July was the month of beautiful sunsets.
I had a couple of goals based off of last month’s spending, but since I don’t budget, I wasn’t sure how well I did until I wrote up this report.
- Spend less on eating out.
In June, I spent $54 on eating out. Not an enormous sum, but it was mostly due to poor planning and not packing a lunch. This month I spent $0 on eating out, so I’m rather pleased with that!
- Spend less on groceries
I was starting to feel like too much in our fridge was going bad because we weren’t planning around the food. We would forget that a perfectly good chicken breast was wrapped up in foil, that the broccoli was starting to turn funky on the edges, and cheese was going mouldy in the fridge side-cabinet. We would go ahead and make an easy frozen meal while our fresh food slowly went bad. Bummer! It wasn’t about the money– it was about the waste. I figured if we were more careful planning out our meals, we would throw out less. We did manage to meal plan, we only threw out a couple of small items in all. The spending came out about even.
- Start using Craigslist to sell off items we don’t need
I mentioned that I had been searching for a bike a few months ago and my friend said she had one languishing in her backyard and I could have it. I ended up finding one for myself on Craigslist, but my friend’s bike was the perfect size for Mr. FM, whose bike had been stolen and he was using his childhood (it was near comical how small it was for him) bike for commuting in the meantime. With the new bike, we could sell off his old bike. I don’t use Craigslist much to sell so this was one of the first items I’ve listed and it was painless, a couple weeks later someone arrived at the door, handed me cash and took the bike off my hands. Win-Win!
July was also the month for weddings– we got invites for three weddings all on the same day. My good friends had theirs at the base of Mt. Hood.
You might notice that some things are missing from the expense report you might expect to see. We don’t currently have any recurring monthly expenses besides our rent– no Netflix, no Amazon, no Internet. Through family and friends, we haven’t had to pay for these things, except our methods of getting internet mean it is often unreliable and working from home can be a bit annoying at times, so that may have to change soon. We’ve been extremely lucky in this regard, since our families had subscriptions to all these monthly services and were happy to share. I’m not sure that we would pay for them otherwise (except for Internet!) so we are extremely thankful.
|Settling-up||$310||Mr. FM and I haven’t found a great way to split expenses. We aren’t actually married, but we’ve been together for 10 years so at this point calling him Mr. FM is just easier. We end up tallying up everything every six months or so which is a huge pain. It can include expenses while travelling, all of my Amazon purchases on his Prime account, groceries, car expenses, etc. After this round of tallying, we’ve decided to get credit cards specifically for shared expenses.|
|Healthcare||$275||Visits to the ophthalmologist went towards the deductible.|
|Groceries||$175||We’ve been trying to meal plan and only go grocery shopping once every two weeks instead of every week. So far it has been a success!|
|Travel||$83||Round trip ticket to Denver, CO. It was $170 when I first started looking, but I set up an alert for it and it came down to $120. Then an add-on I use called Honey (referral link) found a coupon and took off $45! It’s with Frontier so I will only be travelling with a personal item to avoid the extra fees.|
|Gifts||$38||My mother and sisters’ birthdays both fall in the month of July. I should start looking into homemade gifts.|
|Cellphone||$35||I have the same phone from 2015 and use Virgin Mobile for unlimited talk & text and 5GB of data. Last month I attempted to bring this down to $15 by switching to Mint Mobile but my phone seems to be forever locked to Virgin Mobile.|
|Automotive||$19||I took a turn too sharply and the skirt, a piece underneath the door, fell off. It is fine but needs to be reattached, so I ordered a couple parts online.|
|This total is just mine! It doesn’t include Mr. FM’s expenses.|
This is about average for spending. I did find out that I might be able to get my phone bill covered by the new company, which would be fantastic. I think we would manage to save a lot more if we downsized our apartment, but that’s a tradeoff we’re willing to take when we can walk along the waterfront every night with views like this: