Okay, well this is seriously overdue thanks to an Internet outage and general scatteredness. But better late than never, right? Right?!
As a reminder, I get paid mid-month, so this is a look at spending from mid-April to mid-May. Yeah, like I said, very overdue.
While hardly my worst monthly spending, this did definitely weigh in heavier than I’d have liked. (Hey, it and I have something in common!) So let’s see what the damage was, shall we?
Here’s an overview of category spending:
Okay, now here’s a bit more of a breakdown. (Asterisks are explained in each section.)
It was definitely a very miscellaneous set of charges in this category. I got out $20 cash to carry around for general cash-necessary situations. I got out $40 to add to the money I’m keeping at home for larger cash-necessary situations, so I don’t have to run to the ATM every time I need to pay for a service (yard, beauty service, etc.) in cash.
There were also the usual-but-also-weird-to-have-in-a-category-by-themselves charges for Netflix ($15.19) and life insurance ($52.60).
Beyond that, there was:
- $5.42 for a set of ring adjusters since the rings I bought (and still love) weren’t offered in half sizes
- $19.86 for a necklace from Etsy
- A $3 ATM fee from before I started keeping cash at the house and realized three minutes before my massage I’d forgotten to withdraw cash for my tip
- $5.66 for a new Run Lola Run CD from eBay because I lost mine and wanted that music on my phone for workouts and the songs aren’t on iTunes
- The $9.74 I paid out of pocket for my great new workout shorts after an Amazon gift card was applied. (As an Amazon affiliate, I am compensated for purchases through my links.)
There’s an asterisk in this category because $46.83 wasn’t exactly spent. It went into Saved Savings, which is the account where I put money I save with gift cards, store rewards, coupons, sales, etc. on things I was already going to buy.
In addition, I did spend $16 in cash — $1 for a takeout tip and $15 for a dumbbell of Facebook Marketplace — that couldn’t get counted in the spending because it came out of the $20 I withdrew for walking around money. So it would’ve been counted twice.
Thankfully, nothing of note here, just my normal monthly charge for my HVAC service plan.
Every time I do a load of laundry, I put $3.50 into a Washer/Dryer fund for eventual replacement machines. Apparently, this is far less than the laundromat often costs, but since I’m close to my goal, I’ll wait to increase the amount until I get the new machines.
This category has an asterisk because, liked Saved Savings, the money isn’t really being spent. It’s leaving one account but going to another. Still, these posts are recording money that leaves my monthly spending funds, so it’s worth noting this expense.
At this point, I was still going to see Aaron in Tempe some of the time, plus running around to various MeetUp or other social events. So I was back to filling up twice a month instead of once (or less) a month since the pandemic started.
I don’t love the fact that I’m using the car so much, but the ability to be around people is absolutely worth the minor wear and tear on the car/budget.
The only charge for my cat Josie this month was her Banfield plan premium. Since I recently went overboard on a good deal for litter, and since a large bag of her food lasts several months, I don’t anticipate higher expenses in this category for a while.
I had my usual beauty service ($40) plus a haircut at the beauty school ($15), but then there were some unexpected makeup buys that put me over budget this month.
For a while, I’ve felt like my foundation was just a skosh too dark. In addition, I found some YouTube videos that showed I should be using less product to contour, given that I have “mature skin” (blech).
Thankfully, the product suggestions in the videos were very affordable. So I bought:
- Maybelline Fit Me foundation plus Maybelline Instant Age Rewind for highlighting for $11.18
- A nine-pack of makeup blending sponges, a lighter color of my beloved cheap Wet ‘n Wild contour stick plus some Wet ‘n Wild setting powder for $19.13
- A second primer (for areas with large pores) for $3.26
(As an Amazon affiliate, I am compensated for purchases through my links.)
To be clear, some of these prices were after coupons and/or Amazon gift cards were applied. But all of the items were super affordable on their own, which was lovely.
I also spent $3.50 on a tip for my lip wax. I bought a package of lip waxes pre-pandemic, so the wax itself didn’t cost anything. But I still needed to tip the aesthetician.
It was a low-key month for this category.
I just had some eye-area moisturizer for $5.03 after a sale and part of an Amazon gift card was applied. (Once again, as an Amazon affiliate, I am compensated for purchases made through my links.) And I had my mom order me some toilet paper through Costco for $30.19.
I swear I ate this month. I really did. But none of it was all that substantive and/or was fruit on major sale. I am still not back on my diet, so I’m not buying diet meals each week. (Even at about $3 a pop, that adds up.) So yeah, spending was low apparently.
I did get a shipment of peanut butter ($28.75 for six jars). I order this stuff because I like the Adam’s brand, and for some reason it’s not sold in Phoenix. So every two to three months, I have a six-pack shipped to me. Adulthood is weird.
The asterisk here is to remind you that I also have about $86 of protein bars each month, since I eat two a day. But they aren’t in this category total because I pay for them with discounted gift cards from sites like Raise. Since the cost of those has been accounted for in past spending reports, they aren’t included here.
Wow, a month where I came in significantly under budget!
I paid $31.81 for Aaron and I to get dinner one night. And I spent $13.59 on a slew of donuts to console me when Aaron and I agreed to stop seeing each other. Another time, I spent $22.83 a couple dishes from my favorite Thai place. I paid $11.38 for some Dairy Queen. And then there was a $1.31 slushie when I was out shopping for new khaki shorts and forgot my water bottle.
Okay, I went a bit over anticipated spending here. I’m still trying to get a feel for what to expect — especially now that my friends and I are on a tear to make up for lost time.
The main reason I went over was a super expensive night out downtown with my trivia peeps.
I was starving when I joined my friends downtown, but the bar they had planned to go to was out of the happy hour specials we’d gone there for. So we ended up at a place with great (if pricey) cocktails but not very substantive fare. So I got $14 nachos, but was hungry again about two hours later, while we were still there. So I got the $11 (huge) pretzel. I had a few drinks of my own, and I paid for a friend’s drink as a thank you for him chauffeuring me home earlier that week. For an end total of $98.87. Owwwwww.
I spent $56.26 over the course of four trivia nights. And the rest was just dribs and drabs of being out drinking and/or eating with my friends.
We’ve really got to get some game nights going so we can hang out more affordably!
My health insurance program has provided credits for my going to hallmark doctor appointments: yearly physical, yearly gyno exam, mammogram, etc. I can apply those credits to utilities. So this month they covered my water/sewer/trash bill. So my utilities were about $50 lower than usual. Yay!
Unfortunately, I just got a letter saying this program is being discontinued. Boooooo!
Any rate, I paid $131.52 for my averaged-out electricity bill and $25.25 for my natural gas bill for my hot water heater.
Well, the big purchase of interest this month was my massage gun. (As an Amazon affiliate, I am compensated for purchases made through my links.)
Before our falling out, I had tried Aaron’s and it was pretty great. But it wasn’t the cheapest thing ever, so I was worried about it being an impulse purchase. However, when I mentioned it on Twitter, several people raved about theirs, and my personal trainer also recommended it.
So I got the one Aaron had had. The silver version was $115.99, and there was a $40 off coupon, so I paid $82.53 after tax. But it looks like right now there’s a $30 off coupon and a 30% off coupon. So if anyone is intrigued, that brings the model I bought down to $51.19 before tax.
It’s been great for helping at night with my restless leg and for generally helping deal with (or even prevent) soreness after I do things like squats and lunges. Highly recommend!
Other than that, the charges were pretty mundane. There was $65 to see my doctor while he gets recertified with my insurance. Also, my $32 dental benefits premium. And thanks to that premium, I only paid $89.76 for the cavities the dentist found and fixed. I filled two prescriptions for $67.13. And of course, my insurance premium was $407.50.
But of course, that’s not all of the spending I did that month.
I always pay extra on my mortgage — and the additional principal varies each month — so I can’t budget for that. I also make some charitable contributions. Then there’s my VOIP “landline” through Ooma. And then there’s my business spending for Internet and, this last month, some tech support.
The mortgage spending was a biggie — only a few hundred less than what I spent in all of the basic categories in my table. Eesh. (But also, yay! Progress on the mortgage!) As a result, I spent $3,679.96 — with about $61 of that going either into Saved Savings or the Washer/Dryer fund.
I’m hoping to get to a place where I spend $40,000 a year or less in preparation for retirement. Unfortunately, $3,700 a month is about $44,000 a year. But as I remind myself, several hundred of that went to additional principal on my mortgage. So once my mortgage is paid off — even as property taxes and insurance rates continue to go up — I’ll still be spending a lot less.
So I guess I’m more or less on track? It’s honestly hard to know at this point. Especially while my friends and I are going a little crazy with nights out on the town.
How did everyone else’s spending go in April/May?