Well, a new financial month has started. (For anyone new here, I get my paycheck mid-month, so my financial month just ended last week.) It’s time to see where the heck all of my money went.
I’ll explain any asterisk in the corresponding section.
This category is higher than usual for two reasons.
First, I purchased two pairs of sneakers for about $86. Second, my averaged-out electric bill apparently created a surplus in my account with the company, which was added as a credit to the account. So for a few months, the usual $131.52 isn’t being charged. Thus the money went into Saved Savings.
As for the rest…
I had to buy $21 of data from Mint because I’d eaten up a ton of data using my phone as a hotspot during the two hellacious days I had no Internet.
I took out $20 for walking around money. This is cash that I keep in my wallet in case I need to tip or otherwise can’t pay with a card.
Also, there was a super exciting purchase of some hair bands and a back scratcher at the Dollar Tree.
Then there was $41.40 in money saved through coupons, store rewards, etc. that went into the Saved Savings account, along with the $131.52 for the skipped electric bill.
The asterisk is to note that almost $172.92 of this category’s total was actually saved savings and went to that account. So it was only “spent” in that the money was deducted from my weekly spending.
I’m always so happy when there’s nothing exciting to report here. I have a service plan on my two HVAC units (main house and guest house) for $15 each, and that was the only expense in this category.
Every time I do a load of laundry, I put $3.50 into a Washer/Dryer fund so that I’ll have the replacement cost when the units finally die. Thus this is yet more “spending” that was actually saved.
Also, apparently I didn’t do much laundry this month? Slightly concerning.
I took this out of the miscellaneous category, but since I’ll never come in under or over budget on this one, maybe it should go back? I’ll ponder it for next month.
Anyway, yes I pay far too much for a $150,000 policy, presumably because I’m bipolar II and thus considered a higher risk. Yes, I shopped around. The rates were pretty much the same everywhere.
I originally got this coverage to help Tim out in case I died, since I was the breadwinner. When I got divorced, I considered nixing it. But I want it in place until the house is paid off. My mom would inherit the house, and I don’t want her having to dip into her own funds to pay the mortgage if she can’t sell right away.
I actually had to fill up this month! It’s so rare these days. But I caught prices on a good price day and had Fry’s rewards that gave me $0.10 off per gallon. So it was pretty affordable.
I only budgeted $60 because I expected to just get one my beauty service ($40) and hair dye ($8.68). So I guess I should’ve budgeted even less.
But COVID cases died down enough here that I finally felt safe going out for a haircut. I’m still coloring my hair at home because I don’t want to be around people for three hours.
I was super happy with the results. They had to chop off three inches, so it was a completely different look. Well, it’s my normal cut, but with three months’ growth, returning to my old style made it look completely different.
The stylist used some really lovely stuff on my hair, and I was in such a good mood that I decided to splurge and buy the travel kit of three products to test them out. Which was $46.70 (ouch). I pretty much never buy recommended products, so I feel okay having gone over so significantly just this once.
Suuuuper exciting category here.
I bought moisturizer for my eye area plus some toothpaste. Do not be jealous of my wild life.
I came in very under budget here because of the electric not being taken out of this category.
Otherwise, my gas company (for hot water) charged $21. And I rounded my city services bill up from $52ish to $60. Low income assistance really saved me when I was on disability, so I’m trying to pay it forward.
God I miss movies. Actually, I miss movies and movie theater popcorn. And I’m not going to sit out in public for two hours — let alone take my mask off to eat said popcorn — during a pandemic.
So this category is just Netflix ($14.11) and Hulu ($6.51) for the foreseeable future.
I commit the cardinal sin of frugality: I don’t cook. Thus, I’m pretty sure my grocery bill is higher than most single people. And if $141 doesn’t sound bad… Well, the asterisk is there for a reason.
I have two protein bars a day, which works out to about $76 worth each month. But it’s not included in the official groceries spending because I use discounted gift cards from sites like Raise to pay for them. And those gift cards are accounted for in previous months’ budget.
So the overall goal is to stay under $220 a month total (or $146.40 in non-protein-bar groceries). And I just eked under the limit by $14.
I’d like to lower the spending to $200 total, but first I need to get my snacking habit under control.
I pay for a Banfield Wellness Plan for Josie at $33.95 a month. I like the plan because over the course of the year it costs basically the same as a tooth cleaning and yearly vaccines, but you get free vet visits and a discount on a lot of the tests they’d need to run to diagnose an issue. I discuss whether or not it’s worth it for other pet owners in this post.
That’s the only real expense she costs me, except for a new bag of food every few months. Let’s hope it stays that way because it means she’s staying healthy.
Once again: oops?
I thought $100 was an amazingly large amount of money for a single person for takeout (and I still do), so I was shocked when I went over — let alone went over by almost 1/3.
Of that amount, $25 was for food on my birthday. The rest was just my giving in to cravings more than the usual once a week. Eesh.
Oh, and the asterisk is to connote that I also gave a $1 tip out of my walking around money for three of the takeout orders. So it’s even a wee bit worse than it looks.
Nothing terribly fascinating here.
Mom ordered me some fiber gummies from DF’s Costco account, so I sent her around $49 to cover the two bottles. I had a $25 copay to see my psychiatrist, which I do every three months. There was a $10 copay for some bloodwork I had done. And $15 for my monthly Adderall prescription, plus a $50 autocharge for my massage plan.
And of course the big one was my health insurance: just under $400 for the premium plus a $24 add-on.
There’s an asterisk here because I also tipped $15 for each of my two massages this month. But this was out of my walking around money, which is accounted for in the “Miscellaneous” category.
Despite major overages in the Beauty and Takeout categories, I still came in about $240 under budget. So that’s nice.
That said, this isn’t a full picture of what I pay. You’ll notice my mortgage isn’t listed in the table. That’s because I pay extra principal every month, so I’d come in over budget on it every month. Thus it makes no sense to include it.
Also, I don’t include my Internet in the Utilities section because my business pays for it. Since it’s a business account (I need a static IP), it’s a hefty $79/month.
And finally, charitable giving isn’t accounted for in the table because I’m not comfortable disclosing the amount I give. It’s probably silly of me, but there it is.
Still, anyone reading a post about what I spend in a given month does deserve a more holistic look. So what I will say is that, in total, I spent $3,366.32.
Barring unexpected expenses, I’m hoping to live on less than $40,000 in retirement when the time comes, and at $3,366.32 a month, I’d be just barely over that.
But since this includes about $183.42 into savings account ($171.92 into Saved Savings and $10.50 into the Washer/Dryer fund) plus a hefty overpayment on my mortgage, I actually feel pretty good about this month’s spending. Well, except for the Takeout category. I gotta shape up there.
How did your spending go this month?