Big Sur and Other February Expenses

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I never much liked the dark, cold month of February. All I had to do was check out my expense report from last year to remember the snowy days. That changed when I spent it in Santa Barbara this year. I went on a road trip to Big Sur, hiked every weekend, and spent a lot of time soaking up the sun. Overall, it was a pretty decent month, and I was sad to see it go. 

As per my New Year’s resolution, I looked for more ways to spend guilt free on self-care this month. We’ll see how I did when I tally up my expenses. 

The view from the top of the Boronda hike.

Without further ado, here is the breakdown of my February!

Note: This is the spending for just me. I report expenses when I pay them, so you may not see insurance or other bills until the month that I pay them.

ItemAmountMechanic Musings
Rent$1,320 
Therapy$500I might give this one more month and then start scaling back sessions. I still think this expense is absolutely worth it!
Hair Cut & Dye$300I have learned an important lesson about going to a salon: communicate, communicate, communicate. Setting expectations for what you want and what it is going to cost is very important. Due to some miscommunication I ended up going to the salon not one, but three times and definitely overpaid. I’m going to chalk it up to supporting a local business and do it myself next time!
Amazon$87Self-care, a book, and a smart plug for Alexa
Groceries$72This is low due to some bill shuffling between roommates.
Bureaucratic Documents$107I’ll go into more detail in a future post!
Utilities$45Gas & Electric
Service Charges$32I consolidated my two HSA accounts into Lively HSA, my preferred HSA provider. They don’t have unnecessary fees and allow you to upload receipts, so I decided to move my employer HSA over now that I don’t have a HDHP (High deductible health plan). 
Fuel$20There was a rockslide that took out part of highway 101 so I had to take a bit of a detour to get to Bixby Bridge:

Internet$20 
Restaurants$8 
Goodwill$4Bought a puzzle
Total$2,515Yikes! This time last year, I spent $1,282 and thought that was a lot. Rent, therapy, and a couple trips to the salon did me in. I think this will become a new normal though, we will see how much I need to tweak my Financial Independence target by the end of the year. 

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David @ Filled With Money

You switched away from the HDHP plan?! I currently have the HDHP plan and thought that that was the right plan since I’m barely approaching late 20’s. Maybe I’m doing something wrong!

David @ Filled With Money

Well.. If you do write a post, you know I’ll be reading 🙂

Tara
7 months ago

I, too, have learned that salon lesson the hard way. Ugh. That was one blessing of lockdown — it gave me time to grow out a so-so dye job to a place where it looked natural enough to just let it do its thing. I definitely don’t miss paying salon prices for my hair these days.

Chris@TTL
7 months ago

“Bureaucratic Documents”…hmm.

I’ll just assume you’re finally an ASE certified financial master mechanic. 🙂

Jenni *just* opened her HSA with HSA Bank. Did you have them in your comparison? It’s what I’ve used for many years. Seem fine.

Josh
7 months ago

Looks to me like you’re still perfectly on track! $2,500/month is $30k a year, and your FI plans include $40k/year, iirc?
Looks like a beautiful hike!

Janice
Janice
7 months ago

Curious, is there not a lot of covid cases where you are? I haven’t gone to a salon in a while.

I would think people would spend less on their hair with a lack of in person meetings.