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Well, a new financial month has started — reminder: mine runs from the middle of one calendar month to the next — so let’s take a look at my spending for July to August.
Okay, those are the overall numbers, but I’m sure any fellow financial voyeurs out there want to know what went into those amounts.
Asterisks will be explained in each category breakdown
Obviously, I went quite a bit over this month. But it was mostly on mundane things.
For example, I hit a sale for the Liquid IV stuff I’ve been using to help stay hydrated. I got more than 90 packets but even on sale that was $84. (Though I went through Mr. Rebates for 6% cash back.)
I also paid for a strapless bra ($28.23) and a very cute little black dress ($32.57) because it’s silly that I had neither one. That said, I’m definitely taking a break on new clothing for a while because it’s added up.
I really wanted to rewatch/show Aaron The Birdcage, so I bought that on Amazon for $5.42, since it was only $1 more than a one-time rental (and it’s one of the few movies I’ll rewatch).
I paid for a month of Netflix ($15.17), but this was the account under Tim’s address. I was letting him have access to the account, since Social Security Disability doesn’t pay much. But for reasons I’m not going to get into, he pissed me off to the point that I took my payment method off the account and reactivated the account under my email address. My new is just for one screen, so I’ll only pay $10.07 moving forward. But both Netflix charges landed in the same financial month this time.
My life insurance ($52.60) also goes into this category. For those wondering, I will be dropping it once I pay off my mortgage, but I want the coverage up until then so that whoever inherits my house won’t have any issue paying my mortgage.
I got $20 cash of the ATM for walking around money.
I also re-upped my AMC Stubs premier membership ($10.86) which gives me a free size upgrade on concessions (and I always buy popcorn at the movies) plus more rewards per dollar spent. It pays for itself, even if I only average one movie a month.
Finally — and the reason for the asterisk — there was $44.93 in saved savings this month. “Saved savings” refers to money that I didn’t have to spend thanks to coupons, sales, store rewards, etc. on things I would’ve bought anyway.
This month that was Extrabux and coupon savings at CVS, iTunes savings since I use gift cards from birthday/holiday presents, savings on two purchases because I used an Amazon GC I got from taking a survey, savings on a drink at trivia because we’d won some bar cash from a previous trivia and savings on gas from grocery store rewards.
Since that money goes back into my savings account — and then gets added to my mortgage payments — I figure it’s deserving of an asterisk.
Nothing super interesting here. There was the $30 for my protection plans on the main house and guest house HVAC units (the plan includes semi-annual cleanings and free service calls) and then I paid $60 for some yardwork.
I have been driving a lot more since starting my trivia MeetUp group. I am trying to cover multiple parts of the Greater Phoenix metro area — two of which are 20 to 26 miles away from me. So I expected to have to fill up my tank three times this month.
But it looks like I may be able to get away with just two fill-ups most months, so I may lower the projected amount in the future.
Each time I do a load of laundry, I put $3.50 into my Washer/Dryer fund. Since the money leaves my main bank account but goes into a savings account, I put an asterisk on this “spending.”
This month, I did half a load extra — that is, things went into the washer but not the dryer — so I went a bit over.
Josie is a pretty low-maintenance cat, so this month the only charge was her monthly premium on her Banfield Wellness plan.
The asterisk here is to remind people that the amount doesn’t include the $80 of protein bars I consume each month. I can’t count those here because I pay for them with discounted gift cards I buy from sites like Raise, and those were accounted for in past months’ spending reports.
At a glance, being $56.98 under budget looks like a win, but it really wasn’t. That’s because a whooooole lot of the money spent here was on unhealthy foods. Argh.
And of course, I bought fewer groceries in part because I was buying more takeout. Speaking of which…
Ouch, almost 50% over budget.
A lot of this is just being around Aaron. We generally order takeout when we’re together, since neither of us really cooks, and I try to pay every other time to be fair.
So five of the nine times I got takeout, I was paying for two people. It adds up. Beyond that, I got some DQ (yay Blizzards!), some pizza delivery when I was too exhausted to leave the house but couldn’t bring myself to eat anything I had lying around, two Thai entrees because I can never decide so just eat Thai for two days any time I call in an order and a mini pizza while I was out and about one day.
Went slightly over in this category because I decided to get one more makeup item before Becca Cosmetics goes out of business in September. It’s an amazing undereye concealer, so I decided to get a second backup. Each container lasts me ages, so at least I’ll be getting lots of bang for my buck.
Other than that, there was a tip for my lip wax and $40 for a beauty service I have done.
I would’ve been further over budget, but my appointment at the beauty school for a $20 haircut got pushed back. So no haircut expense for me this month.
Hold onto your hats, folks, this is some pretty exciting spending:
- $8.66 for some Breathe Right strips so I don’t keep Aaron up if I snore (as an Amazon affiliate, I am compensated for purchases made through my links)
- Contact lens solution because I’d left mine at Aaron’s accidentally. It was $16.34 because I hit a BOGO50 sale
- $6.34 for the post-Extrabux and post-coupon savings cost of my Hydro Boost moisturizer and a hand soap refill
I think I overestimated the cost of even semi-weekly trivia events (and doing anything with Aaron), so I’ll probably lower the projected amount for next month.
This month, I had a beer at two trivia events, a cider at another, bought food at three more, bought some food when I went to karoake with a friend’s MeetUp group, had a drink at a MeetUp event I went to and went to two discounted movies (but also got popcorn).
The asterisk here is because I did spend cash a few times that came out of the aforementioned $20 I took out of the ATM:
- $1 for a light rail ticket down to a MeetUp event (so I could drink and avoid fussing with parking)
- $1 tip at a restaurant for a cup of water (I had wanted to buy a bottle of water at a MeetUp event to support the place but they were all out, so I figured the next best thing was to support the employees)
- $6 in tips when Aaron and I went to a group bowling event that came with free drink tickets. Normally, I just tip $1 a drink in that situation, but four of the six of us didn’t tip the bartenders so…
Thankfully, nothing too out of the ordinary in this category.
My doctor visit went up to $85. I’m having to pay for visits while he gets recertified with my insurance.
I also pay $407.50 for my Medicare premium. I know that’s more than some folks pay, but on the other hand, I have no deductible which is pretty sweet. And it’s about what I’d pay for a marketplace plan anyway. I also have a $32 dental add-on.
I saw my psychiatrist ($25 copay) once to check in on how my new med levels were doing. And speaking of meds, I paid $58.81 for two prescriptions.
The asterisk here is that I spent $15 cash for a tip at a prepaid massage. It came out of money I’d taken out of an ATM the previous month, which had thus already been accounted for in a spending report.
Just the teensiest bit over here.
My electric bill is averaged out, so each month I pay $131.52. Given how much rates and usage jump in summer months, I like averaged-out billing so I don’t have to ratchet my budget up and down throughout the year.
My water/sewer/trash bill was $57.82, and my natural gas bill (for the water heater) was $22.22. I also am still paying for Ooma to get a quasi-landline in case anything ever happens to my cell phone. It’s only $5.63 a month, so for me it’s worth the cost to have a backup.
All in all
Just based on those categories’ spending, it looks like my outlays are exceptionally low. But of course, those aren’t the only amounts I spent.
I also have my mortgage payment (which has hundreds of dollars in additional principal tacked onto it), charitable donations and my business expenses. Usually, business spending is just for my Internet (though it’s not cheap) but this month I also had to pay for a service call.
So my total spending for the month was actually $3,747.33, which would work out to about $45,000 a year.
It seems like this is about what I spend most months. That would be discouraging, since I may need to live on less in retirement, but then I remember that I some current spending won’t be necessary in retirement.
For example, in retirement I won’t have to pay my Medicare Part A premium, which is around $200. And in about three years, my house will be paid off. So even with property taxes/insurance premiums, I’ll still be paying much less for housing in my old age.
So all in all, I think I’m doing pretty well on spending — especially since I’m making sure that I am enjoying the present and not just living fo the future.
How did everyone else’s last financial month go?