November was the month of travel and family. I kicked off the first week with a business trip to California, where I spent most of the time working outside to soak up as much sun as possible. Traveling for work racked up a grand total of $1,500. That is usually how much I spend in an entire month! Though the flight and hotel contributed the most to that total, eating out for every meal definitely adds up. As this was reimbursed by my company, you won’t see it in my expenses below.
Mr. Mechanic strategically booked a residency interview in California for the end of the week so he could join me there. We took the train to San Francisco for the weekend. We got to see family there, soaking in the city-life as we explored.
The following weekend we headed to Denver as Mr. Mechanic had another interview.
I should probably explain a bit more about these interviews. For Mr. Mechanic’s medical specialty, he is advised to apply to 40-50 programs. Out of those, he has interviews with 15-20 all across the country. He has to fly to each hospital, go to a pre-interview dinner, and then interview the following day. He is paying for it all out of his own pocket, which is a significant expense. I don’t go with him on all the interviews because that would be crazy, but I went with him to Denver because my parents live there.
We spent the weekend in Denver going to botanical gardens, seeing college friends, and flinging snowballs at each other on hiking trails. After a pre-Thanksgiving with my parents, we flew home, had a couple of normal days of work, then suddenly actual-Thanksgiving was upon us.
We bundled up and went for a little hike to try to walk off the unconventional and delicious meal. I highly recommend trying a different bird than turkey. This year the chef whipped up a savory masterpiece from his Jerusalem cookbook.
All the intense flavors lavished on the poor chicken—arak, mustard, fennel, clementines with their skins, brown sugar—somehow manage to come together in a sweetly comforting dish you will always want to come back to. – Yotam Ottolenghi
Now, as my mouth-waters thinking about all of that food, we can delve right in to my expense report for the month of November!
We spent a lot of time with family this month so our grocery spending was quite low. Made a killer cranberry and jalapeño dip as our contribution to Thanksgiving! While we were home we made huge crock pot meals.
I upgraded to WordPress Premium, which meant I could try out new themes. I prefer the fonts on Premium themes, but am considering downgrading and getting a refund as I’m not sure it’s really worth the money. What I really wanted was the ability to add an ‘Archives’ page as that is how I like to read blogs, but in order to do that it is another $50 for the Business plan. I will probably check out hosting the site elsewhere to get around that.
About the same as last month.
I slacked on packing lunches a few days this month and went out with coworkers more than usual. Also bought food on-the-go at the airport.
I paid $15 for the background check to sign up for Rover, a dog walking and dog sitting app. As we have had good luck with Wag! I thought I would try it out. I got one request for a dogsitting job but it didn’t work with my schedule.
This means I only spent $200 in addition to rent this month. As work reimbursed the $1,500 spent during the first week of the month and a lot of the month we were away from home, the low number makes sense.
How was your November?
Did you have an unconventional Thanksgiving meal? Does your spending change while on work trips? Share in the comments below!