A Money Diary: The Farewell
On June 30, the final day of my June challenge, I spent $76.82 at the grocery store. The most expensive line item? $11.49 for a bag of walnuts. The least? $0.89 for a bottle of seltzer.
So there you have it: In June, I spent a total of $3390.94.
Here’s the good news (for me): over the second half of the month, I only spent $670.32, thus reversing course on the damage I did on that first deadly weekend. It was also a very full month for me — I was only home for 15 days out of the month, with three trips (New York, Halifax, and Colorado) mucking up my usual course of dining mostly at home and spending very little on quote-unquote “entertainment.” And, since my binge, I haven’t had the strong urge to buy any more clothing, so things will probably remain calm until the fall.
What have I learned?
- I need some system of tracking, but one that doesn’t make me feel chained to a spreadsheet. You guys seem to have a split personality about Mint, but that’s where I’m going to start since it seems to require the least amount of up-front resistance.
- For me, the most important things to track are the outliers: generally my spending stays pretty even. I know where I spend most — food & drink — and where I splurge — clothes & nice things — and what I want to do is get a better handle on why those splurges happen and how to mediate them.
- I can trust myself. Yes, that weekend was deadly, but I haven’t regretted any of the purchases I made. I’ve worn the dress, sports bra, and shoes often and with great happiness. They are all well-made beautiful objects by independent designers and were purchased at local stores, so I feel good putting them on and showing them off. I know what I value and how to honor those values financially, and that feels good.
- Now that I have a sense of how much is going out, I know how much I need to bring in. Since my rent will be cut in half as of August, I need to aim for at least $3000 each month to be comfortable. It’s more than I need, but my anxiety spikes very quickly when I feel like I’m stretched thin.
I want to thank you guys for sticking with me, and for all the support (and stern talking to’s) along the way. And, since this is the end of my tenure as a Billfold editor, thank you for being a friend. This is a truly special place in the great maw of the internet. Protect it with your life.
You can read the full June $$$ Diary here.
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