Ski Trips, Cider, and Other March 2019 Expenses

Red ski lift chairs and a snowy mountain

March didn’t mess around. We found out where we will be living for the next five years. We skied two weekends in a row, celebrated Match Day and got full use of our ski passes for the year.

The view from the top of Meadows ski lift
The view of Mt. Hood from Ski Bowl

The cross-country move is a lot to anticipate—we will be driving approximately 3,000 miles to a town with a population about equal to the size of my high school alma mater.

With that in mind, I’m trying to frequently meet up with all of my friends here, organize get-togethers, and take advantage of the highly-acclaimed gastronomic scene in Portland, planning our last stops to places like Pok Pok and Screen Door and Salt and Straw.

Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links

Meeting of the Minds

I met several personal finance bloggers over coffee: That Frugal Pharmasict, Dumpster Dog, and Tread Lightly Retire Early and met some new ones over cider: Early Retirement Now, M from Reflections Of A Millenial Doctor, and Tanja Hester, the author of Work Optional and the blog Our Next Life.

It was amazing to meet so many passionate people in one month, all with similar interests and intelligent takes. Yet it was also bittersweet– I made these connections knowing that we will be taking off in a matter of months. The good thing is that the internet allows for a community to stay connected. Speaking of staying connected through the internet…

10 Year Anniversary

Our belated anniversary milkshake
Our belated anniversary milkshake

This month was also our 10th year anniversary of when I first met Mr. Mechanic. I was 15 when we met and we lived in different states, so we didn’t really think we would last as a couple. Now, we count our “anniversary” as the day we met. 7 out of the 10 years we were long distance, so we can attest to the power of technology to keep people connected.

We considered going out to celebrate but decided to stay in instead. We have internalized the philosophy that eating out isn’t necessarily better. In the afternoons, we prefer cooking up something delicious, snuggling in blankets with hot cocoa to read something like All Over the Place by Geraldine DeRuiter. However, about a week later I was feeling a bit under the weather and I was pretty sure a milkshake would help heal me. We counted our woodblock-chocolate mocha milkshake as a delicious anniversary celebration.

Net Worth Milestone

I got my performance review at work, a nice bonus to follow, that helped propel me to hit a new milestone: a net worth of $250K at the age of 25. I wrote about hitting $200k last year and have kept trucking along.

Expense Report

With a month of change ahead and a rush to eat at Portland’s best before we leave, how did we make out this month?

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
Groceries $132 A good month for grocery spending, we made use of our InstaPot to make onion soup, butter chicken, and lots of rice. We’ve been using recipes recommended by a friend from this cookbook: Indian Instant Pot Cookbook.
Restaurants $96 Restaurant spending skyrocketed this month. Getting lunch with coworkers was a piece of the expense, but we also ate out a bit more than usual in general, and there were several social gatherings.
Ski Trip $100 We had a couple of days left on our pass from Christmas skiing, and we stayed one weekend at an Airbnb, where my share was just $45 for two nights.
Internet $28 Horror of horrors—we have gone four years living in Portland on a free public wifi hotspot alone, but the connection finally shut down. This was a dealbreaker for working from home. We decided to pay for internet for the last couple of months we live here.
Fuel $20 Includes driving to Mount Hood and Mount Bachelor from Portland.
Car Insurance $15
Book $25 I decided to buy All Over the Place because I really enjoy Geraldine’s writing in her blog The Everywhereist and I was happy to support her and grab a hard copy of the book.

Total

$1,347

March rings up under the average for my monthly expenses, which is surprising given how often I ate out and the frequency of weekend adventures!

Snow covered tree
How was your March spending? Have you ever moved cross-country, and if so, what advice do you have for me?

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8 Comments

  1. I moved countries and cross-country some 35 times. I love it. Once you start it’s hard to stop – I am addicted by now but I heard there are folks naturally immune to it. Enjoy the new place, disorientation, adaptation. Exiting times. A part of you will always stay at the place you are leaving so it’s great fun to come back ocassionally. My only tip? If there is something very local and not easily perishable you like, take plenty of it with you. U never know when u can come back next.

  2. Where are you moving to? Sounds like you’ll be living in a small town, which will be a huge change from Portland. I’ve moved cross country several times. Moving is stressful but also filled with excitement about exploring a new place. Look forward to reading about how your road trip goes.

    1. From Portland OR to the other side of the coast: Upstate New York. I’m excited about the move, more nervous about the logistical nightmare of packing, moving furniture, and driving for multiple days. I’m sure it will be a year to remember though! (After a year, we move back to Santa Barbara! For more information about that, check out the Match Day post, it’s quite a wild ride!)

  3. I’m jealous that you could find $28 Internet!

    My March spending… It seems to have been in line with what I predicted, which means that I must’ve done the math wrong because I’m nearing the end of the month (I get paid once a month) and I’m going to barely squeak by or come up a skosh short. I’m praying it’s the former and doing my best to buckle down over these last 10 days or so. Ugh, getting paid monthly can be so nerve-wracking!

    1. Thank you! We don’t try very hard to keep our food spending down but it tends to always stay low, even with super fancy meals! I think the main key is big batches that we also take for lunch. It is helpful to keep track because I realize how much it adds up to go out for lunch with my coworkers frequently.

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