Well, another one of my financial months has come and gone. As have plenty of dollars. Let’s see how I did with my spending.
Asterisks will be explained in each category.
Okay, that gives you a broad overview. But let’s see what that spending entailed.
This month, there was actually some fun stuff in this category.
I got a strapless bra for my new red dress for $15.20. I got the red dress and a black and white one for $59.78 total. (Intellectually, I know that’s a good deal, but my thrift store sensibilities are aghast.) And I got jewelry for those dresses — earrings, statement necklace and bracelet (plus some pretty purple earrings I liked) — for $33.62 at Saver’s.
I spent $21.71 on some navy blue shoes to match my blue workout clothes, since my purple workout shoes looked a little weird with them.
I also spent $49.47 with MeetUp to create my new trivia group.
Less thrilling were the Netflix charge ($15.19), stamps ($11) and life insurance ($52.60).
The asterisk here is because $20.43 of the total was saved savings — money I save from sales, coupons, store rewards, etc. — which was tacked onto my mortgage payment. So it was “spent” but not in the traditional sense.
This category has been pretty calm for a while with just the $30 on the HVAC maintenance plans I have. So I should probably lower it in the coming months. But part of me also feels like that’s just jinxing myself, and repairs will rain down upon me as soon as I do. So we’ll see.
Nothing very scintillating here.
Now that I’m able to go places again — and am traveling to see Aaron or do MeetUp events — I’m back to filing up the car twice a month. Honestly, at the rate I’m going, I may have to fill up three times in this current financial month. The Phoenix metro area is entirely too large.
Again, nothing fascinating here. Just Josie’s monthly premium for her Banfield Wellness plan.
This section has an asterisk because in addition to these costs, I buy about $80 worth of protein bars from Target each month. They’re not counted here because I pay using discounted gift cards, which I account for as I buy them. So including the cost here would be counting the spending twice.
This month had a lot of candy and a lot of cheese. Neither one great for me physically. It did also include a bunch of fresh fruit, so that’s nice. But I’ve really got to get my eating more ordered.
Oopsie, went way over in this category.
The overages basically came from times when it was my turn to pay for takeout with Aaron. I try to pay every other time.
I guess you could argue that since he pays sometimes, I got even more excess takeout. But if I hadn’t been with him, I almost certainly wouldn’t have gotten takeout — or definitely not as expensive of takeout. So it doesn’t quite even out dollar for dollar.
The asterisk here is for the time I tipped $2 of cash I had in my wallet for takeout — thus the amount was spent but didn’t come out of weekly funds — and for the time I used a gift card (so $9.83 went into Saved Savings) plus a $1 tip in cash.
Ouch, way over here as well.
The biggest culprit was some retail therapy I did at the tarte Cosmetics website. I had just gone rounds with a friend about my inability to feel safe around unvaccinated people. I was hurt and sad, so I indulged in several makeup palettes for $64.07. My makeup case is pretty full now, so I hope that will be the last unnecessary makeup purchase for a while.
Other than that, I got my beauty service ($40), tipped for a lip wax ($3.50, the wax was prepaid), a hair cut ($10) and a hair product ($19.55 after tax). I also got some hair dye for my gray roots and a makeup item that I had run out of ($7.19 combined after Extrabux and coupons). Oh and later I forgot that I’d bought hair dye, so I bought another one that came to $3.75 after coupons and Extrabux.
I think this is the first time ever that I’ve spent less than expected in this category!
I spent $17.81 on some eye solution and something else that I failed to note. Plus I got some Dove dry shampoo for $6.77 after coupons and Extrabux.
Everything was pretty standard this month.
I have an averaged-out plan for my electricity, so I pay $131.52 a month. Natural gas (for my water heater) was $22.14. Water/sewer/garbage was $55.73.
Since these are about the norm, I guess I should lower my projected amount in the coming months.
Waaaay under budget here. I was basing this on prepandemic socializing, but I realized that amount doesn’t really apply right now. I had to budget that much in 2019 because I was going on a lot of dates and Ubering to many of them so that I could drink.
I don’t have the energy for dating a ton right now and am instead focusing on my MeetUp group/generally growing my friend base. So I’m lowering the projected amount starting this new financial month.
This month’s charges included:
- $15.84 for a ride to a date (back when I had energy for that)
- $12.43 for a drink for myself and a different date, since he’d paid to get us into the bar)
- $42.54 for food at two different trivia nights and for parking downtown at an aborted trivia night.
- $51.70 for food and drinks at two MeetUp board game events
- $15.29 for snacks and mixers to bring to a friend’s birthday party
This month’s overages were due to an unexpected expense, two that I’d forgotten to budget for and a higher fee at my doctor’s.
The doctor was charging me $65 a visit (he’s having to get recertified with my insurance), but this time charged $85. I was late, so I don’t know if the new amount was due to that or if it’s just gone up.
I also forgot to account for my monthly auto-charge for my massage plus the second massage of the month (for a total of $90).
In addition, I finally got around to replacing my left contact. It’s such a low prescription that I didn’t notice it’d fallen out. Since it’s that low, I tried just going without a lens in that eye. But reading is a little trickier this way. So I broke down and paid $99.96 for a new one.
The asterisk in this category is because I also tipped the masseuse $15 each time. But I did that with cash I had on hand. So it didn’t get counted here.
All in all
I just barely made it in under the projected amount of spending. But I guess what matters is that I did it. Well, that and the fact that the jewelry/shoes/dresses/makeup aren’t routine expenses and thus won’t be an issue for a while.
Of course, the above isn’t all of my spending.
I pay for my Ooma connection and my mortgage. My business pays for my Internet and, this month, a charge for some help with technical issues on the blog. And finally, I make charitable donations.
Altogether, that came to just over $3,820.
That amount is more than I’m hoping to spend in retirement. I would love to get my spending down to about $40,000 a year, and at $3,820/month I’d spend almost $46,000 a year.
But $679 of my spending this month went to additional principal on my mortgage. And my mortgage will be paid off in around three and a half years. So the $679 wouldn’t be an expense in my retirement years — or at least not the full amount. At the rate that property taxes and insurance are rising, I think in my golden years I’ll be paying more than my current base mortgage payment. Sigh.
Still, all in all, not too bad. And hopefully this current financial month will have a lower outlay since I’m done clothes/jewelry/makeup shopping for a while.
How did everyone else’s monthly spending go?