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.
This is a good time to remind everyone that my spending diaries are around 10 days behind. Hence the mention of Christmas.
I was very groggy when I got up, but I got through everything I had to do within a few hours. And despite using the SAD light I was still tired, so I lay back down.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t fall asleep, but lying down helped a bit. I got up and a little work came in. Then I chatted with Aaron for a bit. He said he could come over the next day to hang out for Christmas. It’d be nice to have some company for a change!
Also, I decided that since some families open presents on Christmas Eve, it was officially a holiday; and it’s a scientific fact that food doesn’t have calories on holidays. So I took full advantage of that.
My yearly letter from the boss came to let me know what rate to bill at in 2021. In it, he explained that we’d taken a bit of a beating this year financially, so everyone’s pay was remaining the same. Which he didn’t need at all to justify, but it’s sweet that he did. And incredibly, he still gave out bonuses. So that $900ish will be a nice boost to my January SEP-IRA contributions!
I dropped the eye primer off at my friend Leila’s. She’d been so nice giving me Christmas baked goods and even buying me the kettle corn at Trader Joe’s she knows I love, I told her to consider the primer my too-lazy-to-cook version of Christmas cookies. So she shouldn’t Venmo me anything.
She said thank you and that it was generous. Which is hilarious because she she cooked up treats for multiple people (and vegan recipes aren’t cheap!) and bought me a $3 bag of kettle corn. Comparatively, I was telling her not to send $8. But I’m glad it made her happy.
I had only taken half of the primer cost out of weekly funds when I bought it, so I transferred another $8.08 out of the account for the second primer.
I chatted with friends and played on Twitter and watched TV (finally started watching Ugly Betty after meaning to for… a decade?) and chilled out.
My friend Jen called and we chatted for a while and then watched a Christmas movie on Teleparty. It was called The Knight Before Christmas. It was cheesy and mediocre, but that felt somehow appropriate.
After the movie it was past 9:30 p.m. so I started getting ready for bed. I fell asleep around 11 p.m.
Total spent: $8.08
I hadn’t set my alarm, but I woke up around the usual time anyway. Which was annoying, since I wanted to sleep in for the holiday, but since I woke up while it was still dark, at least it means the SAD light is probably working. I lay in bed dozing a little and finally got up about an hour later.
I got through emails pretty quickly — there aren’t generally a ton of them on Christmas — then I got the next day’s spending diary scheduled. Then I finally got around to opening the presents my mom had sent.
Folks, she got me a stuffed Baby Yoda. Love it! I mean, obviously I’m still gunning for getting the real one some day. But this version is pretty cute. I put him next to Josie to see if she’d snuggle him. Alas, she was utterly uninterested.
Eh, more Baby Yoda for me.
Mom also got me another iTunes gift card — for some reason, I hate paying for music, so I generally only download songs if I have credit — and more hospital/tread socks (yay! yes I know I’m easily amused) and a couple other things.
I FaceTimed with her around 11 a.m. and thanked her for the gifts. Then we chatted for a while. Aaron called during the chat, so I said I’d call him back. I got back to him around noon, and he said he could come over. So I hopped in the shower and then slipped on my “sexy” cozy PJs and waited for him.
Two hours later, I hadn’t heard back, so I messaged again. I was getting concerned when he finally messaged back half an hour after that. He apparently had some work things come in and he had to deal with them and got caught up.
He got here around 4 p.m. He admired my Baby Yoda, and I finally got to give him the Costco gift card to help offset the cost of gas to come to see me. I stressed it wasn’t a Christmas gift. (I had been the one who suggested we not exchange anything.) It was just that I didn’t see him before Christmas to give it to him.
At 7 p.m. we ordered from a local deli and picked it up. Then Aaron wanted to drive around a little, so we agreed to go to an area where he knew there were some fun decorated houses. We got sidetracked for a bit and afterward stopped at a Circle K so that he could gas up and I could use the bathroom. Then I grabbed some beverages ($5.30), and we ate the food in the parking lot before starting out to see the lights again.
The neighborhood was fun to look at. I was getting tired, but he wanted to go to one more spot to show me the light show a local casino was doing. By the time we got back to my place, it was probably 10 p.m. We fell asleep around 11 p.m.
Total spent: $5.30
Aaron’s alarm went off at 7 a.m. And that was a problem because a) I’d asked him to make sure it was off, b) I was dead asleep after days of having trouble sleeping and c) it’s loud and always triggers my heightened startle response. So I was suddenly wide awake with a pounding heart. And a tad grumpy about it.
He apologized, saying he has a ton of alarms on the phone, so he honestly thought he’d turned it off. Then he tried to massage my head and face a little to calm me down, hoping I could get back to sleep. No dice, but my temper at least abated. Mostly.
He left around 9 a.m., apologizing one last time, and I got to work. I had my usual protein bar, but also some gingerbread rice krispy treats my friend Leila had made. I’m not a huge fan of rice crispy treats, but these were delicious.
I caught up on work, then cleaned the litter box. I could’ve sworn I cleaned it the previous week but… it didn’t look like it. (Sorry, Josie!) I guess I spent too long squatting because my legs felt shaky afterward. But since I’m an idiot, I went to run a couple of errands because I had a coupon that was expiring at CVS.
My knee buckled slightly, but I got the Oral-B replacement heads (though, of course, the coupon that was expiring — the whole reason I pushed myself to go that day — wouldn’t apply). It was $20.14 after coupons and Extrabux, which was at least still about half price. I didn’t transfer any saved savings for that because the coupons and such were why I was making the purchase; and saved savings only counts on items I was going to buy anyway.
Despite the knee-buckle (twice, actually) I stupidly thought I should still go across the street to Fry’s to pick up a few things. I got five feet in the door and suddenly had to put forth a little actual effort to make my legs work. But somehow this wasn’t enough to make me turn around. (“I only need a few things! It’ll be fine!” I’m an idiot.)
By the time I got to self-checkout, I was leaning on the counter in between items (total $26.78). I got to the car and, once I was sitting down, my legs were fine for driving. But at home, I struggled to get to the kitchen and then still had to get some things in the fridge. (Which is how I came to have a block of cheese and five salads tucked against me all at once and why some of the salads sorta just got thrown in there.)
I went over to the chair and collapsed. Then grumbled about a) how stupid I’d been, b) how much this sucked and c) how weird it was. My legs only give out like this once in a blue moon. I won’t do anything out of the ordinary or strenuous, but they just freak out.
Alas, 15 minutes after settling in the chair my stomach started growling. After 10 minutes of pouting, I went to the kitchen, leaned my weight against the counter while I sliced some cheese, almost literally threw the cheese back in the fridge, tucked the cheese, a box of crackers and some snacks into my arms and then shuffled my way over to the chair. Which I barely made it to so. So I stayed put for around an hour, trying to make my stupid legs rest.
After about three hours, my legs finally behaved and I could walk around without feeling like I might collapse at any second. Still, I made sure to not move around too much and generally rest.
My friend Jen texted to say hi and said she was a wreck. She’d found out the day before that the mother she’d been estranged from for decades had been in the hospital with COVID and would be taken off the machines Sunday. A goodbye video call had been coordinated for her, but obviously she was all over the place emotionally. I urged her to call or text whenever she felt like it, but after a short chat I didn’t hear from her the rest of the night.
I was pretty weary, so I got ready for bed early and was lying down before 9 p.m. Unfortunately, I still didn’t fall asleep until after 11.
Total spent: $46.92
Other than a short stint of consciousness around 7 a.m., I was able to sleep until 9:30 a.m. But that meant I had to get my butt over to the computer and catch up on emails ASAP. Which I did within about an hour, thankfully.
Inexplicably, my legs were sore. I swear, all I did the day before was squat to do the litter box for a few minutes. I must be even more out of shape than I thought!
I messaged Jen to say hi and that I was always available to chat if she wanted, but I added that I wouldn’t take it personally if she needed to cocoon for a while.
I wrote up the next day’s post — in and around answering emails — and was done around 2 p.m. After that, I mainly chilled out and watched TV. Around 7 p.m. I started compiling more of my year-end numbers.
I got caught up in that and didn’t start getting ready for bed until about 10 p.m. but I was asleep around 11 p.m.
Total spent: $0
I got up and got through emails, social media and my newer duties by 10 a.m. Aaron had called part way through to say hi and vent a little about work, but there was an issue I had to take care of so eventually I apologized and said I had to go.
I started a laundry ($3.50 to the Washer/Dryer fund) and then went back to working on my year-end numbers. I was even able to make a pie chart! (As my mom likes to say, small things please small minds.)
I texted Jen again, once again saying she shouldn’t feel pressured to text back. I just wanted to let her know I was thinking of her and hoping she was taking care of herself.
I chatted with Aaron and we agreed he’d come over that afternoon. I spent the rest of the day dealing with incoming emails and working on my year-end numbers.
After work, I hopped in the shower and did my hair and makeup. It’s not that he hasn’t seen me without makeup and with messy hair, but I still feel weird not trying to look nice when he comes over. I guess I’ll relax into it eventually.
Aaron tried to help me find some documents that are apparently lost to the ages. (I have the earlier incomplete versions, but I know later versions existed because I’d copied and pasted information from them. Gah.) While he was unsuccessful, he did prioritize some systems on my computer, though, to get it to run a little faster. So that was nice.
Around 8:30, he ordered some food. I try to pay every other time and he’d paid on Christmas, but I truly didn’t want to get up and get my wallet and fuss with my phone. So I guess I’ll make sure I get the next two.
We didn’t fall asleep until almost 11 p.m.
Total spent: $3.50
We got up with Aaron’s 6 a.m. alarm — an alarm is fine on weekdays — but lazed around for a while. I lost track of time and ended up starting the day late. I was really stressed about getting caught up — there were almost twice as many emails as usual that morning — so I had to kind of hurry him out the door.
The only good thing about being so busy is that the day passed pretty quickly. When things did calm down, I went back to work on the year-end numbers.
And sent another text to Jen. She did respond a little. But she was still reticent, which was understandable.
After a while of dinking around with the year-end numbers, I stopped and ran to the store for munchies ($8.98). Then I came home and watched TV and snacked and generally tried to chill out.
But around 8 p.m. I hopped on the computer to update this spending diary. And ended up getting lost in year-end numbers stuff again.
I started getting ready for bed around 9 p.m. and was asleep sometime before 11 p.m. Progress?
Total spent: $8.98
I woke up to twice as many emails (maybe even triple) as usual. And for some reason Microsoft Edge — my main browser with all of my bookmarks — wouldn’t open. Even after I restarted.
So I opened a different browser, but I was missing a key link. So while I waited for my boss to send me that — he often takes a couple of hours to answer texts — I had to use a very cumbersome workaround. And of course, things like PDFs are set to open in Edge, so when people would send those in, I had to save them to my computer and then specify that they should open with Chrome. Ugh.
I was starting to be caught up on emails (but also developing a slight headache) when I went to refill my water bottle — and dropped the surprisingly solid lid on the edge of my toes. It was fine after a couple of minutes but good lord did that sting! It seemed very fitting with the day I was having.
I got caught up on emails and took some ibuprofen. But my other work duties took me multiple more hours to finish. I didn’t get caught up on everything until about an hour before my workday ended. Sheesh.
I then still had to write a post for the next day. So I started on that — answering incoming emails as needed — and finished around 3:30 p.m. Not literature-grade writing, but it was the last throes of 2020. So coherent sentences win gold medals at this point.
I paid the bill for something I got at Victoria’s Secret ($31.70).
After work, I watched TV and chilled out until about 7 p.m. when I ran out to get some prescriptions ($16.30). After that, more TV until I started getting ready for bed around 9 p.m. and fell asleep around 10:30 p.m.
Total spent: $49
Total spent: $121.78
Wow, a very low-spend week! To be fair, it was mainly because the week before I’d loaded up on most of the junk food necessary to get through the end of the year. But of course, I also just didn’t have a ton to do for the holidays, which kept it cheap.
How did everyone’s spending go?