, I was still horribly uninspired for blogging. Again, everything seemed so trivial compared to mass death and the protests for equality and safety.
I had a noon appointment with my psychiatrist ($25 copay). We’re satisfied with how the new medication is working, so we agreed to wait three months til the next visit.
There was a Fry’s on the way home, so I stopped in for more cheese. Safeway had had a special where you got a good price on crackers if you bought three boxes. Which means that I’m now tempted to eat cheese and crackers for more than one day a week. Sigh. I also picked up some Caramello bars, so the total was $7.48.
Then I came back, caught up on emails and whiled away the time until I was off work. Then I started working on the puzzle again. It’s very slow going. So many oranges and yellows in so many different areas!
Finally, it was time for the Zoom call with my trivia group, but this week no one was around to call. Which is troubling, since the Zoom call is one of the main ways I counted on not feeling isolated now that Mom’s gone. But it couldn’t be helped so…
I chatted a little online, went to bed around 10 p.m. and was asleep by 10:30.
Total spent: $69.93
I woke up at 8 a.m., but I lay in bed chatting and playing on social media for about 90 minutes.
Finally, I got up and started cleaning. I cleaned the bathroom sink, did the toilet (squeeze in some Kaboom bathroom cleaner, wait 15 minutes, then you barely have to scrub), wiped down the entire shower stall, dusted, did the monthly rubbing of Old English oil on the outside of the front door and started the Roomba. Even after all that, it was still only 10 a.m. so I had a long day ahead of me.
I worked on the blog a little and played on social media. At 1 p.m. I FaceTimed with Mom for about 90 minutes. Then I started watching TV, and a little while later got started on the puzzle.
I’ve been doing the puzzle so much that my right arm keeps getting tired because most of the time I’m hovering it over the table with a piece in hand.
Around 6 p.m. the guy who’d tried to argue the likelihood of my getting sick texted to see if he could come over. First of all, I’d been very clear in the past that I don’t invite men over when I hadn’t met them. More pertinently, I suppose, I finally just told him point blank that I didn’t know him well enough to trust that he was taking the proper precautions/not out sleeping with a bunch of other people. He didn’t text back.
Around 8:30 p.m. I got a text from a guy I knew through MeetUp who I’d seen a couple of times. He invited me out to Scottsdale, which has been renowned for lax in enforcement of social distancing. We’re talking packed bars (which aren’t even supposed to be open yet, but since they serve food they justify themselves as also being restaurants).
I told him I wasn’t going anywhere near a bar until a vaccine was created. So his next suggestion was that he come over. Gee, please bring the bar cooties I’m trying to avoid directly back to my house. (His rationale was that north Arizona, where he lives, has a very low number of cases. Completely missing the part where he’d already been exposed to untold infected people in whatever bar he was currently at.) I said no, and we both wished each other well and to be safe.
I called it a night at 10 p.m. and was asleep by 10:30 p.m.
Total spent: $0
I woke up at 8 a.m. but lazed in bed for an hour with a very content cat lying on me. I got up and worked on the blog for a bit.
Around 11 a.m. I ran out to CVS to pick up a prescription refill ($35.24) and some takeout ($9.34). The takeout was paid for by gift card, so I put the money into saved savings.
Then I settled in to watch TV and just sort of laze around. Around 2 p.m. I started the puzzle again. It’s taking forever and driving me a little crazy.
Suddenly, it was 6 p.m., so I got up and ate something, then went back to the puzzle. And then it was 10 p.m. I went to bed, but I’d taken my energy pill late and didn’t fall asleep until after midnight.
Total spent: $44.58
I dragged myself out of bed and answered emails, checked the blog and then lay back down. I was able to get about 45 minutes of sleep, but that wasn’t really enough to feel rested.
The Hulu charge ($6.51) hit my account.
I chatted with some friends online in between emails, and I paid my quarterly taxes. I encountered a problem paying my business’s FICA taxes online, so I had to print those out and then drive the form and check to the post office. Normally, I’d get tracking, but I wanted to avoid going inside. So I just dropped them in the mailbox outside and will hope for the best.
I came home and wanted to eat… something. But nothing at home sounded good, nor did anything else I could think of. I was definitely hungry, but I couldn’t pinpoint what I wanted. So I just ate the usual peanut butter and hoped my appetite would be more specific later on.
It did not. So I scoured the cupboards and found that chips and salsa sounded vaguely appealing and just ate that as the main part of my dinner. Bodies are weird.
I worked on the puzzle from around 5 p.m. until almost 10 p.m. while watching Boston Legal. This one is taking forever. But I guess that’s good — it makes my supply last longer.
I was asleep by 11:30 p.m.
Total spent: $6.51
I got up and got through emails relatively quickly. My paycheck finally cleared, so I wrote out a check for myself as my business’s employee and deposited it remotely.
Then I figured out my finances for the month and made my credit card payments. The good news is that I’m less than $4,000 away from maxing out my SEP-IRA for the year (which is 1/4 of my total employee pay) and $500 away from maxing out my Roth — and I still have six months to go! Once I’ve maxed those out, I think I’ll start investing in index funds.
I lay back down for around 45 minutes though I more dozed than slept. Still, I got up feeling better.
I messaged with a friend for a while in between emails, then at 1 p.m. I forced myself to work out. It was unpleasant, but it had to be done.
Revanche over at A Gai Shan Life was collecting contributions to help fund the Elevate conference. It’s more important than ever to support the voices of people of color, so I threw in $50.
After work, I snuggled with the cat and watched TV for a few hours. I still had the weird food apathy, so nothing sounded good. Not frozen dinners, spaghetti, soups, takeout or fast food. Chips and salsa was still the closest I got to interest, so I had that as my entrée. Once I was done eating, I started back on the puzzle around 6 p.m. It’s incredibly slow going at this point.
I called it a night at 9:30 and was asleep around 10:30.
Total spent: $50
I got through the initial emails pretty quickly, then I made the transfers to my various Ally savings accounts. I also transferred money to cover the quarterly taxes I paid a few days prior. I had put the payments on the credit card, so I needed to make a large payment once the funds were transferred over.
Now that it was a new month, my charitable donations started fresh, so I made a contribution to Black Lives Matter. (I’m not comfortable disclosing my charitable giving amounts, so that won’t be in the total.)
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. I worked out and, after work, lazed around with the cat for a few hours. Once again, I was apathetic toward food, so it was another chips and salsa night. Not viable long term, but hey at least I’m getting my veggies in, right?
Around 6 p.m. I went back to the puzzle. Which I finished! Except for one piece that was, of course, missing. That’s the danger of Goodwill puzzles, I suppose. But at $17-20 a pop for a new one, I’ll take the frustration of a slightly incomplete thrift store one.
I was in bed by about 10 p.m., but at some point in the night (I didn’t have the heart to look at the time) my restless leg syndrome acted up. It’s usually pretty rare, but when it flares I have crawly sensations up and down my quads that won’t go away no matter how much I stretch.
In these times, I have to get out the foam roller and work out any knots that way. This time, even that wasn’t even so I had to use the edge of my hand to deep-massage my quads, which was incredibly uncomfortable, verging on painful. So that was fun. About 30 minutes after it started, I was able to get back to sleep.
Total spent: $0
Total spent: $174.52
Wow, another super-low spending week. I guess COVID is finally affecting my spending. Or it’s a fluke. I guess time will tell. I will say that I didn’t feel deprived at all. It’s always nice to be frugal without feeling any ill effects.