Well, it’s that time again. I do use my finances to cheer me up, and I need more cheer right now.
My expenses were on the high side this month because of moving, but I also had a good month of freelance income — I took home $750 — and my second and third super big checks from work because of the summer school class I taught on top of my normal salary. So I was able not only to easily pay the moving expenses but also to put quite a bit in savings.
OH YEAH, and I blew out a tire in 110 degree heat while I was moving! Very exciting! Luckily, before it went I knew something was wrong — car started shaking — and I’d slowed down and moved to the right lane. I was also within sight of an exit ramp and not in the middle of nowhere, but in a big suburban town. So I was able to get back on the road with two new tires in under three hours, including a bunch of waiting around (for the tow truck and then at the tire shop.) Why a tow truck, you might ask: well, half my worldly goods were in the trunk on top of the spare tire. If I had absolutely had to, I could probably have shifted most of that, but honestly it was worth the $90 I spent on the tow. Also, I have never changed a tire under live conditions; in theory I know how but… And it was 110 degrees and I wasn’t at my best. So I feel fine about it, especially because I got a good deal on the tires themselves so the total cost was only a bit over $300. No big deal. And I was and am glad to be safe and to have made it across the rest of the country successfully. I’ll shift some $$ from my emergency fund next month to cover the cost.
OK, now that we’re talking about cost: to the numbers!
I had another rent-free month, which was great. I spent what seems like a surprising amount on groceries — $255 — given that I was mostly eating with my friends, but I wasn’t keeping close track; I think a bunch of that is convenience food, like dinner or lunch out while I was working. I stayed under budget, so whatever. Food is one of the things I will start saving a lot of money on now that I’m back in Indiana and will be eating out very little. California was terrible for my food spending.
Travel costs are from a conference I went to at the beginning of the month. I’d paid for a lot of it already so this is food, cabs, an airbnb for one night, and a baseball game. It was a trip connected to my freelance work so I can write a fair amount of it off (not the baseball game, sadly) which is helpful.
Slush: some postage, some food, but mostly this is connected to taking my goddaughter on a fancy outing.
Personal/medical: I bought about two years’ worth of contact lenses. I mostly used my HSA but there’s some overflow here.
Repairs: most of that is the tire situation, see above, but I also got an oil change.
Clothing: bought some leggings and a couple pairs of flipflops, both on sale.
Moving: I used media mail to send a lot of books — I mean a LOT of books, like 20 boxes — and about $450 is from that. The rest is gas, food, and one motel. The other nights on the road I was able to stay with friends, which was nice.
Woo! The stock market went just about nowhere, but I did get some dividends, and thanks to my two extra-big checks there was also a big deposit into my current 403(b), which I’ll need to roll over in a month or so after I get my last paycheck. Meanwhile, I made a huge deposit into my cash savings. I finally closed my “travel fund” account, which had been persistently at about $150 since I churn through my travel funds pretty quickly. It just didn’t seem worth it. So I moved that money to checking and that line will disappear next month.
I used my HSA to pay $700 of the nearly $800 cost of two years of contact lenses, so it dropped dramatically. That’s fine.
My net worth still increased $5420 to a total of $92018. I should have at least one more month of solid increase due to final full-time paychecks before I cast myself entirely on the freelancing winds.