January ended up being a somewhat spend-y month. I’m not exactly sure why, but that typically seems to be the case for me. I also had several “unusual” expenses come up last month:
Overall, I spent $3,055 during January. But there was also a refund that came in for some Christmas presents that never made it to me due to a shipping error. Since I counted the $40 towards my spending in December, it only seemed fair that I take it out of my spending in January. So, the total damage ended up being $3,015. I earned $2,584. Yikes!
Other Expenses: On top of paying all $700 of our rent this month, instead of my usual $350, I also chipped in $650 towards Bryan’s expenses. He’s on layoff right now, and didn’t pick up as much extra work in January as he would have liked because of the weather. Since we aren’t married, and we keep separate accounts, I don’t account for any of his spending/saving in my updates. The money went towards things like car payments, and credit cards, etc.; Expenses that don’t involve me, so I didn’t think it necessary to break them down here. If I had been thinking ahead, I would have paid less towards my car loan in December, in preparation for the extra expenses in January. Instead, I took the money out of the emergency fund. Right now, I’m okay with that.
Lottery Savings: In January, I wrote that I was going to start putting away $16 per week into “Lottery Savings”. Bryan plays the lottery twice a week, for both our state lottery and the PowerBall, two tickets of each for each drawing. I’m not much of a gambler, so I rarely play. But we tend to look at the winnings as ours. Which seems a little unfair, that I get the benefit, with none of the risk. So, I’ve started putting $16 each week into “Lottery Savings”, which we’ll probably use for a vacation or something towards the end of the year. Instead of counting the savings as part of my net worth every month, only to have my net worth drop when we eventually spend it, I decided instead to count it as spent every month. This makes it even easier to account for, since I’m taking the money out in cash every month. It’s like it really is gone!
There were a few other random spending items this month, like $78 for The 21 Day Fix fitness program, and $24 for a new domain name (3 years), which I’ve yet to do anything with. For the most part, my spending was fairly normal in January. I would have definitely liked to have seen more money going towards my car loan, but that wasn’t really feasible without dipping into my Emergency Fund more. Which is an idea I’m playing with, as the balance gets lower. Right now, I have $4,000 in the Emergency Fund. I imagine I’ll cave, and wipe out the car loan as soon as the balance gets low enough that I can do it with the cash I have on hand. We’ll see how the next month or two play out!
- Cindy W.