Spending – June 2016

Going into June, I was expecting it to be an inexpensive month. Or, at the very least, a fairly “normal” month. After all, I had already paid June’s rent and Netflix as part of May. That would almost make it a wash with my 6 month car insurance premium, and annual renter’s insurance. Right?

Where the money went: June, 2016.
Where the money went: June, 2016.

I spent $2,936 in June. Which compared to what I earned ($3,281), isn’t horribly bad. Add to that a reimbursement from my FSA account of $105 for Medical expenses, and it looks a little better. But it’s still a lot more than I was expecting!

Technically, I spent $3,461 on the vacation, since I paid for everything at the time of booking. But only $1,034 of that is my cost; My sisters and mom are paying me back for the rest. To make it easier to track, I’m only counting my portion towards spending.

I was shocked to see that our grocery spending was so high in June. And honestly, I don’t have a good explanation. There were a lot of little trips that we made during the week, but overall, there weren’t any big trips that stick out. I guess the little things really do add up over time!

Hannah (our dog) got a hair cut last month*. And so did I! I typically get a hair cut once every six months, although this time around I went a bit more drastic: Nine inches, gone! I’m fairly lazy with my hair, so keeping it long works for me. But it had gotten down to my waist, which was a little ridiculous/overwhelming. My stylist supports a charity that will accept dyed hair for donations, and doesn’t charge children for the wigs. The minimum length they’ll accept is eight inches. She took nine for the donation, plus a little more for evening it out and layering, and it’s still a few inches below my shoulders. It looks great, but it is a little more effort. I’m not sure if I’ll keep it shorter, which would involve getting more frequent cuts, or return to my lazy ways and let it go again. On the plus side, a child benefits from my laziness. I consider that a win!

Gas is high this month because I filled up Bryan’s gas tank while I was driving his vehicle when we were out-of-town for his father’s funeral. That added about $56 to my normal gas spending. Suburbans take a ridiculous amount of gas! Honestly, I feel a little guilty for getting off so easy with expenses on that trip. Bryan spent money for 2 nights in a hotel, plus meals for he and I, and his son and future daughter-in-law. It ended up being a very pricey weekend for him. Of course, we’re cognizant of how much worse it could have been: His parents had their funerals pre-arranged and paid for, so there wasn’t any concern with how those expenses would be covered.

Clothing was a big expense for me this month. I set aside $20 each week in a “clothing fund”. I’m not a big shopper, so it isn’t like I’m buying $20 worth of clothing every week, or $80-100 every month. So the money is already set aside in savings for months where I end up spending a little more. Actually, a lot of my spending works out that way: My renter’s and car insurance premiums didn’t come out of June’s earnings; That money was already sitting in my bank account at the beginning of the month, waiting for the payments to come due. As I transfer money into my “expenses” bank account each week, a little bit of that money is going to cover future expenses. Since I’m salaried, and my weekly paycheck is always the same, this system creates some consistency in what I do with my money. I always put the same amount towards “expenses”, the same amount into “savings”, and have the same amount to “spend”. I may vary what I spend the money on throughout the month, or maybe put it aside and spend it in another month, but I always know exactly what I’m working with every week.

I could have done better, but overall I’m happy with how this month turned out.

  • Cindy W.

* Hannah’s grooming was $47. The remainder of “pet care” was for her monthly wellness plan.

** Lottery savings is the $20 that I put away each week, in cash, for NOT playing the lottery. This is equal to the amount Bryan spends each week playing the lottery. If he wins, the money is “ours”. My “spending” the same amount every week makes things seem more fair. At the end of the year, we’ll probably use that money to take a vacation. It’s like a guaranteed win!

*** Insurance covers two term life insurance policies: One insuring me, and one insuring my younger sister. I pay my car insurance every 6 months, and renters insurance once a year.

**** To make things easier to track, I only list items that come out of my net pay, or what gets deposited into my checking account. My 401(k), health insurance, Flexible Spending Account, and other expenses that are taken directly from my weekly paycheck by my employer are not included here.

 

Comments

  1. It’s so wonderful that you can lay out for a vacation, Father’s Day and a grooming and still increase your net worth! Bet it feels really good to have paid off that car loan at moments like this.

    1. It is a wonderful feeling! It’s been a long time since I’ve had credit card debt, but when I still had my car and student loans, I always questioned whether I should be spending money, even though I was spending cash, if I still had debt. Now I know when I say “I can afford it”, I really can afford it! I just have to worry about balancing the present with the future (i.e. saving for retirement, long-term goals, etc.). I’m no longer paying for the past!

  2. I agree — I think it’s great that you had an increase even in a month where you had grief expenses and paid for a vacation up front. Your spending seems totally reasonable to me. And being out of debt is great, because it means there’s really nothing to do but decide whether to save or spend on things you really want; the stress levels over spending just drop so much!

    1. It is really great to be out of debt! It definitely relieves the stress surrounding spending. I kind of hate that big spending, like on vacations, has such an impact on net worth. But, I keep reminding myself that there will always be high and low months. It’s the overall trend that’s important!

  3. […] add up. After all, I spend my days making sure things balance. And yet, as I was glancing over my June Spending Update yesterday, I realized that wasn’t the case. I earned $3,281 in June, while spending $2,936. […]

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