Okay, my financial month wrapped, so it’s time to see just how I spent — and how much.
Let’s get to it!
This is obviously my catch-all category for things that don’t fit anywhere else.
Among this month’s oh-so-exciting purchases were stamps, a few odds and ends from Amazon (like my Anne Taintor wall calendar, blue light glasses and some nice massage oil, since Aaron is being good enough to rub my back at times given that I can’t safely get massages right now), an emissions test, some office supplies and my life insurance premium. Oh and I paid for my mom’s present since the bill had come.
I’m a party gal, what can I say?
After a painful HVAC repair bill not too long ago, it was a relief that just my HVAC protection plans (one for the main house unit, one for the guest house unit) were the only charge in this category.
Each time I do a load of laundry, I put $3.50 into my Washer/Dryer fund in preparation for getting new machines when these die.
I’ve been advised to increase that amount, so I may do that soon. However, since I’m also so close to the balance I’d need to replace both machines, I may just wait until I have new units.
Anyway, just living by myself, I don’t really generate that much laundry. So this amount isn’t really all that crazy.
I’m driving very little, so I only needed to fill up once this month. That was a month ago, and I still have a fair amount in the tank.
I guess that’s the one good thing about the pandemic?
As a reminder, this amount doesn’t represent all of the food I buy. I get discounted Target gift cards, which I use to pay for my monthly supply of protein bars (about $77 a month). Since I account for the Target GCs under Miscellaneous whenever I buy them, I don’t count them here so that I’m not “spending” the same money twice.
This month was a high bill because I’ve started buying salad kits to try to eat a little healthier. If I eat one a day — and I have been eating one most days — that’s about $100 extra a month. But being healthy is important so… Sigh.
This month, though, the “healthy eating” thing had some very mixed results. I was stress eating at a few points still, so about $77 of this total was spent on candy or unhealthy foods. Hopefully, I’ll do better next month.
Given that I’m no longer getting haircuts or other beauty services until things are safer, I didn’t anticipate any spending in this category this month.
But earlier this month, I read an article that explained exactly why it’s so important to diligently clean makeup brushes after every use. Which is also when I realized just how old the shampoo I was using was.
Since I’m not going to deep clean my brushes every time I use them, I bought a spray for quick use and a shampoo for a weekly cleaning. Plus I got a little texturized mat that my friend recommended; you put the shampoo on it and swirl the brush around to make sure all the bristles get doused.
Personal care: $69.69
Very over budget here, but for a good reason.
I was staying under budget, even when I got a three-pack of Oral B replacement brush heads for my electric toothbrush. I hit a sale and used coupons and paid only $20.14 — about half the usual price.
I ran low on Vitamin D pills. And when I went to the store, I decided to pick up some Vitamin B ones too. They were BOGO so I’m set on Vitamin D for nearly two years and Vitamin B for about one. But it was just under $50 for the four bottles.
Nothing interesting here, really. It’s not like I’m going to go out to the movie theater any time soon. So it’s just my monthly Netflix subscription, now that I prepaid for a year of Hulu last month to get a deal.
Well, I messed up here.
Yes, I came in under vastly under budget, but it should’ve been about $60 higher. I apparently forgot to pay my water/sewer/trash bill.
I swear I did. I have a distinct memory of it. But when I searched my email folder and credit card statement… nope. Always nice to know your brain can fabricate memories out of thin air. Sigh.
Anyway, even if I’d paid that, I would’ve come in under budget. But not this under budget — and it meant I had to increase next month’s Utilities category amount since I’ll be paying for two months. Sigh.
Anyway, my gas heat (for the water heater) was just under $30 and the electric bill was just under $116, since it’s averaged out for the year.
The calm before the storm!
This month, I just paid for Josie’s Banfield plan. But on the 28th, she’s going to the vet and will rack up at least a couple hundred dollars in bills.
I think the blood tests they’ll want to run will be all or mostly covered. But if they need to rule out IBD — my current theory based on some reading, which mentioned symptoms she has but I hadn’t thought anything of* — they’ll need to do an x-ray or ultrasound to check the thickness of her stomach/intestines. That’ll be $200ish alone. We’ll see what else they want to do, I guess.
And if it is IBD, I’ll almost definitely need to buy her a different type of food, too.
It’s a good thing she’s cute.
*Puking more than usual (she’s always been more urpy than my past cats but eesh) and more frequrent hairballs.
I came in a little over budget here — mainly because I paid $79.94 for my new contacts. My insurance covers up to $100, but rigid gas permeable lenses are kinda pricey.
Otherwise, I had a $48 copay from a medical service, a few prescriptions ($39), my insurance plus dental add-on ($440) and then a few miscellaneous things. That last bit of vagueness is because I made a note of where I spent the money, but I honestly have no idea what I bought. Oops.
Ah, my Achilles’ heel!
Aaron and I alternate who pays for takeout. It’s an informal arrangement, but I do try to pay every other time. So that can add up when I see him two or sometimes even three times a week. I need to figure out some healthy food I can keep around to feed him. My diet food won’t sustain him long.
At any rate, about $50 was in shared meals for us. Then there was a mini pizza and cinnamon sticks when I was craving unhealthy food, plus a takeout meal when I went to buy the gift card. (I wasn’t going to go to the store and not buy a meal. And since I didn’t want to go in, I had to buy the meal and the gift card at the same time, rather than in two separate transactions.)
Finally, the big ding was after three days of insomnia — or what counts as insomnia for me: about five to six hours of very broken sleep. By the third day, I was so tired, that I crawled whimpering into bed after work and literally couldn’t face the idea of being vertical (even sitting) while one of my meals microwaved for five minutes. As it was, I actually cried for a moment when I realized I had to get up to get my credit card.
I ordered a mini pizza but was so tired, I accidentally ordered the gluten-free version (+$2.75) and obviously I wasn’t going to forgo cinnamon sticks* in this case. Plus I of course had to pay for delivery and tip. So a single meal was $29.99. And honestly, the way I felt that day, I’d do it again. But with regular crust. (Though the GF version was surprisingly normal-tasting.)
*Gluten free pizza plus a bunch of gluten-riddled cinnamon sticks must’ve been such a strange order to see.
And so, my friends, we come to the total of all the categories: $1,487.97. That means I was $178.48 under my projected spending. Hooray!
But of course, that doesn’t represent my total outlays. I also paid for my Internet (paid for by my business, thus not counted above), my mortgage (with a large additional mortgage payment) and some charitable donations.
In the end, I spent a total of $3,142. (Man it’s weird when random numbers add up perfectly!)
That’s well below my targeted retirement spending of about $40,000 — especially when you consider that more than $700 of that amount was additional mortgage principal. Which isn’t exactly something I’ll be paying in retirement.
It’s lovely to be back on track to saner spending now. Let’s hope this continues next month.
How did everyone else’s spending go last month?