Blog Note: It looks like my new loan servicer is at it again. Even though I’m theoretically far ahead on my student loan repayment plan, auto-pay is going to deduct the specified amount monthly. What that means is that I have less control over when my loan payments are made. Go government. My loan payments are going to be made on the 21st of each month. Therefore, I’m going to break my big progress reports into two pieces: the spending report (this) that will come after payday, and the loan payment update/repayment plan progress which will come a week later. Am I the only one reading this? Ok, fine.
Spending: Still A Challenge
I feel that every month since summer started I’ve said “Ok, next month I’ll turn it around.” In the spring I was able to stick to my tight budgets, but now I’m realizing that the reason for that was that I was a boring anti-social loser. That may or may not be an exaggeration. Really, though, I was saving big-time for my summer expenses and that paid off and I had a killer summer. Being a boring anti-social loser isn’t the worst thing, from time to time.
Now, a month since work started back up (coaching started 30 days ago, school 2 weeks ago), I’m still spending money I probably don’t need to be, but at least it has slowed down a bit. That’s the bad news. The good news: I finally received my $300 of free money!!! Time for some new pumped up kicks.
Side note: Last spring I dove in and bought a $90 pair of shoes. Probably the most I’ve ever spent on shoes, but it was totally worth it. I’ve decided shoes are the one item that I’m willing to splurge on once a year.
Summer income is awesome and makes things complicated! That, and my loan servicer automatically adding in an extra loan payment when I wasn’t expecting it. Luckily, my summer umpiring money has been rolling in regularly and I just threw it in my checking account instead of my savings account. I was planning on making a huge, fun lump payment with all my umpiring income and curriculum development income at the end of September, but paying a little early doesn’t hurt.
Gasoline is so expensive! Luckily, coaching two-a-days are over, so no more days of two commutes to work. The bad news is that there’s still some days which I make the two commutes because school ends at 3pm and soccer practice is not until 6pm. Right now, I’m trying to just stay the 3 hours and get work done, but sometimes that’s difficult or there’s errands to run in that time or I just have to go home because THE KIDS ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY. Add it all up and I’m driving a ton. In fact, after moving to a new apartment that is 6 (city) miles from my work, this is the most I’ve been driving since my post-high school summer job that was 20 miles from home. Looking back on that, it kind of makes me happy that I’ve gone 8 years without really driving that much on a regular basis.
Next week, I’ll be picking up my dog who’s been vacationing at my dad’s while I deal with the craziness of the first few weeks of school and soccer games. When that happens, I’ll need to come home in between school and soccer for a while, so it’s time to get back on the bike routine. I’ve put a couple trips in and even though it’s a solid 30 minute, hilly ride, it’s certainly do-able and is a great workout.
The work-lunch challenge needs to return because I’ve already spent several lunches ordering Jimmy John’s. If I can keep it to once a week, I’ll be doing well.
Though these numbers look good, the reality is that $300 AT&T reward card saved my ass. The numbers in my chart have been stagnant for about 6 days. I certainly would have exceeded my spending goals without it. I’ve nearly spent the $300 on:
- New shoes ($85)
- Groceries ($120)
- Soccer ball pump ($10)
- Food/booze ($70ish)
I’m happy I put most of the card to good use, but not so happy I spent a good chunk of it on unneeded take out food and drinks. It helped keep me under budget, but I’ll have to re-focus for September/October.
Eating Out/Social: $100
Nothing new here. I’ve been pretty good at keeping bar trips under $100 for the month.
Take Out: $60
Lowering this a little because now that school has started back up…
Work Lunch: $40
… I’m going to hold myself to only spending $40 on ordering food for lunch at work.
I’m finally bumping up the grocery allotment.
I don’t expect any big entertainment outings. With a bachelor party on the horizon in November and Christmas looming after, though, I’ll still budget this in and hope to not use it and put it towards those expenses.
I have two “trips” to make: a 180-miler and a 105-miler. Outside of that, I’m looking at 20 commutes to work, totaling 240 miles. That’s if I get on my bike for those second commutes to practice every time. Not guaranteed. Still, I think I can pull off $120.
That’s my month of spending! Next week will be the fun update: Kicking debt’s ass! Oh, and in the meantime, I need to talk about my Roth IRA! It’s f*cking awesome! More on that later this week.