Okay, haven’t done one of these in a bit. Oops.
But anyway, let’s see how I did.
First a broad overview of the spending:
Ouchie. But let’s dive into the dirty deets. By which I mean, the mostly boring details.
I’m currently paying my mom back at $600 a month, and I have to put away $257.50 for property tax and insurance.
There was $10 in lottery tickets for people who were out of town while the jackpot was more than $1 billion. I bought a couple myself as well. It was such a small amount, I didn’t ask for the money from anyone.
The big expenses here were
* $83.59 for baby registry items for my masseuse
* $131.19 for new bras because I lost a band size. So I bought two strapless — because I now have a ton of dresses — and two that I grabbed from the remnants of the semi-annual sale at Victoria’s Secret.
Beyond that, there was Netflix for $10.85 and Disney+ as a Hulu add-on for $3.23.
Most of the other charges in this category were similarly dull: iCloud storage, a belt, $20 so I have cash in my wallet, and wide-eyed needles.
The needles were necessary because I have a tremor in my hands, and trying to thread regular needles (on the rare occasions I need to sew something) would take at least 10 minutes each time. At least. Even if I had one of those little threader things (and I don’t) it wouldn’t solve the issue of my hands shaking just enough to keep missing the small eye of a usual needle.
Oh, on a less dull note, I also bought the picture ($25) and mat ($5.20) for the frame I rehabbed and put it up. I’m exceedingly pleased with how well it turned out:
Way over budget here thanks mainly to the guest house roof leaking. The repair was $422.01 plus $23.23 of materials. But honestly, I was preparing myself for a four-digit figure. So I was relieved.
Beyond that, this category was prettt normal: $70 for yard maintenance and $30 for the HVAC plans on the main house and guest house.
Usually, the only charge here is Josie’s Banfield plan monthly payment: $39.95.
Alas, she’s proven an intractable patient during vet visits, so I had to buy gabapentin for future appointments. The cost was $14.76.
I only came in under budget here because I raised the usual projected amount, in deference to rising prices.
Even so, I only got two fill-ups plus a couple gallons when I had to gas up at least partway to make it home — but I wanted most of the fueld to be at a different gas station where I’d get a discount.
Of the $60.44 overage, about a third was a new hairdryer.
My old one had been serving me well for what must’ve been at least 12 years, probably more. And given that I spend less than $30 on it, I can’t really complain.
Happily, I was able to find a new one (recommended by a couple of beauty sites) for less than $22. (As an Amazon affiliate, I’m compensated for orders made through my links.)
I also loaded up a bit on hair dye because of coupons and an Extrabux offer at CVS.
I also got four nail polishes and a nail hardener (mine are terribly flimsy) for about $14. Alas, the nail hardener isn’t doing much.
I got a haircut, tipped for my prepaid lip wax and had a couple other beauty services. Oh and bought some makeup brush/sponge shampoo because mine are very, very overdue for a cleaning.
I found a great deal at Walgreens for what should be at least nine months’ worth of sunscreen for just under $47.
Similarly, when I went to get some deodorant, the kind I prefer had coupons plus BOGO50 plus I’d get $5 in Extrabux. So I ended up with four deodorants for just under $23. Given that they retail for more than $8, it was quite a deal.
I also had to get another jar of collagen powder, which was just over $38. If anyone asks, it’s for my joint health. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!
The only other charge was contact lens solution. What can I say? I’m a party gal.
My utilities are pretty dull:
- Ooma (in case anything happens to my cell phone) for a bit under $5.50
- Electric bill for about $133
- Water/sewer/garbage which was a little under $59
- Natural gas for the water heater for just about $15.50
This is a high-spending category, but my Medicare is $445 a month. That said, there’s no deductible and my maximum out-of-pocket expenses are around $3,500. So it evens out.
I had to refill a couple of prescriptions to the tune of about $64.
There was the consultation about getting an IUD ($25 copay).
My bi-weekly 80-minute massages are a wonderful indulgence, but my masseuse only charges $80 each. So even after tip, I only spent $210.
And last and definitely least, there was the embarrassingly unnecessary urgent care visit with a $50 copay.
I don’t know how I spent so little in groceries except to point to the eight instances I got takeout or delivery.
I went through a food apathy (for anything in the house) phase where if I made myself eat at home, I’d just sullenly eat Saltines. But when I’d be at the grocery store, nothing would sound all that appealing either.
Hence my coming in vastly underbudget. Though it’s worth noting that I have two protein bars a day, which amounts to about $76 a month. I buy discounted Target gift cards (which are accounted for in other spending reports) and hit sales, so I don’t spend quite that much. But it’s at least important to acknowledge that my in-house food cost more than $101.
While I was slightly overbudget in this category, that’s not quite the whole picture.
First, I paid $9.99 for an UberOne membership, since I seem to be ordering from there a fair amount despite my best intentions.
Also, about $25 was from my ordering food around Pirate Party Guy. Besides just having a tight financial month, PPG would have eaten something at home if I hadn’t ordered. So I didn’t want him paying.
So while I did still spend more than expected, it wasn’t from going completely overboard with takeout.
Hoo boy, very overbudget here!
More than a third of it, though, was celebrating my vet friend’s birthday with downtown drinking.
It would’ve been significantly less, but that particular day the light rail was interrupted by construction or some such. So that added almost $47 in Uber fares. So between that, the cost of drinks and buying her lunch, it… added up.
The next largest set of expenses were pool parties. I went to two pool parties and bought a costume for a third one (which didn’t take place until after this financial month ended).
So I spent about $60 plus about $25 in food — but for what ended up being three parties and about 17 hours of fun/socializing. Which I think amortizes nicely.
But just because the cost-per-hour isn’t too bad, obviously I could’ve shaved about 30% off the expenses if I’d just gone to Goodwill and gotten a sheet for a toga rather than buying the Roman costume. That said, no regrets because I love it.
There was a play where I got water (and a pic with a guy in an awesome T-Rex costume) for about $20 total. Supporting the arts is fine with me.
There were two happy hours with a local MeetUp group, and about $22 of combined drink/tip for six or seven hours’ of fun chatting seems like a good deal to me.
PPG and I went and saw a movie on $5 Tuesday at AMC.
The amount also includes food at three trivia events. There was a routine dearth of RSVPs these last few months. People are travelling or just don’t want to leave the house for triple-digit temperatures. So I think only five events occurred total.
And before we get into another arguments in the comments situation, I’ll just make sure everyone knows that when venues (almost inevitably) don’t have a low-sodium option, I have decided to just buy a soda. Admittedly, that’s not a ton of money, but it’s almost all profit. And there’s minimal waste.
So at least the overly large amount of money spent had a good ROI in terms of enjoyment and making new friends.
Also, I figure at some point the groups throwing the costume parties will start having themes that are similar enough that I can mostly or completely cobble them together from what I’ve bought in the past.
Well, $608ish over my projected spending definitely stings. But it’s not every month that I have repairs (thankfully) or have someone with a registry to buy from. So I guess I can live with it this time.
Of course, that’s not my total spending. I also have Internet (which I don’t count here because my business pays for it) and charitable donations. Those were a little higher this month because I met a guy through MeetUp who’s waiting for disability for traumatic brain injuries.
He and his husband have sold everything of value but are still going broke trying to pay basic bills. And it’ll be at least six months until he can get a trial. Meanwhile, his husband refuses to consider even legal separation to get the guy’s income down enough to where he qualifies for government assistance.
I keenly remember that time period. It was full of depression and anxiety and feelings of worthlessness. So I’ve been trying to help. I got very lucky having Mom as a safety net during that time and I’m lucky enough to have a well-paying job now. So I feel like it’s incumbent on me to pay it forward.
Anyway, the total for every bill/expense/donation this month was $4,314.05. If I spent like this every month, it would definitely put me at almost $52,000 — well over my goal of $40,000 to $45,000 a year for retirement. (Of course, even that will need to be adjusted for inflation, I suppose.)
But thankfully, not every month is like this. And while the Going Out category spending is definitely high, I’m trying to remind myself that I’m still saving a lot for retirement. So even though I do need to focus on padding those accounts to make up for lost time — inasmuch as that’s possible — it’s also important to enjoy the present some and not live entirely for the future.
I should preface this one by saying that I had a much larger check than usual.
You may recall that in June I didn’t do my usual overtime weekend because my coworker needed me to cover the first two weekends in July. Aka, I would work 19 days straight.
So I took her up on her offer of just relaxing and taking a hit to my check for that month, since my July check would make up for it. Meaning this last check included 16 hours of double-pay overtime. And adding in what is nearly two additional weeks of pay does wonders for the check amount.
Anyway, it’s important to note that I have two versions of what I consider savings: short-term and long-term.
If I’m saving for a goal that’s less than one year away — so sinking funds for quarterly or yearly payments — it’s considered short-term and not counted in my saving rates. Long-term ones will be counted in my saving rates — except for the one account where I’m saving for a relative’s future expense.
- Housing (paying back Mom and putting away escrow): $857.50
- Taxes (both halves of FICA, plus individual state/federal): $1,551
- Car insurance: $90
- Termite protection: $27.67
- Mint Mobile: $16.78
- Roth: $500
- Car fund: $300
- Emergency fund: $200
- HVAC replacement fund: $145
- Relative’s fund: $50
- Savings: $1,000*
- Retirement: just under $3,000**
*Savings has taken a beating the last several months, with the tile job for the bathroom, $700ish for new tires, $1,700 repair bill for my car’s A/C system and the $450ish roof repair. So I put in way more money than usual to plump it back up.
**Again, way larger check than usual, and credit card balances weren’t too bad this month
So my saving rates were heftier than usual:
Obviously, I can’t hope for rates this good on normal checks — especially while I make sure to enjoy the present — but it’s still pretty great as a one-off.
The usual caveat
I know some people get tired of my saying this every time, but I feel it’s important to remind people that, if their numbers don’t look like mine, they need to remember I have certain advantages that they may not.
- I have a high income
- I don’t have kids, and kids create a lot of expenses
- It’s only me, so no spouse spending or otherwise racking up expenses I have to cover
Those are the big factors, but there are probably others that I’m not thinking of right now. Point being, as long as you’re doing your best to save, you should be proud of your progress and shouldn’t compare yourself to others’ results.
How did everyone do with their own savings/spending this past month?