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.
Given that I’m talking about election stuff, this is a good time to remind everyone there’s a slight lag between when I write these and when they publish. The week below started two days after the election.
I got up and immediately checked election results. Same as the night before: incomplete. Eesh.
I got through the overnight and morning emails quickly. The morning passed pretty slowly, and I was thankful not to be dwelling too much on the fact that they’d put my grandfather on a ventilator.
Then at 10 a.m. my mom called with the news: his organs were shutting down, so per his wishes they’d be taking him off the machine. She said there’d be a goodbye Zoom call that afternoon.
I wanted at least some distraction til then, so I kept working. There weren’t a ton of emails to keep me busy, but I did notice I was working more slowly. My brain felt like molasses, so everything took a little bit longer.
By noon, I still hadn’t heard anything. I was weary, but I was afraid to lie down and miss the call. Besides, I thought it might just be tired eyes from crying. Instead, I sat around and made a list of grief food because I realized that — for grieving purposes, anyway — I was dangerously low on candy.
The call started around 1 p.m. It was awful but at the same time, I guess it was a blessing to be able to say goodbye.
After we hung up, I started bawling and realized I couldn’t work. I called a coworker take over the last hour of my shift. I had a headache, probably from dehydration from crying, so I took some acetaminophen and made sure to drink more water.
I wrote a nasty tweet to COVID deniers and mask refuseniks, and sympathy poured in from PF Twitter. My folks there are pretty great.
My friend Jen hadn’t seen the tweet and just checked in to say hi in general. When she heard what had happened, she called me and we talked for about an hour. It was nice, even if half of it was us figuring out whether I could just get the groceries delivered so I wouldn’t potentially yell at a maskless idiot in the store.
After we hung up, I cleaned my contacts, which were cloudy from crying, and went to the store. I spent $26.82 on a truly heinous amount of junk food. And yes, I snapped at a guy who had his bandana around his chin. He was condescending, but he pulled it up. At least while I was in eyesight, anyway. But it’s something.
Then I came home, turned on the TV and snacked. But I turned out to not actually eat all that much of the junk food. But of course, grief isn’t a one-day thing, so maybe that was for the best.
I bought a sympathy gift for Pop-Pop’s wife. I’d never had to do that before, and I knew flowers were traditional. But it also seemed weird to me. Why get a grieving person something that will also die?
So I chose a memorial candle holder that said “In memory of a life so beautifully lived.” I told Mom I could put her name on it too, so she wouldn’t have to worry about one herself. She agreed.
Between the regular shipping charge and the upcharge for a quick delivery, I paid a sickening $34.98 just to get the item there. But I wanted it there ASAP, so I sucked it up. The total was $67.12.
Aaron hadn’t checked in all day, which was unlike him, but frankly I wasn’t sure I even wanted the company. So I just stayed quiet.
My coworker apparently had told my boss about what was going on, and he emailed to say I should let him know if I needed anything, including time off. I thanked him but said I kind of preferred to keep busy.
Jen checked in around 7 p.m. and we started watching The Queen’s Gambit. I called it a night and started getting ready for bed around 9:30 p.m. I was asleep around 11 p.m.
I woke up feeling semi-okay. Not peppy, for obvious reasons, but not as devastated and teary.
I caught up on emails and did a few (very light) chores: my tenant had apparently ordered a bunch of toilet paper, so I took the box out back for her, got the mail, took out nearly weightless trash, remotely deposited two checks and emptied the less-than-half-full dishwasher. And suddenly I was bushed. Just completely exhausted. But when I lay down, I couldn’t sleep.
I spent most of the rest of the day feeling pretty punk. I did settle down and write out a check for my yearly Orkin termite protection ($332.15). I’ve had intermittent issues with the bugs, so it’s money well spent. But ouch.
I checked in with Aaron about Saturday and Sunday’s schedules. He said he was in a meeting and would let me know.
When you’re tired, the day crawls by. Josie was wanting to snuggle even more than usual, so maybe she sensed my distress.
Eventually it was quitting time. I went and got $20 out of the bank for the tip for my massage. I wasn’t looking forward to the drive there, but I desperately needed the rubdown. My neck was pretty terrible.
Sure enough, I felt far better once I got the massage. Mostly because I could move my neck more comfortably, but also having just lain down, resting all my muscles for an hour.
I got home around 6:15 p.m. and let Jen know I was around if she wanted to watch more of The Queen’s Gambit. In the meantime, I turned on my own TV.
Jen messaged at 7 p.m. that she’d be ready to watch once she finished making dinner. So at 7:40 p.m. we started the watching. I stayed up later than usual so we could watch two episodes, but I had to call it a day after that.
I never had heard back from Aaron. The couple of times that happened, it meant his meetings had lasted through the evening/night, and he’d just passed out after that.
I was in bed around 10 p.m. but didn’t fall asleep until sometime after 11 p.m.
Total spent: $352.15 ($20 out of weekly funds)
I didn’t wake up until almost 9:30 a.m. so I must’ve needed the sleep. I got up and found out the high would be only 75. That was nice since my A/C had actually come on the day before when it hit 88 outside.
I opened up the doors to get the cool air in. Then I texted Aaron good morning, fed the cat and settled in to do a little bit of blog work. That’s when I looked online and found out the election had officially been called for Biden. Finally! I figured then it was just a matter of letting the lawsuits/calls for a recount begin.
Unfortunately, I also found out that cases were up significantly that day. They’d been right around 2,000 the previous two days and were 2,600ish that day. I hoped that number was a blip.
Around 10 a.m. Aaron texted to say he himself had just gotten up — which is incredibly late for him, so it must’ve been a late night — and that he had a flight class with a mock exam from 12:30 to 6:30. Since he goes to bed around 8 p.m., I figured that meant I wasn’t seeing him that day. Phooey.
So I had a long day ahead of me. I wanted to do my normal cleaning, but given how pooped I got the prior day, I was afraid to expend much energy. And I wasn’t quite ready to work on Monday’s post. Partially because I wasn’t sure what it was going to be about.
Mom texted to say that my grandfather’s wife (still can’t quite say “widow”) called tearful about the lovely gift. She asked Mom to convey her thanks to me as well. I was relieved she liked it so much.
I felt a bit better than the day before, and certainly better than Thursday. But Pop-Pop would still cross my mind, of course, and I’d get sad.
I started a post about Black Friday, which led to my looking at Black Friday deals for a bit. That killed some time, but I only got a couple of hundred words long before accepting my heart just wasn’t in it.
I checked the time, and it was still only noon. Sigh.
I got some takeout ($9.34) and dropped off my health insurance premium in the mail. I came home, munched, messaged with a couple of friends and started The Boys on Amazon Prime. Interesting stuff.
My cousin messaged me with a picture. Apparently she was grief baking. I asked how she was doing, and she was pretty much in the same place I was.
Around 1:30 p.m. Aaron said he still wanted to see me that night and could be by at 6 p.m. Apparently, his class wasn’t going to take as long as he thought. Around 3 p.m. he texted to say he might come over even earlier if that was okay. I said sure, and he said he’d take a 20-minute nap and then head over. So I hopped in the shower and made myself presentable.
His nap stretched longer than anticipated, but he was here around 5 p.m. We chatted, and he got some food delivered. We ended up falling asleep some time after 10 p.m.
Total spent: $9.34
Aaron woke up at 6:15 a.m. (ugh), but it took a while for him to get going. So he left a bit after 7 a.m. I crawled back into bed and slept for another couple of hours.
I woke up feeling human. The weather was very cool — in the 60s — so I opened up the window in my bedroom (which I’d forgotten to do other times) and the front and back doors to cool down the house.
I wrote a post about Pop-Pop that was probably rambling, but I edited as best I could. And then I had no idea what to do with myself.
At 11 a.m. I went and picked up some Cracker Barrel using a free entree coupon, so I paid only for the biscuits plus tip ($5.75 total).
Then I watched TV and ate the meal (and later a bunch of candy) until around 7 p.m. when Jen was ready to finish the last two episodes of Queen’s Gambit. I called it a night after that and was asleep before 10 p.m.
Total spent: $5.75
There weren’t many emails when I woke up, so I got through them pretty quickly. I started a load of laundry, so $3.50 went into the Washer/Dryer fund.
It was my friend Christine’s birthday, and I wanted to do something for her. She’d dropped off some stuff on my birthday and, given that I’d mainly spent the day alone (except for a massage), it had really touched me. I ordered some mini bundt cakes (so essentially cupcakes) for $19.48.
She had taken a weekend road trip with her girlfriend to see the Grand Canyon, so I messaged her asking her to let me know when she was back in town. Otherwise, I just waited for the workday to be done.
Aaron texted around noon saying he wanted to see me. I said okay, but we that we might have to swing by Christine’s place while he was over. He said that was fine.
At 2 p.m. I texted to see if he had a time in mind, but I didn’t hear back right away.
At 3 p.m., I went to pick up the bundt cakes. The car was on fumes, so I refueled for $24.42.
I wasn’t too far from a Trader Joe’s so I went and got the kettle corn I love so much but rarely get ($2.55). Then I came home to take a shower and get ready for Aaron, though he still hadn’t gotten back to me. So at 4:30 p.m. I texted again, and about 15 minutes later he responded that he’d been on a flight. (He’s in the end stages of getting his pilot’s license.) He said he’d head over straightaway.
He got here around 5:15 p.m., and at 6 p.m. Christine texted to say she was back home. So we swung by her place and picked up some food on the way back. He’d paid last time, so I placed the order ($21.79).
Somehow he and I ended up talking until nearly 11 p.m. We passed out shortly thereafter.
Total spent: $68.24
I woke up with my alarm, got emails answered and then crawled back into bed. I dozed for about an hour before Aaron woke up. He left about 45 minutes later.
I did a little work on Thursday’s blog post. Then I checked new COVID case numbers. Over 3,000. Coooooool.
But I reminded myself that a) Tuesdays almost always have high numbers, as weekends tend to cause lags and b) the previous day’s was a super low 430ish, so Tuesday’s number was likely due to a backlog. That calmed me down some.
I texted Mom to see how she was doing. I wanted to be productive, but I was still bushed from the previous night. So I lay down for a bit. When I got up, Mom had texted back that emotions came in waves, which was normal. I also messaged a bit with some friends.
I was starving and have given up all pretense of a takeout budget, so I got some ($9.34).
I came home, ate and of course dealt with incoming emails. I felt utterly steeped in fatigue from the broken sleep (and probably grief) but I muddled through as best I could.
After work, I had therapy where, of course, we talked about my loss. It was rough and there were many tears. Partway through the telesession, his dogs got home after apparently having been at the vet all day. So suddenly he was rushed by two dachsunds who jumped up on his chest and licked his face mercilessly. Honestly, that was probably at least as therapeutic as anything he said.
My $25 copay is waived for telehealth sessions, so I put that amount into the Saved Savings account.
I had the leftovers from the previous night’s dinner and watched TV until around 8 p.m., when I’d planned to get ready for bed and fall asleep early. But I ended up messaging with friends until around 9:30 p.m. I fell asleep some time after 10 p.m.
Total spent: $34.34
I woke up very begrudgingly, with a plan to go back to bed as soon as I got caught up on emails and did the social media posts. But I ended up staying up long enough to finish polishing the next day’s post and scheduling it on social media.
I tried to lie down for a bit, but I kept messaging/texting. So that didn’t work. I checked in with Mom and then putzed around on the Internet/answered incoming emails.
I asked Mom if she could order me some toilet paper from Costco. I’m finally starting to feel like I’m running low. (Translation: I only have four nine-packs left, but in my defense, I’m anticipating another run on TP as the spike happens/new lockdowns occur.) I told her it wasn’t urgent, just something that would be great at some point. But she ordered it immediately, so I sent her $30.20 via PayPal.
I killed some time online, then tried again to lie down. But after 15 or so minutes it was clear I wasn’t going to doze off. So I got back up and waited for the workday to be over.
The HVAC guys showed up a little before 3 p.m. to do a very overdue semi-yearly cleaning. Unfortunately, it turned out some repairs would be necessary. But that’s why God invented the savings account, right?
I told them to just let me know when they could come fix things. One of the guys said that I was a good customer, so they were going to clean the guest house unit for free, and it would normally be around $250. They’re a great company.
Aaron texted to say he might be able to come see me. I asked if he wanted me to pick up anything while I was at the store, so we could skip takeout for a change. He said I knew his eating habits (very healthy) so he trusted me to pick something.
At the store, I picked up a medication ($35.32) and a few food items, including a couple of salads for us. The total for the food was $12.07.
I got back, and Aaron was still at his place studying. He ended up not coming over until nearly 6 p.m. He also spent around half an hour watching videos that reviewed flying information and another half hour filling out a form for a progress check the next day, while I played around on my phone. It was weirdly domestic.
We didn’t go to bed until around 10:30 p.m. and I couldn’t fall asleep until after midnight for some reason.
Total spent: $77.59
Total spent: $661.35 ($309.20 out of weekly funds)
Owwwwwwww. Even ignoring the termite bill that is a lot of money. Nearly 20% of the weekly spending was the sympathy gift, of course. The medication, toilet paper and gas account for another almost-30%. But the rest was mainly takeout and junk food and… Yikes. That said, I refuse to be too critical of myself because, uh, grief. And also just generally being over 2020. I think we all need a break from this year’s relentlessness. I think we’re all worn thing. So on the one hand, a very painful spending week, but on the other… *shrug*