It’s Sort of Fun To Talk About Spending: A Weekly Update

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m sort of obsessed right now by money. This hopefully will not last forever — I would like to get back to thinking about other things — but there you go. Right now it is actually fun to look at my mint.com account and my bank account and everything and just see, you know, what did I spend? Where did it go? So I decided that I’d do a weekly spending update. I don’t know how much I’ll really learn from this but…why not, basically 🙂

So, April 13-19, how’d we do?

Food: $125 [This is a bit of a guess; my mint.com transactions on groceries, two meals out, and so on, added up to $75. But I know for a fact I spent $25 yesterday in cash at the farmer’s market and another $16 in cash for dinner out, and I also spent some money on coffee and so on in cash throughout the week. Oh my God, I *have* to get my food costs under control, because this is a very typical week, frankly — which means I could easily be spending more like $500 a month. On food. For one person. Well, I guess this is what they mean by a wake-up call.]

Car: $96.18. This was an expensive week; gas, but also $35 to my EZ-Pass account and $27 to get the oil changed.

Travel: $219.13. Round trip tickets to California (I also used points, so this is not nearly as high as it could be, but still.)

Reimbursable: $155 for a conference registration and $573 for moving costs.

Student Loan: $88.34. This is the minimum payment on my Sallie Mae loan, which I’m making monthly while throwing huge amounts of money at the Great Lakes loan which has a higher interest rate.

Federal Taxes: $8.00 [seriously]

Other: well, it hasn’t actually been charged yet, but I bought a new phone. My cell phone bill has been bothering me for a while; I have an ancient (4 year old at least) flip phone, but I pay $55 a month for talk and text, and that just seems HUGE. So I decided to try Republic Wireless, a company where you use wifi for calls and texts when you can, and 3G when you can’t. It’s $10 a month but you have to buy the phone. So I was waiting until they released a cheaper phone, which they did on Thursday; it’ll be $150 out of pocket but with no plan or whatever, and obviously if it works I’ll be back in the black after just a few months because the plan is so much cheaper. It has a 30-day money back guarantee, so I’m going to keep my old phone/plan until I find out if this new one really works.

So I guess I won’t count that in my total because (a) it hasn’t even been charged to my card yet and (b) I’m not sure if I’m really keeping it.

This means my expenses for the week were…holy shit…$1264, of which $728 is reimbursable, meaning that I have to pay for $536 of it (plus the phone eventually.) Wow.

On the upside, even though I have more plane tickets to buy, next week pretty much *has* to be cheaper! Nowhere to go but up!