Trader Joe’s Treats and Other August 2020 Expenses

I finally felt settled in August. The long days and daily sunshine helped improve my daily moods. We’ve established a comfortable routine, and we are checking off things to do in Santa Barbara, from exploring beaches to going on long hikes.

Early in the month I picked up a couple dog-boarding gigs that went great. MechaniCat wasn’t so sure about the intruders at first but he eventually got used to it.

After wanting a dog for a while, it was a nice way to be prompted for walks throughout the day. In just a couple days of dog boarding, we earned $140. We used the proceeds to go out on a date. 

We have finally finished furnishing and decorating our home, so now we want to relax, but we have several things to plan in the coming months!  I’ll write about those plans soon, but let’s get to the expense report before it gets too far into September!

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. Also, there may be affiliate links in this post, which means I receive a commission if you click through to these sites at no extra cost to you.

ItemAmountMechanic Musings
Car insurance (6 months)$331We compared several companies, and Geico was doing a 15% off relief during COVID-19 so we went with them.
Renter insurance (6 months)$125 
Gifts$176This month one of my best friends had her birthday and I wanted to get her something special. Also, my partner’s birthday is coming up so I got him a gift too. This is way more than I would usually budget for gifts, but I’m happy to get gifts I know are going to be slam dunks.
Groceries$166Two shops at Ralph’s and two at Trader Joe’s. And we did not skimp this month on treats:

We also bought new plates because most of ours were shattered in the move.

Our new plates with take-out Thai
Household goods /FB Marketplace$75I bought a lot on Facebook market place this month.

Picture frame: $15

Huge Succulent: $5

Umbrella stand: $15

Nice sugar and milk ceramics: $15

Automatic litter box and reusable tray (worth $220!): $40

With these costs split between 2, the total is $75

Restaurants$54We went out for a nice dinner with outdoor seating, picked up some tacos, and ordered in Thai food.

$2 street tacos
Fuel$41We did a lot of driving to go hiking and to different beaches on the weekends.
Utilities$34Gas & Electric
CVS$33We restocked our sunscreen and got a few more items. We also ordered photos for all of the frames we have around the house.
Amazon$23Bought some oven mitts, a pet food container, and some skin care products.
Internet$20Our internet is $40/month or $20 each.
Goodwill$10We got a small pot for boiling eggs in the morning and picked out a couple fake plants and other decorative items.
Soda stream refill$8 
Wall Street Journal subscription$12I wanted to get a newspaper delivered to read over my morning coffee. I chose the WSJ as they had a 12 week for $12 offer. I will revisit and perhaps try a new paper next like the NYT or something local.
EZ-Pass$3Returned our EZ-Pass, keeping a look out for our refund!
Total$2,431This month’s spending looks a lot like July’s expenses, so we might be looking at a new normal. Luckily, this blog is beginning to actually make some money for the first time in 2 years, and we enjoy earning a bit of money through dogsitting and flipping. It’s not much, but it helps defray some of our costs. 


A treat from a local bakery


What about you?

How was your August?

When you moved to a new place, how long did it take to record a ‘new normal’ in spending?

What’s your favorite Trader Joe’s treat?

Share in the comments below!

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  1. I love the pictures of the dogs with MechaniCat. Those are hilarious! I also like that you took a picture of your shopping cart. Other people’s carts are always so interesting!
    My favorite treat from TJs is the Indian pockets you can microwave. Mmmm….

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