January Spending Report

Well, I’m two months behind in posting an expenses report – which isn’t fair at all, because I’m constantly talking budgeting and the importance of tracking your spending!

The main reason is that I’ve been busy and haven’t had the time to sit down and produce pretty graphs, but the hidden reason is that I feel some unhappiness at my current spending levels: with increases in rent and health insurance in 2017 not to mention a “wardrobe redo project”, I’ve spent a lot of money in the past two months compared to my usual relatively frugal levels – partially because January came with many annual expenses that I save for year-round – and I’m still not taking a salary from my business, so my savings are low.

But that’s exactly why I SHOULD share it with you all! One of my core values is transparency, and I think it’s important to know that when you see my annualized spending, there are spendy months and less spendy months. Just as you have seasons of your life, there are seasons of your budget. I was lucky enough that I had a middle-class job the past two years. Because of this, I have been able to stockpile cash and take a serious income cut since October while I launch my business. I am able to smooth the ups and downs of starting a business right now thanks to preparing for the slim season of business startup.

So, these reports represent spending from a particular season of my life. They might not be perfect, but there’s no such thing as a perfect budget. And I need to remember it just as much as I teach that.

So for the first report

January Report

Essential Expenses (in descending order): $961.47
Rent: $615
Groceries: $186.88
Water/Common Fees: $58.09 (turns out our toilet was running all month!)
Internet: $43.22 (two months)
Electricity: $32.74
Soda Stream Refill: $12.98 (*okay this is so not essential I just forgot to move categories*)
Household Goods: $3.49
Renter’s Insurance: $3.07

Annual CSA Half-Share: $250
I save up for this all year round with $20 each month in a “sinking fund”, making it not bite at all to write that check each January.

Health Insurance: $231 

Discretionary (in descending order): $179.25
Fitness: $122.25 (including initiation fee at new gym & new equipment)
Shoe Repair: $43.00
Spending “Fun” Money:  $8.00
Entertainment: $6

Discretionary Food & Drink (in descending order): $20.00
Restaurants: $12.00
Coffee: $5.00
Bars: $3.00

Budget reconciliation adjustment: $31.44 (when my computer broke, I lost some budget data :-/)
Charitable giving: $21.25
Electronics: $23.29

And it’s way past my bedtime right now, so February’s report will be coming in just a few days.

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