Considering my big freelancing news, I probably should be more upset that April turned out to be a fairly high-spending month. After I finish getting paid for the academic year, it could be a long time before I see a substantial paycheck again, and it’s certainly true I need to immediately start belt-tightening. But it’s actually fine. I have about $18000 (gross, not net; I’m anticipating about $13000 net) coming in during the next two months, which is an almost unfathomable amount for me, so it’s hard to be too upset over a few hundred dollars extra this month. Anyway, for all the gory details…to the numbers!
This all looks pretty normal until the end. I’m quite pleased with slush this month; I really cut down on going out to eat, which is where this category tends to get overloaded. I did spend about $150 on books and CDs, which is atypically high. I had a good excuse though: all three books were by people I know, so I wanted to support them, and the four CDs were by awesome women artists. (I don’t use my affiliate links much, but I’m going to here, because I want to encourage you to buy these ladies’ CDs too: Rhiannon Giddens’ Freedom Highway, a folky supergroup called I’m With Her, and Aoife O’Donovan’s solo album In the Magic Hour. (O’Donovan is the former frontwoman for the great Crooked Still — last affiliate link!)
Other normal spending: I used some of my repairs fund to get a bunch of headlights and taillights replaced, and bought two pairs of jeans used on ebay (I wore out my previous pair, and didn’t like anything on the rack at TJ Maxx, which is where I usually buy Levi’s at deep discounts.)
Then we get to the tire fire categories. Professional Expenses is all paying for a conference I’m attending at the end of May. I had to buy a flight and register, which luckily includes three nights of housing. I’m not super thrilled about having said I’d do this conference; my job won’t pay for this one, so I have to fund it myself, and all in all it just doesn’t look like a great decision. However, while I’m there I might be able to network for some freelance editing and so forth, so maybe it will turn out ok. (I am covering this trip partly out of my travel slush fund, and partly out of the adjunct payments I’ll be getting next month.)
Gifts! Sheesh. First of all, I made two unplanned donations totaling $100, on top of my normal monthly donations (which are about $150). I also funded postage for mailing books out of this category. Then, at the end of the month, I realized that I’d forgotten my brother’s and father’s birthdays. Luckily, I remembered in time to call my brother on his and apologize that his present would be late, and actually, my dad’s isn’t for another week. But still, that meant two last-minute presents. My dad’s turned out to be fairly cheap, but I splurged a little for my brother. I think he’ll really like what I got him, so it’s ok, but I feel a little bad about exploding this category.
Oh, still have to talk about travel. That’s a flight to see my cousin next month, plus taking a friend out to dinner and a taxi to/from the airport when I made a quick trip at the very beginning of April. Both cheap trips since my housing and most food is covered.
So, here’s where I am at the end of April. My investment accounts barely budged, except for the contributions I made. I did make about $100 in random extra money (an ebay sale of an old phone, interest, a few tens of dollars that I didn’t spend last month and decided to route into my e-fund), and as per usual I saved $1000 cash out of my $3000 take-home pay. All in all, it doesn’t look great because of the massive professional expense, but it’s also just fine. My net worth increased $1432 for a new total of $81,197 — so I did hit another $10K milestone marker this month!