It was just last June that I decided to start tracking my spending every month, so this is only the 9th update on this blog. I used to feel that it didn’t matter what I spent my money on, so long as I was sticking to the budget. And I still kind of feel that way. But I’ve definitely had some “Woah” moments when I look over the numbers. And it helps me think about whether my money is really going where I want it to go. Is it adding value to my life?
Take February’s numbers:
Woah, did I really spend $166* on restaurants?
Yes, yes I did! At first, I panicked a little. Especially when I saw that I’d eaten out 5 times** in February! But then, I started looking at the dates and restaurants:
- I spent $105 at a wonderful restaurant for Bryan’s birthday.
- I had breakfast with my mom, aunt, cousin and sisters a few days before my aunt had open heart surgery. Which she was terrified about, but she’s now healing beautifully from.
- I had lunch with my mom twice: Once when we visited said aunt in the hospital after surgery, and once when we discussed her plans for retirement, and I helped her with her paperwork.
- I had breakfast with a dear friend, who is going through a really tough time right now, and I haven’t spent nearly enough time with recently.
Yes, I ate out 5 times. But I wasn’t falling back into my old habit of fast food for lunch. I was connecting with people I love. To me, every penny was well spent!
All in all, I spent $4,624 in February. Higher than usual, but largely due to my tax refunds coming through: I used part of that money to book our room for our vacation next week, and a big chunk of it went to an extra payment on the car loan. I earned $2,630 in February, and had a total tax refund of $1,887 (state and federal).
We had a weekend getaway in February, where I paid for the hotel (Bryan paid for gas, and meals and drinks. I definitely got the better deal!). I also had to renew my domain and hosting for Growing Her Worth. Pricey, but that’s for 3 years.
I bought some new clothes in February. Nothing extravagant: Target had some T-Shirts and tank tops that I love on sale, so I bought a variety of those. I also bought some new clothes to workout in. I know for some that may seem like a frugality no-no. But I get so overheated when we work out that I can’t even concentrate on what I’m doing. I figured it would be better to have some light weight, breathable clothes so I can give the workouts my all, than to half-ass them, or stop doing them altogether, because I’m uncomfortable.
I finally made a decision about how I’m going to handle clothing in my budget as well! In January, I received a raise (well, really more of a cost of living increase). It equals out to $23 a week. So, every week when I get paid, I’ve been sticking $20 into a reserve fund for clothing. It isn’t a lot, but it is adding up quickly! I’m hopeful that I’ll continue losing weight, and will eventually need new clothes in a smaller size. But even if I never make it to a smaller size, I still will need new clothes and shoes. This way I won’t feel guilty spending money on those things!
I think that pretty much sums up everything for February. Any questions? Thoughts on where my money is going?
- Cindy W.
* Oddly enough, I spent $166 on restaurants in January too. Which is super weird. A large chunk of that was from a cousin’s birthday dinner, where I picked up the tab for 3 of us.
** This does not include any restaurant meals that Bryan paid for. We usually don’t eat out a lot, maybe once or twice a month?