My 2018 Credit Card Spending
Sometime in January I received an email from Bank of America with the subject line “2018 spending statement.” I was about to delete it like all emails I receive from financial institutions because I’m fortunate not to carry debt and a financial statement (usually) carries no significance to me whatsoever. After a few days, I finally read my email and saw an accounting of my credit card spending. In my mind, I spent $5,000 for the year. Was I right? Absolutely not.
Here’s my 2018 credit card spending:
Like most Billfold readers and writers, I feel like I spend too much money on food and yes, I do spend most of my money on food. Last year, I spent $2,658.01 on four grocery chains: Fred Meyer, Seafood City, PCC, and Uwajimaya. Fred Meyer is our main grocery store and we supplement with Asian groceries such as Uwajimaya and Seafood City and the local PCC (a Seattle-based organic grocery chain). I have a level five dairy allergy and PCC has the most extensive allergen-free selection anywhere, in my opinion. It’s also the most expensive choice out of all four so I only buy products from them that I can’t find anywhere else.
The next big line is from retail spending. I spent a lot of money on Amazon ($416.52), Target ($797.42), a few bookstores, Patreon, skin care, and clothes. I’m very disappointed that I’ve spent more money than I thought on Amazon, note to self: do better at not making Jeff Bezos any richer than he already is. $1,659.91
I don’t know how this isn’t in the retail spending bucket but clothing merited a whole line on its own. Maybe because I spent so much on department stores that BofA felt like it deserved its own category? I spent $246.83 on Nordstrom’s, Sears and Macy’s. The mall is definitely alive and well in Western Washington, and I did my part keeping it breathin’. The truth is, I barely remember any of my purchases, the one that stands out is a floral top from Lucky Brand which I wanted to wear on my tropical vacation. I’m from Washington State, my wardrobe is all shades of gray and I wanted to wear something more festive and climate-appropriate.
BofA inexplicably placed my Patreon pledge and my TurboTax filing under Electronics for $83.99.
Travel and transportation was a big one last year. We bought a new Kia Soul and I was charged $277.97, for who knows what reason. I’m flying home to the Philippines and I bought plane tickets and a hotel room for me and my family — all for the low, low price of $2,185.73.
My sister, boyfriend, and me are on a T-Mobile family plan for $50 a person but the bill goes to me. Last year, I paid off my sister’s new cellphone because those are the things an older sister does for her younger sibling. $2,075.72
I don’t really spend much money on entertainment save for the occasional movie or pop-up dining events. BofA filed my gym membership under entertainment which also includes movie tickets (Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians come to mind), souvenir-shopping at the Museum of Flight and four tickets ($80 a pop but so worth it!) to Musang Seattle, a Filipino restaurant pop-up. $639.67
More often than not, I pay for meals out with cash so it’s pretty rare for me to use my credit card for food spending outside of grocery shopping which is reflected on the smallest line so far: $221.16 for Panera sammies and salads, the best vegan burger I’ve ever had at Third Place Café in Mount Vernon, Washington, and oil-soaked IHOP breakfasts for a co-worker’s last day.
Services seems to be the bucket where all miscellaneous spending falls under like charitable giving, allergy medication, massages, and skin care.
I have multiple environmental and food allergies and while I can cure the former, the latter is pretty much incurable, but who’s complaining? I grew up in a megalopolis with no green spaces and pets were banned at home, so at 34, I’m paying for the sins of my childhood. I spent $584.01 on allergy shots and when I told my boyfriend this exorbitant amount he shrugged and said, “some people have real problems.” Oof, $584.01 is a lot of money and I’m curious to find out next year how much my allergy is costing me.
I paid for massages, haircuts, Paula’s Choice skin care (I blame Liz Dueweke, Q13 news anchor, and her exquisite skin for my insatiable Paula’s Choice addiction), charitable donations, and a GoFundMe for a friend’s funeral expenses. He died last year from terminal cancer and I spent a few moments hoping that wherever he is, he’s truly in a better place. Lastly, a $10 payment to freeze my credit information. Oh hackers, what have you wrought? $779.02.
Total credit card spending of 2018: $11,412.02
I’m still experiencing shopper’s remorse but I would feel a lot worse if I paid interest in any of my purchases (I didn’t), or if I didn’t accomplish my 2018 financial goals (I did). Looking at my credit card spending inspired me to Kondo my purchases from now on. Does this spark joy? If not, I’ll keep my credit card where I can’t see it.
Ruzielle Ganuelas is a writer, baker and PF nerd in Washington State.
Photo credit: Frankie Leon, CC BY 2.0.
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