October spending: Week two

I think I did a little better this week.  Remember, I’m using October as my “control group” month so I can see how much I typically spend.  Then I’ll do some cut-backs.  I have found myself avoiding purchases because I didn’t want to have to confess them at the end of the week… but as you will see, that didn’t stop me terribly much.

Bills: Student loan ($343.60), Electric ($30.93), Car payment ($277.06) – TOTAL: $651.59

Essentials: Gasoline ($35.25), Gasoline (27.93), Plumbing stuff at Wal-Mart to fix tub drain ($7.93) – TOTAL: $71.11

Nonessentials: Impulsively purchased CDs that promise to teach me French in ten days ($9.95), Groupon for chiropractor visit ($29), bowling ($5), Chipotle ($6.25), Chinese takeout ($6.75) – TOTAL: $56.95

Grocery: $34.55

  • 10/12 – $5.45 – I forgot my lunch so I bought some apples and peanut butter at the grocery store
  • 10/12 – $21.53 – Earth Fare
  • 10/13 – $7.57 – Earth Fare (fixins for a kale chip nacho recipe)

Look, I did great on groceries this week! And I could make a case that my $29 Groupon is “necessary” in that it’s medical and I’ve been having a lot of back pain lately and I’m not just buying it because going to the chiropractor sounds like a really awesome fun time.  Also, if I don’t learn French in ten days they say they will give me my money back.  I also went to the zoo with my friend, but I have a membership so it was free to get in! I feel like I was more responsible with my money this week, until today when I ate out twice — obviously I got lazy.

How was your spending this week?

 

14 thoughts on “October spending: Week two

    • Caitlin says:

      The car has another three years, I think, and the loans will go on FOREVER. Or 10-25 years. But I’m hoping that after I pay off the little one (my $41 a month loan), I will be able to increase my payments on the bigger ones and get them knocked down faster. I’m $60K in debt and it feels like it will just be a part of life forever. I’ve heard of people really buckling down and seriously putting ALL possible money toward their debt to pay it off entirely, and those are inspiring stories, but I don’t think I can do it. I like my little bits of luxury😦

      • livingsimplyfree says:

        Do you at least have the job you thought you would have when you started college? I loved the experiences I got from college, but I never worked in my field, so the money was something I hated paying off.

      • Caitlin says:

        I do not! I work in a totally different field. See my post “On quitting” for more details about that. I like my job, for the most part. One day I hope to work from home in order to stay home with my children, but I’m nervous that I’ll have too much debt to make that a reality. Maybe I really should look into extreme minimalism as a way to spend more money on my debt now.

      • livingsimplyfree says:

        After I asked the question I spent more time reading your blogs and found the post where you talked about not working in your chosen field. Do you regret college because of the debt?

      • Caitlin says:

        No, I don’t regret it. Having a Master’s degree meant I came into the job I have now at a higher salary than I would have without the degree. Then again, I wouldn’t have had the debt either. But I don’t regret getting my Master’s. I might still use it someday.

      • livingsimplyfree says:

        That’s good. I still live in a college town and see way too many graduates who can’t find work that pays them well enough to pay off their debts.

      • Caitlin says:

        I lived with my mom for six months during/after my divorce and was a part-time temp at a real estate office doing something completely irrelevant to my degrees. Thankfully I was able to get out of that hole! It breaks my heart to see all these people who can’t find work after they spent so much time, energy, and money on an education.

      • livingsimplyfree says:

        It does me too. I long to ask them to reconsider their choice when a new student first moves here. But it’s their path to live and learn so I keep my big mouth shut.

  1. JMK says:

    Our planned spending for October Wk2 was:
    gas (his) $100
    gas (hers) $45
    groceries $180 (4 people, incl. teenaged boy…)
    extra mortgage payment $1500 (above regular biweekly amount)

    Actual:
    gas (his) $100
    gas (hers) $42
    groceries $155.48
    extra mortgage payment $1500
    dollar store $6.43 (office supplies – envelopes, pens, staples etc)
    coffee $1.60
    cheese/curds $20.57 (bought at factory on drive to visit out of town family)
    Subway sandwiches (x4) $17.16 bought lunch on drive to family – normally bring a picnic. My bad.)

    All in all we were ahead $27.52 on gas/groceries and behind $45.76 on unplanned stuff. I could say, great we were over by less than $20, but what I see is ~$45 extra that should have gone to the mortgage in addition to the ~$27 we were ahead of the estimate. We only plan for the very essential stuff. We assume every extra dollar (over $1k minimum we keep in the account) is transfered out weekly to either the mortgage or our retirement accounts. Any extra spending we choose to do comes directly out of that transfer, so I generally think long and hard about spending anything that’s not on the plan. I can live with the dollar store items and possibly even the coffee, since it’s the first one not made at home this month. It’s the $38 in cheese and sandwiches which bugs me. Those are gone and the enjoyment is over. Were they worth it? Not really. We had perfectly good cheese at home, and if I’d been more organized we would have had a picnic lunch packed from home.

    • Caitlin says:

      I feel you on the “should have packed from home” front. I am visiting my alma mater for Homecoming this weekend and you can bet I will be packing snacks from home! Thanks for commenting and sharing your budget!

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