Hiking Boots, Indian-style Pizza, and Other April Expenses

“Testing, testing,” I leaned up to the mic, holding the headphones to my ears. I was a bundle of nerves because it was one of my first podcast interviews with FIRE Drill podcast, hosted by Gwen and J. I had one interview previously with the Simple Minded Millennial Podcast, but this time I was taking the interview from the coast, hoping that the internet would hold up.

It ended up being a blast, although after recording I couldn’t remember what we had talked about at all. It was like in my nervousness I had blocked out the memory, which made waiting for its release very difficult. Luckily I just had to wait a couple of days, and then I could listen to it on repeat (no shame).

We talked about getting into a tech job without a computer science degree, my plans for life after early retirement, how Mr. Mechanic and I balance FIRE goals given different timelines and aspirations, and we covered some stories from traveling as well.

Listen to that here: How Negotiating Boosted My Income to a 6-Figure Salary Episode.

Aside from the excitement of the podcast, April was a planning month. We planned a trip to Colombia, we started planning our move, and we planned that we should have Indian pizzas for dinner. Mr. Mechanic delivered (our tandoori lamb veggie pizza pictured below; here’s the recipe).

Now that I think about it, we didn’t just plan, we also executed. With the knowledge of an imminent move, we took advantage of every weekend: skiing in Denver, hosting friends from Seattle, a short jaunt to California, and a weekend at the Oregon Coast.

Considering all of those adventures, our expenses were surprisingly low in April. This is mostly because the travel was booked in advance or through Chase points.

If you want to earn 60,000 bonus points with Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can use this link to sign up and spend $4,000 in the first three months of opening the account. (That’s an affiliate link). My roundtrip flight to Colombia was ~40,000 points.

ItemAmountMechanic Musings
Rent$930As of our move, this will go down to $500!
Groceries$116I was more conscious of our grocery budget this month after writing about how we keep the bill to $108 per person. We went for a few grocery trips this month and made some delicious meals!
Travel$71We took a few Ubers and booked our flight to Colombia. I used Chase Sapphire Preferred points to book the flight, so it doesn’t show up on the expense report, even though technically it is an expense. The flight was $480 roundtrip which is pretty decent!
Shoes$61The two last items on my list before I started my clothing ban were hiking boots and summer sandals. I got Timberland hiking boots from a local thrift store and used some refund money to buy Birkenstocks, shoes I’ve been wanting to try for years.
Restaurants$68We hosted some friends from Seattle and went out to eat a couple of nights. We kept the cost low by sharing. I went out for lunch 3 times with coworkers, we went for brunch with a friend in Denver, and we bought lunch when we went skiing rather than packing beforehand like usual.

We went for brunch in Denver with my college roommate
Hobbies$4We bought cards for family birthdays, we need to start making these!



This was a pretty bare-bones spending month, which is surprising because it felt like we ate out a lot.

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    1. The sight seeing was great! I try not to sink too much time into planning but it really did pay off this time 🙂

    1. I’m so excited for the low rent! However, my rent will significantly increase the following year when we move to CA, so it all balances out.

  1. Look at that pizza! And thank you for linking out to the recipe…. making that this weekend.
    Good luck with the move. The pizza (+bagels) is great in New York State.

    1. Let me know how the recipe turns out! I’m sure NY will have a lot of things to try. I’m excited for exploring the East Coast.

  2. That’s pretty low spending, especially on fuel and groceries! I’m going to start tracking my spending this month (I know, I should’ve been doing this all along) to see where I land and what any potential problem areas are. I have a feeling “going out with friends” is going to be the biggie. Nothing heinous, but not great either.

    1. Yes, going out with friends is definitely a spending point for me, but I never regret those experiences. If I hang out with a friend regularly I try to keep it to hosting them or hanging out around the home, but when I’m seeing friends from out of town we tend to make it to a brunch place or dinner.

  3. Hiking boots that actually fit from a thrift store?! I am so jealous! I can never find the athletic gear I need on sale or used.

    Your expenses are incredibly admirable. I can’t imagine how we would spend only $108 per person on food. What are your food staples?

    Congrats on a great month!


    1. To be fair, the hiking boots did give me blisters on my first wear. I either need to break them in or figure out how to wear them properly. They do technically fit though!

      Food staples are eggs, milk, bagels, some TJ frozen meals, and rice. We shake up the meals that we make but it ranges from homemade pizzas, curries, burritos, etc. One of these days I will write up a month of meals and the cost.

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