Adventures Abroad, Birthdays, and Other May 2019 Expenses

The month of May heralded summer and anticipation for our next chapter.

We jetted off to Colombia early in the month. For a week we had an adventure-packed trip, and then I flew home. I have to manage my vacation days given the upcoming move, but lucky Mr. Mechanic had more time off so he stayed longer. He continued on to Ecuador and I got back to work. Read more about that trip here.

When I got home I turned 26, which meant changing my health insurance. Under the ACA, you can stay under your parent’s insurance until the age of 26. Because losing your insurance counts as a qualifying event, it was pretty easy to make the switch. Then I learned that my old insurance would last until the end of the month, so I guess that I jumped the gun by signing up early for coverage at work, oops.

After that, a friend and I went for ramen and ice cream to celebrate! (My birthday, not the healthcare switch.)

The rest of the month was restaurant heavy. A couple of friends came to visit and together we tried to hit some of my favorite gastronomic wonders in Portland. 

Besides food, there are a few hikes that I still needed to check off my list. One of these was the famous Trail of 10 Falls. It was a tame 8-mile hike, and we managed to hit a beautiful day of sunshine for it.

the sky, trees, and the top of a waterfall
One of the 10 falls

Between the travel, frequent trips to eat out, and time spent seeing friends before we go, I figured that this month would be a high-expense month. Was my hunch correct?

Let’s find out!

Item Amount Mechanic Musings
Rent $930  
Car Insurance $170 My half for 6 months of car insurance
Restaurants $147 This is the most I have spent on restaurants this year! Two birthday dinners, plus extra birthday desserts, plus several lunches with coworkers made for a high total.
Groceries $72 We are trying to eat everything out of our fridge before moving. This plan (plus all the restaurants and being abroad for part of the month) meant rather low spending on groceries this month. 
Travel $302 This is the total we spent on our trip to Colombia just to make this expense report a bit easier.
Prep for Trip $70 These are the travel items we paid for outside of Colombia. It includes bug spray, ATM fees, and our Uber/Lyft rides to and from the airport.
Internet $27.5 My half of our Centurylink bill.
Blog $18 Domain renewal for Financial Mechanic

TOTAL

$1,746

A heavy spend this month, I blame the restaurants! Oh, and traveling internationally. 
Sunny view of a trail
One of our hikes in Colombia

How were your May expenses? What things are still on your bucket list for the city you live in?

Share in the comments below!

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4 Comments

  1. My financial month starts mid-month, so I don’t know exactly what my spending was yet. I do know that I spent more in groceries than I thought I normally do. Some of that was special events (a game night where I stocked up on snacks, a bunch of soft foods because I’m getting a cavity filled and can’t have hard/sticky food for 48 hours, etc.). But some of it is just that I underestimated how much I spend on groceries, I think. So it’s good that I’m finally tracking my spending.

    I’m also spending more on going out than I thought. Again, some of this is one-off expenses, like two $20 Uber rides to dates so that I could drink and not worry about driving and a friend’s birthday dinner at a not-so-cheap restaurant.

    Still, this month of tracking expenses has been eye-opening. I need one more month to see if one-off expenses keep cropping up (thereby keeping spending at higher levels). Then I can start figuring out where to trim and how much to budget for each category. Right now, I just have set weekly amounts that I spend, but it’s too high given that it’s the same amount as when my ex-husband was around spending money.

    1. It’s great that you are tracking your spending! I find that every month I have some high ‘one-off’ expense, so the average tends to stay high. This month was the travel and the insurance, but it seems like there is always something. It’s good to keep track just for that reason. It definitely helps for budgeting those types of expenses that we value but didn’t think were that regular.

  2. Your blog prompted me to muse about spending related to trips. May expense I am going to comment on not mine but my neighbors expenses.Especially the cost of taking care of pets when gone. It is not my pets this time as I have been pet sitting for someone else. I was astounded to realize the going rate for a dog is $50 a day. I was astounded in a good way because I am the one doing the sitting and pleasantly surprised as I get the good end of the deal this time. But this is a lot that many people add on to a travel budget. For example for your Columbia trip of 6 days this would have added another $300 which would have doubled your cost. Your dog (if you had one) would have paid just as much for their vacation!

    1. Wow I haven’t thought of that! We are hoping that when we get a dog we can have a community or family nearby where we can trade dogs for pet-watching, but that isn’t always available. I also dog sat last weekend, all I had to do was check on the dogs a few times that day and it was $50 too!

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