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. slept. terribly.
I don’t know when I woke up, but probably no later than 3 a.m. I couldn’t quite fall back asleep. Then my foot started itching . After copious scratching didn’t help, I put on lotion. Then more scratching. Then a second round of lotion and about 15 minutes later, the skin finally calmed down. Increasingly convinced there’s nerve damage there heightening the itching sensation.
Even once the foot issue was done, I couldn’t quite sleep. I’d drowse but not even really drift off, then be awake again. At 6:20 a.m. I gave up, got up and caught up on emails so that I could crawl back into bed and hope for a second round of sleep.
But before I could do that, I got distracted by a friend’s message, and we chatted for a little bit. Also, I posted the previous night’s exchange (from the most recent resurfaced ghoster) on a Singles to FI Facebook group to the great entertainment of the other members.
I did finally try to lie down but sleep wouldn’t come. Ugh.
I got up and answered emails as they came in. I cleaned the litter box and found out I was out of litter. I could’ve sworn I had some left. Argh. I ordered two 26.3-lb boxes from Amazon for a total of $24.96 after tax.
My paycheck came, so I got that deposited. I’d have to write myself my employee’s paycheck and do a bunch of math to figure out how much to withhold for the 401(k) contributions. But I’d deal with that when I had more sleep.
Aaron called around noon to let me know that he was facing an unexpectedly long day. So he couldn’t come over. I was bummed, but given how tired I was, it was probably for the best anyway. We agreed he’d try to come over the next night.
I lay down off and on. By 1:30, I was dizzy with tiredness. Ugh. But my boss needed to train me on more of my duties. So I concentrated the best I could and hoped my notes would help when I invariably forgot what he told me.
I climbed into bed around 9:30 p.m. and was asleep by 10 p.m.
Total spent: $24.96
I got up begrudgingly and got to work. After I caught up on emails and my new duties, I set up the spending diary for the following morning.
Then I started moving money around for my monthly finances. I set it up so my first solo 401(k) contribution would no longer be lonely. The next day it would have a buddy!
I paid the various credit cards, wrote myself an employee check and deposited that. Then I tallied up the spending for the month, winced a zillion times, then wrote up the spending report.
Aaron had checked in that morning to say yeah he was definitely coming over, so around 1 p.m. I checked to see when he was thinking. We agreed around 4.
I finished out my day, ate a little something, then hopped in the shower and otherwise made myself more attractive than I had been in smudged glasses, a ponytail and flannel PJs.
Aaron had asked me about helping him figure out IRAs and check his retirement trajectory. Which is one of the sexiest things you can ask a money nerd, of course.
We sat down and broke down his finances some. There were a lot of moving parts, but he was in a good situation and we just had to decide how to best strategize his savings goals.
Then we ordered some takeout, which he paid for. On the way back, I picked up the prescriptions I’d already paid for (via the CVS app) a few days prior. We chatted more — about finances and other — and ended up falling asleep around 11:30 p.m.
Total spent: $0
We woke up around 8 a.m. and he left around 9.
My coworker texted. Apparently, her sister lives in Flagstaff and she wanted to get tested before she drove the TWENTY-SIX HOUR drive to meet up in Chicago (could everyone please stop traveling???) and testing was taking a long time up there. Did I know of any Phoenix facilities with a better turnaround time.
While I didn’t want to encourage the behavior, I also didn’t want bad blood at work. (Especially since she is now the only person who can cover for me if I need it.) So I posted the question in a local Phoenix group and sent her the screenshots of answers, but I did add the bit about false negatives and how bad case numbers were right now. Not that I really thought it’d make a dent.
The Banfield plan charge hit my card.
I did the monthly money shuffle to the various savings accounts, then computed rough year-end savings rate numbers. They looked pretty great!
I then worked on puzzling out how Aaron should prioritize savings goals. Finally, it was late enough that I could call Mom without worrying about waking her up. Damned two-hour time difference half the year!
We chatted a while and then I finished Aaron’s numbers. I messaged him saying I could email him the Excel sheet if he wanted.
Otherwise, I sat around and played online and watched TV. My friend Jen called and we chatted for a bit. Then I went to get some groceries from the store ($40.09). I came home and ate and watched more TV.
Later, Aaron messaged to let me know he’d want to go over the sheet with me in person, so I said we could do that the next time we saw each other. My friend Leila and I messaged back and forth for a while, and then it was bedtime.
I was in bed a little before 10 p.m. but didn’t fall asleep until around 11:30 p.m. Sigh.
Total spent: $74.04
I woke up at almost 10 a.m. I needed to clean but also to write the next day’s post. I started laundry and took out the trash. I’d put off laundry for a bit, so there were two loads ($7 to the Washer/Dryer fund).
I had realized the previous night what I’d forgotten for Aaron’s budget numbers: he wants to fly a couple of times a month to keep his skills up, and he likes the occasional horseback riding. So I put those fields into the Excel sheet but didn’t fill in any numbers yet, since I didn’t know what they’d cost.
Then I settled down to write the post. Shortly after I sat down, Aaron messaged to say he was getting highlights.
Dunno if I’ve mentioned this on here before but… He’s Indian.
I spent a while mentally practicing different intonations of “Looks good!” to sound convincing. But in the end, it turned out he just got light brown streaks and they actually did look pretty good. Phew!
(Incidentally, I wish I could post a pic — if nothing else, he’s hot and I want to brag — but he’s very concerned with online privacy. He actually Googles himself once a month and has any results taken down. So out of respect for that, I’m not posting his picture to the blog or social media.)
After I was done the next day’s post, I cleaned the toilets, dusted, wiped down the shower stall and did a light sweeping of the kibble that gets strewn far and wide since Josie tips over her bowl to eat. (I don’t want to the Roomba, lest it knock down the tree.)
Aaron called and we chatted a bit. Then I ran to the drugstore to get a few things ($19.14) and went to Kohl’s to get my pickup order of some leggings.
After that I came home, brought in the laundry and felt generally awful. But I perked up after I ate a salad. (The fun of chronic fatigue is how often you have to ask “Is it a bad energy day or do I just need to eat?”)
I watched TV and texted some. Then at 7 p.m. I got a message from a guy who apparently wouldn’t take a hint. (I hadn’t responded to his last two messages, since the last time we had talked I’d said I’d reach out if my current situation changed and… it hadn’t changed.) Since he wasn’t leaving me alone, I reminded him I was in a good place now and asked him to please stop messaging.
He promptly told me to get over myself because my last message had been vague (it was not) so he thought I had left the door open to occasionally chat as friends, like we had before (we had not) and that’s all he meant and whatever but good luck with that. I then pointed out that his message that night started with “I want to see you.” He just responded “Dork” and a googly emoji. Gotta love when men try to gaslight you into self-doubt and an apology. He will no longer be called if my situation changes.
Aaron video called again. I think he’s been doing that because his roommate moved out and he’s a little lonely by himself.
We chatted a bit, but I was low energy so we hung up before too long. I watched a little more TV and then hopped in the shower at 8:30ish to start getting ready for bed. I was asleep by 10 p.m.
Total spent: $26.14
I woke up with the alarm but wasn’t too groggy for a change. I got through emails then caught up on the newer duties, fielding emails as they came in. So I was actually pretty steadily busy for the first four hours of my shift, which was nice.
My mom’s sweetie belongs to Costco, so she orders stuff for me from time to time. I had requested a bottle of the gummies plus a $25 Costco gift card. Aaron fuels up there, and he drives 20 miles each way to come see me. In a sports car. So it’s safe to say he uses up a lot of gas, and I wanted to help offset that a bit. The total for both was $49.28
A friend was having trouble finding her stepson’s desired shoes. I’m pretty good at Internet searches, so I asked for the details — and quickly found that they were nowhere in size 9.5. After about 20 minutes of visiting various sites, I finally found ONE pair on eBay. And that was only after I’d experimented with different wording for the colors and ultimately just used the model name and number (both of which I only found accidentally in my searches).
Later I went back using combinations of the model number and name and was able to find an actual store that was selling a pair in his size. So I messaged her about that.
I checked in with my friend Jen, who had found out she was recently exposed to COVID. It had happened outside, but she was still freaked out, especially since she’s high risk.
She was getting tested but didn’t have an appointment, and she sent me a pic showing cars wrapped around the block. Oof.
I got caught up in work for another half an hour and then had some downtime wherein I worked on my financial update for the month. I also checked in with Aaron, who said he could come by around 4:30 p.m.
After work, I ate a little something, then got presentable. Aaron showed up at the predicted time, and we hung out as we do. Around 8 p.m. we were starving and got some sandwiches from Firehouse Subs. I’m trying to pick slightly healthier takeout while I watch my calories. The total was $18.73.
We didn’t get into bed until almost 11 p.m. and it took me until around midnight to fall asleep.
Total spent: $68.01
I didn’t want to get up. At all. In fact, I was rather cranky, which I did my best to hide from Aaron but I’m not sure I succeeded. If he noticed, he took it in stride.
I allegedly had a noon dentist appointment, but I hadn’t received a confirmation call like they had done last time. I called the office and left a message around 10 a.m. When I hadn’t heard back at 11 a.m., I called again.
I called one more time at 11:30 a.m. and said that if I didn’t hear back, I wasn’t going to come to the office. I didn’t hear back, so I stayed put — which was good because I was dizzy with fatigue.
I did my best to rest in and among my work, then chilled out afterward. Eventually, I started feeling normal again and I was very hungry and craving junk food thanks to low sleep (and my body’s general disposition, I suppose). So I ran to Fry’s and got $10.37 of stuff.
By the time I was driving back, I felt horrible again. Gottta love how, even after 23 years of chronic fatigue, my brain still can’t distinguish between “no longer feel awful” and “feel fine and am able to do stuff.” Sigh.
I rested as much as I could the rest of the night and started getting ready for bed a little before 8 p.m. I got in bed around 8:30 p.m. and fell asleep about an hour later.
Total spent: $10.37
I woke up before my alarm and hopped onto work.
I got caught up and then left for my monthly doctor appointment. We agreed to increase the dosage of my energy med because the current one isn’t doing much for me.
Then I came home and got caught up and wished I could take a nap. But my boss still had something to teach me and I wasn’t sure when he’d want to do that.
Jen messaged to say that she was negative for COVID. Hooray!!!
Finally, my boss suggested we get started — except he suggested a time 30 minutes after my shift was over and I needed to crawl into bed. Hopefully, we could do better the following day.
I lay in bed watching TV and eating my remaining meals for the day. (When I’m attempting to stick to my diet, I eat several small ones throughout the day.) I chatted with some people.
Aaron called, saying he was at Costco and needed suggestions for what to give to the canned food drive at Starbucks. I told him beans and rice were good, as was mac & cheese. But I added that food banks were pretty carb-heavy, so I said some canned fruits or vegetables might be nice. I also said tuna was an affordable, good protein.
He showed me his cart at checkout. Based on what I recall seeing he got:
- Two 12-packs of tuna
- A 16-count package of mandarin orange cups
- A 28-count package of V8
- A 12-count package of canned fruit
- A 12-count package of canned vegetables
So yeah, he’s a pretty generous guy. I mean, he can afford to be — he makes good money — but it’s still nice to see someone actually recognize that and do something about it.
At 7:30, I hopped on Teleparty to watch How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding on Netflix with Jen and two of her friends (one of whom turned out to be a blogger I also know from FinCon). That was fun, but we were dismayed to find out the three episodes weren’t just a way to break up a long movie. It’s just a very short-season series and we were left on a cliffhanger. Argh.
I got into bed around 10:30 p.m. and was asleep by 11.
Total spent: $0
Total spent: $203.52
Wow, a low-spending week again finally! The three no-spend days certainly helped! I don’t think my streak will continue because I have some copays that need paying. But at least I can enjoy the moment.