In May 2017 it hit me that I had spent the last year and a half in a full-time salaried position, plus 9 years before that working for money. Yet, I had no idea what my income had brought me. I wasn’t saving for retirement, I didn’t have a freedom fund, and I still had student loans! Where was all the money I had ever made? Was I spending based on my values?
This prompted me to start tracking every single purchase. I wanted to know exactly where my money was going. I wanted to start building wealth, but in order to start, I needed to understand my spending trends.
The #MonthlyExpenses segment is an effort to keep myself accountable for my purchases and on track for my savings and debt payoff goals.
June brought warm weather! It also brought more social outings than normal. Earlier in the month, I ran into my middle-school BFF at our local public library while going to pay a fee for a damaged book (Get Money: Live the Life You Want, Not Just the Life You Can Afford by Kristin Wong). This isn’t the first time I’ve ruined a library book so I was very disappointed with myself for doing it again! Especially since the library doesn’t allow you to buy a new copy to replace it, so I ended up paying more than the book would’ve cost me. But anyway, after running into my friend, we made plans to have a night out in Brooklyn. This spontaneity and adventure set the mood for the rest of the month.
I’ve been trying to get out more, so I decided to take my friends and colleagues up on any invitations I received. Since I started drinking less, my social spending isn’t too heavy on the alcohol, sure I’ll have one drink but I’m very rarely buying more than that. This really saved me money in June, when we were having work happy hours every other week.
I also introduced a clothing shopping ban this month after buying a pair of shoes in May, which I later decided I didn’t like or need. Even though clothing shopping is never a big chunk of my spending as I don’t do it often, I thought this incident called for some great practice of delayed gratification. I did a pretty good job, especially given the fact that my mom insisted I buy a white dress for my nephew’s baptism. In the end, she ended up buying me a dress, one I didn’t pick out, nor that I’ll ever wear again. Hopefully, she can resell it. Either way, I resisted the temptation to go to a colleague’s clothing drive and buy anything at Beacon’s Closet.
When looking over my June spending, it’s clear that the majority of my money is spent eating out. Even with bringing lunch from home every work day, I’m still spending a big chunk of my weekends going to restaurants with Ari.
|Misc.||$142.10||This includes organization donation and goodbye gifts for colleagues|
|Transportation||$43.35||This is transportation for entertainment activities|
|Eating Out||$412.57||The big chunk of this was a $200 payment for my nephew’s baptism brunch|
|Pet Stuff||$212.65||Char’s food and insurance plus the vet visit (I will call and see if insurance will refund this)|
|Payments Made||$139.44||I had to pay NJ taxes and house gas bill|
|Phone & Internet||$86.43||Unlimited call and text but no data, and internet for the house|
|Business||$43.20||This is for the WordPress site you’re reading this blog on!|
|Health||$0.00||Outdoor jogs are free and in the warm months I take full advantage and make nature my gym.|
|Clothing||$0.00||Shopping ban this month!|
|Investments||$400.00||Roth IRA payments|
Looking forward to July, I am being more mindful of how often I’m eating out. Do you have any spending you want to minimize in July?