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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 got up to find the email server was working again. Hooray!
I started the Roomba and messaged a couple of personal finance buddies to see if they had any recommendations for the index fund I was going to open. Otherwise, I was going to take the PF community’s advice of VTSAX and chill.
I started a laundry ($3.50 to the Washer/Dryer fund). I am going to open an index fund, so I asked my friend Jen a few questions before realizing that I was asking someone trying to build a financial coaching business to give out services free. I apologized, and she said it was fine because I’m a friend. But I told her I still wanted her to send me her PayPal/Venmo so I could pay her for the part of the hour I took up.
I checked in with Aaron at noon. He said it might be a long day but he wanted to see me later anyway. He also asked if he could crash at my place since we’d be getting a later start.
Admittedly, all this relationship-y stuff freaks me out a little, but after talking to my friends and therapist, I’ve decided that we’re both just going for the boyfriend/girlfriend experience: all the fun of companionship and fondness, none of the emotional weight of “Where Do You See This Going?” and such. So I should just chill out and enjoy it.
After work was done, I watched TV for a bit, then jumped in the shower so I could be presentable when Aaron got here at 5 p.m. I was ready a little early, so I took the opportunity to finally pre-order the 2021 Anti-Affirmation Calendar for $10.85 after tax. (As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a commission for sales through my links.) I’ve been loving the 2020 one so much, it is definitely a good investment. (If you’re curious what they look like, check out the blog Facebook page, where I post them.)
Aaron showed up at 5 p.m., and we just chilled out until calling it a night around 9:30 p.m. I was asleep before 10 p.m.
Total spent: $14.35
Unfortunately, I woke up around 3:30 or 4 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep. Aaron’s alarm went off at 5 a.m. But when he mapped his route, he discovered the Scottsdale airport was closer than he thought, so he set a new alarm for 6 a.m. But since I couldn’t go back to sleep, we ended up chatting. He left around 6:15 a.m., and I was still pretty awake. So I just started work early.
I caught up on emails, polished and scheduled the spending diary for the next day and then realized that I was still too awake to sleep. Ugh, it was going to be a long day. Filled with carb cravings, probably.
I took a nap, answered the emails that had come in, and then got breakfast at Cracker Barrel ($14.79 after tip) because it’s a pandemic and budgets and calories have no meaning.
I kept up on emails and played on social media, generally waiting until my massage. I needed to change the sheets and do laundry, but I was exhausted. So I compromised by sitting around and eating fun size Snickers.
After work, I took a shower and headed to my massage. I had been looking forward to it for a while because my neck had been pretty bad for a week or so. She did an Ayurvedic massage, which focuses more on the neck/shoulders but also involves lots of wonderful head-rubbing. So I came away with a head smelling of peppermint oil. She told me to leave it in overnight.
I forgot to get a $20 out of the bank for a cash tip, so I didn’t have my full $15 I usually give. Instead, I gave her the $10 I did have and told her I’d give her $20 at my next appointment.
Then I came home and just played on Twitter and watched TV and more fun size Snickers may have been consumed. I started getting ready for bed around 9:30 and was asleep around 10:30.
Total spent: $24.79 ($14.79 out of weekly funds)
Josie was wandering around vocalizing for no apparent reason around 7 a.m. and then started messing around in my shower stall for no apparent reason either. I could tell because her collar’s tags were hitting the stall and making a clunking sound. I yelled at her to stop and was able to get some more sleep before my alarm at 8 a.m.
I don’t normally set an alarm, but I had a haircut at 10 a.m. and needed to get the peppermint oil out of my hair since it was making it stick up weirdly. It’d have been hard for the student stylist to get a good luck at my head. That meant a shower and shampoo, plus time for my hair to air-dry, since I hate blowdrying.
After the shower, I started a laundry ($3.50 to the washer/dryer fund) and did a little cleaning.
I went to my haircut ($20) and got home starving for nothing in particular. I ended up going with a mini pizza ($10.32 on the card, $1 cash tip) and some candy from Walgreens ($6.48). I’m supposed to be cutting down on cheese in my diet, but I didn’t have any the week before, so I guess that’s a tiny bit of progress?
Jen finally saw reason and let me send her the $50 via Venmo for the investing advice she’d given me.
I watched some TV, and around 6 p.m. Jen was available to do watch something. We tried Amazon Watch Party instead of Netflix Party, and watched a couple of movies: The Hustle (which neither of us had seen) and The Spy Who Dumped Me (which I was rewatching but still enjoyed). I have to say that I thought Netflix Party-type stuff was lame when I heard about it, but it was actually nice. My friend Leila and I might do one for Clue.
We texted a bit after the movies, but I called it a night around 9:30 p.m. and was in bed by 10 p.m. I fell asleep sometime before 11 p.m.
Total spent: $91.30 ($90.30 out of weekly funds) — ouch
I was extremely groggy when I woke up a little before 8 a.m. But I also couldn’t sleep any more. So I stumbled out to the living room and tried to think of what to write about for the next day.
But first I checked the CVS website. My CarePass reward had come in, and I wasn’t completely sure what I wanted to use it on. There were a few possibilities. While I was in the app, I found a bunch of deals on the site and as coupons. So I got an amazing deal, which was $55.12 for the seven items plus $15 in saved savings.
I checked in with Aaron. He said he could come over, but it wouldn’t be for long because he had to study a few topics (presumably for his pilot’s license test coming up). Or he said he could study here. I told him I’d probably be watching TV, so that wouldn’t work well. And that I didn’t want him falling behind or being stressed by squeezing in a visit, so he should just focus on studying and we could see each other another day. Being alone for the day kinda sucked, but it was the right thing to do.
I FaceTimed with Mom for about an hour, then wrote up a post about my CVS savings and why the CarePass is such a good deal. Luckily, it was pretty straightforward, so it didn’t take long. But it was still almost 2 p.m. by the time I was done.
I think the rise in new COVID case numbers plus election stress is getting to me because I’d been buying copious junk food/takeout, and this day was no exception. It didn’t help that my friend Jen had mentioned getting a sampler box of chocolates, and Whitman’s was BOGO50 at Walgreens. So I ended up with $17.96 of junk food there, plus $9.34 of takeout.
Jen messaged to see if I wanted to do another viewing party. So I munched, and we watched Crazy Ex-Girlfriend episodes until 9 p.m. I started getting ready for bed around 9:30 p.m. but I didn’t fall asleep til nearly midnight.
Total spent: $97.42 — ouch
I got up, got through emails and then did a little blog work. I checked in with Aaron to see what his schedule was that day. Unfortunately, he’d slept poorly, so he wouldn’t be able to come over that night. I said I would check in with him the next day and that I hoped he was able to get in a nap.
I took my own advice and lay down for a while. I woke up feeling better. I kept up on emails as they came in and otherwise chatted with friends. My trivia group discussed going to a friend’s house for a distanced hangout in her backyard.
It was finally cool — in the high 60s, which is actually considered a smidge chilly here — but the house was still 79 degrees for some reason. I guess that speaks well to the insulation/double pane windows. So I opened the front and sliding back door.
After work, I worked out for the first time in around 10 days. With my recent eating binges (and cholesterol in general), I needed to start getting back into regular exercise.
Once that was over, I just watched TV and shortly before bedtime, chatted with my friend Jen. I started getting ready for bed around 9 p.m. but it took me a while to fall asleep. So I finally dozed off around 10:30 p.m.
Total spent: $0 — finally!!!
I woke up feeling pretty decent and thankfully not tired/sore from the workout. I caught up on emails and checked in with a couple of friends.
Aaron texted to see if he could stop by soon. His wording was a little unclear (English is his second language, though he’s pretty fluent), so I asked whether he meant that night or the next one but said either would work for me.
I messaged with a friend a little, but it was a pretty quiet morning.
I paid my city services bill, rounding up to an even $60. Utility assistance programs really saved my butt when I was broke, so I’m trying to pay it forward where I can.
I fiddled with some numbers for the next month’s pay cycle and fell down the Excel rabbit hole, starting to do projections for my year-end numbers. They look pretty good.
Aaron texted around noon to say he’d meant he wanted to come over that evening, but he’d have to either leave around 7 p.m. or be asleep here around 8 p.m. since he had a very early flight class in the morning. I told him that was fine.
I called in my mortgage payment.
Shortly before the end of my workday, my mom texted to tell me that my grandfather was in the hospital with COVID. I truly hate 2020.
The good news was that he wasn’t having breathing issues, but since he’d just finished radiation and chemo for the cancer he was diagnosed with in the summer (did I mention how much I hate 2020?) they probably wanted to keep a close eye on him.
I may or may not have self-medicated with far too much chocolate.
Aaron came over around 5 p.m., and it was nice to have the distraction. Around 6:30 p.m. he wanted to order what turned out to be some surprisingly healthy taco salads. I tried to pay, since he had last time, but he waved me off.
The food was about 20 minutes away, so we didn’t even get back until almost 7:30 p.m. He’d wanted to be in bed by 8 p.m. So much for that.
We fell asleep around 9:30 p.m.
Total spent: $0
Aaron woke up around 5 a.m. and took off around 5:45 a.m. I just stayed up and dealt with work stuff, but it meant I ended up not going back to bed until 9 a.m.
A bit of TMI, but it’s a purchase so… I ordered a Diva Cup from Amazon for $20.62. Besides being cheaper than routinely purchasing traditional pads/tampons, it’s more eco-friendly.
I was looking at my insurance for some reason that I can’t remember, and I found out that my insurance plan actually lets members order up to $60 of OTC items each quarter. What???
I was royally pissed I’d missed out on the other three quarters! I saw one or two things on the list I might want, but by and large I’m stocked. The item selection is pretty wide, so I messaged my mom to see if she needed more compression socks. Then I asked a friend who lives very close to me to review the list and see whether she needed any items.
The CarePass is keeping me well stocked, but I do want to get myself some toothbrushes. Since I can only order 5 a month and I only want to do one order this quarter, I’ll wait til next year and start using the stipend (which unfortunately goes down to $50 but still…) to get toothbrushes, toothpaste and some pads/tampons for shelters.
At 11 a.m. I left the house to drop off a prescription at CVS. On the way, I stopped at Walgreens and got far too much candy ($16.15), and I ended the trip with takeout ($9.34 plus $1 in cash from my walking around money). I seem to have just given up on any pretense of diet or budget. So I guess I better really start doing those workouts.
I came home, and started the Netflix show Evil. I thought it was an X-Files ripoff, but it’s actually pretty intriguing. Or maybe I just like the actor who played Luke Cage too much. He’s pretty.
I watched that until bedtime, so I made it pretty far into the series. I was exhausted from being up so early and thus started getting ready for bed at 8 p.m. I was asleep some time after 9 p.m.
Total spent: $46.11
Total spent: $273.97 ($262.97 out of weekly funds)
Okay, spending is definitely up. Notably. I take a bit of comfort in the fact that $50 was a one-off for investment advice and $55 was a toiletries stockup. Still… Ow.
How did everyone else’s spending go this week?