I knew money would be tight, but I wasn’t really watching my spending. I still had a lot of items on my Amazon Subscribe & Save, I went out for fun a few times, and I reloaded my Starbucks card (for the last time/before I gave it up).
I spent just over $2100 in April. That seems astronomical to me. If you asked how much it takes me to live each month, I would have said $1600ish. I broke down all of my charges to get to the root of the issue. I spent $515 on one credit card, and $580 on the other. I do put bills and groceries on credit cards, so those aren’t just fun charges. I pay them off in full every month, but try to use them as much as possible because of the cash back rewards. (In fact, in May I was able to redeem some cashback rewards and it was… phenomenal. I hadn’t redeemed for maybe 3 years, so… yeah.)
Besides standard bills that are always the same – house, childcare, internet, cell phone (some of which are paid by check) – I spent $1000 on other stuff. A lot was my Amazon order, which I have since taken a lot off and will just pick up at the grocery store and hopefully use coupons on. I spent about $230 on groceries. I only spend $21 on gas.
A huge rare expense was signing my son up for summer session gymnastics. It was $240 but will go throughout the summer, so that was a one-time credit card expense. I also attended the Art Auction where my photography was on display, and I always buy something there. I love unique art and I love supporting local artists – plus it was a gift! But that is a rare expense, also.
I spent a lot of money via iTunes. I went to see a local musician play and realized I didn’t own all of his albums, and I wanted them. I think I need to try to listen to Pandora more, or figure out Spotify playlists or whatever the young whippersnappers are using now. I don’t mind buying music, but I spent $80! Buying an album here and a single or EP there adds up FAST. I need to keep an eye on iTunes.
I started my Year of Living Minimally and wanted to really focus on money. I mean, this whole blog, and a huge portion of my life, is dedicated to saving money, but I was going to buckle down and keep track of everything. And I did keep track, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I spent less…
My utility bill went down, which was nice because I actually had the A/C on! Maybe I’m showering less? Ha. I had to pay an insurance bill which is a rare expense, and it was a check so I didn’t include it in the round-up. I had other rare expenses like shipping charges for what I sold online (though of course I was reimbursed for it), a new water bottle for my kid, a visit to a cafe called “Dessert Therapy” (YES. It was therapy. And I will not divulge how much I spent. Yikes.).
I also ate out EIGHT TIMES. WHAT?!?!? Who is this person?!?!? It did not seem like that much. And I was (I thought…) being diligent about NOT eating out and saving money! So… wow. That will definitely change next month. Disclaimer: A lot of these food expenses were birthday lunches, brunches, and dinners. One was a lunch with coworkers that happens quarterly. Only the Chinese food and one other fast food visit were for just me and my kid to pig out on at home, so that’s… good. In the scheme of things.
BUT! Even with ALL of that, and all the birthdays in May that call for gifts and cards – I spent $1800. That is $300 less than April! Besides the standard bills I mentioned before (house, childcare, phone, and internet), I only spent $666 using credit cards. SERIOUSLY. That’s almost $350 less than last month. One credit card had ONLY bills on it this month, so I only spent about $495 on other things. That’s all those meals out, groceries twice, the post office visit, and gas.
One huge wrench in the works was getting my car worked on, but it was a necessary evil. It was actually really speedy and affordable compared to where I had been taking my car for service, and the place was so nice and friendly so I’m glad to have a new, trustworthy place to go.
So I ate out a lot this month, which isn’t great for my wallet OR my health, but I still managed to spend wisely. Next month will be a toss-up because I have a short trip planned, and my kid’s birthday party, but I think I’ll be pretty good with my financials.