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Well, running a little late in getting the report up this month. But at least it’s better than flat-out forgetting a month.
As a reminder, I get paid mid-month so this is my spending from mid-November to mid-December. Let’s see how much I spent — and what it went to!
Ouch ouch ouch.
Let’s see what happened here, shall we? Asterisks will be explained in each category.
Hi, Mom, don’t read this part! It talks about your gifts.
Okay, I went over a decent chunk here for a few reasons.
First, I found that my jacket’s pleather-ish material had shredded. Hot Topic makes fun stuff (this was a Black Widow jacket) but it’s not the most durable. So I took advantage of a Black Friday deal and got a (hopefully more durable) replacement at Wilson’s Leather for $51.47. Though I got $3.79 back through Mr. Rebates.
Second, gifts. My mom’s birthday is just under three weeks before Christmas. So the November/December spending always gets a double whammy.
Not that I go crazy. But the Harry & David pears are such a treat in the dead of Alaskan winters; and this year there was, unsurprisingly, no free shipping deal. However, there was a discounted year of unlimited free shipping for $16 — which was a better deal than the cost of shipping to Alaska.
But this means I spent $61 for her birthday gift this year instead of the usual $40-45. Though I put a note in my phone to order next year’s gift a little early, so really the cost will be amortized over two gifts. And I put out word to friends and family that I get free shipping across something like eight sites, in case they want me to order for them.
Her Christmas gift was only $36. But that still means this month I spent almost $100 on gifts that aren’t normally in the budget. Life goes on.
Beyond that, the expenses get far less interesting. There’s the life insurance (which I really need to cancel now that my house is more or less paid off), some batteries for my landline’s phones, a Fire stick on Black Friday, trash bags, and $20 of cash to have on hand.
The asterisk is for the $33 that was “spent” out of weekly funds but actually went into my Saved Savings account thanks using coupons, rewards and gift cards to pay for things.
I actually didn’t go over that much here. I had some items for the renovations that I’m currently stalled out on (trying to get back into the mode soon) plus the $30 a month for my HVAC service plans and about $85 for my bi-monthly Orkin treatment.
So not too bad overall.
Really scintillating stuff here: I did a little less laundry than anticipated. Try to contain your excitement.
The asterisk is there because, liked the saved savings, this money leaves my main account, but it goes to a savings account for when I finally have to replace my current Washer/Dryer.
Josie was polite enough not to get sick, so the only charge here was the monthly payment of her Banfield plan.
Just barely under budget here. Between semi-weekly trivia and increased gas costs, this category’s spending has definitely gone up. But I’m still paying less than most Americans each month, so I guess I should just be grateful for that.
I was going to be massively under budget in this category, actually. I only spent about $89 on groceries this month. (Amazing what happens when you stop eating so much junk food and stick to your diet!)
But then Target offered 10% off gift cards for up to $500 worth of GCs. I use discount gift cards to pay for my $80 a month of protein bars — which is why there’s an asterisk on this category’s total — so it was too good a deal to pass up.
So instead of $89ish, I ended at $539ish.
But those gift cards will get me about six months’ worth of protein bars with a way bigger discount than I can get on sites like Raise. So it was a good buy.
This category’s spending should go way down now that I’m on my diet — and not seeing He Who No Longer Wishes to Be Named Here.
I made sure to pay for our food every other time we ordered. So almost half of this category’s spending was for two times that I bought the meals. Between the breakup and not being able to find low calorie food at most restaurants, I haven’t been ordering much takeout.
Another budget category busted by nabbing a good deal.
I’d pay $13 for lip waxes if I paid as I went. But by buying a package, the cost is closer to $10. So I paid $107 for 12 lip waxes.
Otherwise, I would’ve been just barely over budget thanks to needing refills on a couple drugstore makeup items. But I skipped a haircut this month (they cut it a bit shorter than expected the last time), so it was just the makeup, the lip wax tip and my $40 monthly beauty service.
Just barely over budget here as well. And not on interesting stuff.
I had to buy new razors, so I took advantage of a BOGO50 deal. Then there was ointment recommended by a reader for my bug bites. Plus a Walgreens Black Friday order for Band-Aids, facial moisturizer and mouthwash.
At least this category was fun.
Eight of the 11 charges in this category were food or drinks at the trivia venue. I’m really enjoying socializing at my MeetUp group’s events, so it’s money well spent.
Also, it’s still semi-frugal. Taken as a whole, I spent an average of $14.82 per event. So definitely not bad.
There was one pricey night out drinking at a funky local bar. We went there and to a nearby bar to wind down after that, so that was about $62.
And then there was the $29 for the Die Hard: A Christmas Story play put on by a local puppeteer group. I cannot begin to explain how worth the money it was. Extremely R-rated and fourth wall-breaking hilarity.
Normally, I budget $700 a month for this category. It includes two $65 (with tip) massages a month and an $85 doctor visit. (Thankfully, the latter charge is a thing of the past now that I’ve switched insurance plans.) As well as $430ish for my insurance and dental add-on.
But for reasons not interesting enough to explain, the previous month’s insurance charge hit my card late. So I boosted the Healthcare category amount for the November/December budget. And yet still went over. Sigh.
One reason is that, after the breakup, I decided to splurge on a 90-minute massage instead of my usual 60. Totally worth it, but $20 more.
Beyond that, just a few prescriptions that came together for about $78. Since I only get most of my meds every three months, they can kind of sneak up on me. Oops.
Honestly, nothing remotely interesting here. Gas for the hot water heater was around $26, my Ooma “landline” is a bit under $6, my usual averaged-out electric bill of $131.52 and two months’ worth of city services because I never remember to pay each month. I really wish autopay were an option there.
And a few more
But of course these aren’t the only things I spent money on. I also do some charitable donations — and for the holiday season I gave a little extra — and my business pays for my Internet.
Normally, there would be a mortgage to mention here too, but I got a grace month with the whole payoff thing. So really, this spending would have been even worse in any other month.
But anyway, the total of all the spending was a painful $4,229. Oof.
This was… not a good month, financially. I was over budget on 10 out of the 15 categories. But mostly for good things.
The extremely large amount for healthcare is balanced out by a lower spending last month when the insurance hadn’t hit the account yet.
The discounted Target card will save me at least 5% more than I could usually get.
And who doesn’t like giving gifts?
So I guess I’m at peace with it. Mostly. Still going to be much happier in the new year when things go back to normal. Or what passes for normal in my life/finances.
How has everyone else’s spending been going?