Seattle Roadtrip and Other February 2019 Expenses

Snow teased us in February. Reports warned of a record-breaking snowstorm headed our way. I saw the headlines for another “Snowmageddon” on Friday and started to get antsy– we were running low on food and last time it snowed the roads were treacherous.

Preparing for the Storm

Two years ago, I was trapped downtown for hours waiting for a bus home after work. When the bus finally came, it made it a few blocks before barrelling through a red light. It slid on the ice as our bus driver screamed in panic. I’m originally from Colorado, but I understand that the Portland snow and ice situation is a different beast.

I left work early to go to the grocery store, anticipating a wild flurry of people stocking up before the storm. Mr. Mechanic, who had ignored the news all day, was in a mild state of shock as people manically emptied the shelves. We stocked up and went home to bed, dreaming of blizzards dumping snow.

snow covered tree leaning over a truck
The snow two years ago

When I woke up, I eagerly sat up in bed, ready for a day cozying up inside with a mug of hot chocolate and perhaps a midday snowball fight. Instead, well… see for yourself:

A view of the lawn and river with a light dusting of snow
The snow on Saturday morning

Snowmageddon? More like No-mageddon!

Weekend in Seattle

In our disappointment, we made plans to head up North to Seattle. We stayed the night at one of my best friend’s apartments and she gave us the grand tour to cheer us up: a chocolate tasting, a troll under the bridge, and a stop at a local brewery.

smoked gouda, grapes, and sausage with Work Optional book
Living my best life right now eating smoked gouda, grapes, and Olympia Provisions sausages while mapping out my future best life.

We BYOB– brought our own bed, in the form of a blow-up mattress. Definitely a step up from the last time we were in Seattle when we slept in our car. The next morning we went for breakfast (Mr. Mechanic and I split the huevos rancheros– yum!) and then headed to Pike Place to meet some fellow financial bloggers.

Meeting Other FIRE Bloggers

We had the pleasure of meeting Purple from A Purple Life, J from Millenial Boss, Angela (and her son!) from Tread Lightly Retire Early, and Felicity from Fetching Financial Freedom.

This was the first time meeting other bloggers in real life so it was a real treat (so was the raspberry-filled donut I nibbled on while chatting). I didn’t think the weekend could get any better, but then Angela told me I won the book Work Optional in her giveaway! (Don’t forget to enter to win your own copy as I share the love!)

I drove home from Seattle buzzing with energy from such a fun weekend (or maybe it was the donut?).

Expense Report

With a month of frantic food shopping and social spending sprees, how much did I spend in February?

A note on reading these expense reports: for simplicity (and accuracy) I put all expenses in the month that they are paid. This is a record of just my expenses, and if you don’t see it here, there is a good chance I simply don’t pay for it.

Item Amount Mechanic Musings
Rent $930
Travel $214 A flight home for a long ski weekend. Thanks Southwest for two free checked bags!
Taxes $128 Apparently, I made an error in my 2015 taxes so I owed a bit of money to the state after an audit, and Portland has a yearly Arts tax.
Groceries $111 We made vegetable soup, poached salmon in red Thai curry sauce, slow-cooked pork loin, and some chili-lime chicken skewers. Yum!
Car Insurance $38 My share of car insurance for our 2010 Toyota Rav4.
Fuel $35 We drove to Seattle and back.
Restaurants $58 We ate out socially a lot this month, including mac and cheese the iconic Beecher’s cheese shop in Pike Market in Seattle and breakfast out with our hosts. This is the total for 7 meals/desserts/snacks out for me.
Instapot $4 I’ve had my eye on an Instapot for a while now, but we already had a crock pot and a rice cooker, so we didn’t have much need for one. However, our rice cooker stopped working, and despite our best efforts to get it to work again, it would not turn on. Mr. Mechanic returned a gift from Christmas that he didn’t need and used the money towards our new Instapot! The $4 was my contributing portion since his return paid for most of it.

Total

$1,518

A pretty average month! I think it’s pretty good considering all the socializing and travel costs.

Seattle space needle with colorful wall

How was your February spending? Do you have any wild stories from snowmageddons past or present?

10 Comments

  1. Blogger meetups are the best!!! I’ve hung out with Felicity in Orlando and NYC, and J at FinCon too. You got some of the best for your first time!! (Not a slight to anyone else, we’ve got a lot of people that are truly the best!♥️)

  2. Nice! I’ve never really thought about meeting up with other Finance Bloggers – it always feels like I am so far away from everyone else waaayyyyy up North here lol! Sounds like a cool experience!

    1. There are other Canadian FIRE people! There are also TONS of meet ups all over– Camp FI, mustachian meetups, ChooseFI meetups, FinCon, Chautautuas– they come well-recommended from everyone who has gone and met like-minded folks.

  3. I thought that the “troll under the bridge” was likely a STROLL under the bridge and therefore was a typo. That didn’t seem like you, so I googled it and sure enough it is a thing!
    Oh and $58 for 7 meals out is AMAZING!

  4. I’m so excited for you that you got to meet those awesome bloggers! How inspiring and awesome for you! I haven’t heard of Fetching Financial Freedom before, so I’m off to check out that site now. It’s been over ten years since I’ve been to Seattle. So jealous!

    1. Seattle is so fun! I definitely enjoyed exploring the city and meeting these interesting bloggers. I like FFF, she’s also a developer. Are you planning on going to any meetups or conferences to meet other bloggers like FinCon?

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