I can’t lie, I knew March was going to be a spendy month before it was even half over. It wasn’t necessarily a bad spendy month on all fronts, but a spendy month it was.
|Mortgage and Taxes||$1,258.86|
$3,569.95, almost $1,000 more than I spent in February.
I’ll note again for those of you that are new here that I’m using this as an opportunity to track my spending, not my income or savings, which is why you don’t see a value for RRSP savings, emergency savings, investments, cash or otherwise in here. It’s not that they don’t exist, it’s just that they’re not documented here.
Mortgage and Taxes – Neutral
This one has a reasonably limited shelf life. Unless something crazy happens to the Edmonton housing market in the next little while, I don’t expect you’ll be seeing this one for very much longer.
Renovation – Happy
I’m happy that it’s getting finished, but I’ll also be happy when it’s actually done!
It’s easy to look back at it and go “how did we spend $500 on that??” because it was a lot of little stuff. New door locks and handles, installing weather stripping, some transitions, a faucet for the kitchen sink, replacement traps for the kitchen sink and some misc plumbing (valves, connections, extensions, etc…), door stops and closet trim, feet for the fridge, quarter round, more dap, wood filler, lots of light bulbs (I had no idea that many had burned out!), some of those toilet cleaning tablets for the tanks, you get the drill. The large tools have finally moved out of my kitchen! We’re at the point now that we basically just have to swap over the kitchen faucet and do the last little bit of painting and it will be ready to put on the market.
Groceries – Neutral
A sizable jump in the grocery department this month, but I also did all of the grocery shopping in March. It breaks down to $165.52 per person, including mostly organic produce and gluten free products. It’s not too bad until you consider that we were also eating out a fair bit on the weekends while we were at my place. I think I can do better than this. I usually do a big grocery shop around pay day and then pick up a couple things here and there as needed, so I’m going to try doing smaller, more frequent shopping trips instead.
I’m also going to be starting up my local produce delivery again, which is about $50 per delivery, so I’ll only need to go to the grocery store for things I can’t get through that. I’m crossing my fingers that it will cut down on the impulse shopping.
Personal Care – Happy
Despite the sizable dollar figure, I’m actually pretty content with this category. My winter skin care routine is pretty much figured out, but my summer one needs some work since I tend to break out the worst then. I picked up a handful of travel size bottles and various samples of skin care products so that I could try them at the beginning of the month. Sometimes it takes a week or two of using a new product before I start breaking out, but so far I’ve been really happy with the results. I have enough that I shouldn’t need to purchase full size bottles of most of them for a couple months. Later in the month I caught a promotion, spend $100 get a $30 gift card, so I picked up a full bottle of the serum I had been sampling out of a plastic tester ($$$), some clarifying shampoo and a stick of concealer, as well as grabbing a sample of sunscreen. So far I’ve been doing alright with the sunscreen, so I’m planning on using the gift card towards that this month.
On top of that, I also went and got my hair cut last month. On the plus side, I’m maintaining my goal of getting a haircut ever 3 months. On the downside, my hair dresser is going on maternity leave before my next haircut, leaving me in the position of needing to find a new hairdresser (damn it!)
Oh, and I bought my fiancé a bottle of Advil in here. I can’t use the stuff, but he does.
Eating Out – Neutral
One of the few things strong enough to wrestle me away from my precious Starbucks is Tim Hortons Roll up the Rim to Win. I spent $30 at Starbucks this month, the rest of my coffee went down $0.67 a cup, and I won 3 free coffees. Yay! As for the rest of it, I ate more lunches out with colleagues, and ordered pizza one night after work. There’s definitely some work to be done here.
Utilities – Neutral
It was a good thing I didn’t spend much time at my house last month. When I’m not home I turn the temperature down to 15 degrees (59 Fahrenheit), rather than its usual 18.5 degrees when I’m home (65 Fahrenheit). The cost of natural gas doubled last month. The Boy’s gas bill was a shock to the system (almost $200), so I was glad to get away only paying about $110. I’m going to talk to him about possibly turning his programmed temperature down to 19 degrees or so rather than 20-21. I think he might be receptive to it.
Clothing – Happy
I’ve had a pair of Hunter rain boots on my birthday/Christmas wishlist for the last year and a half or so. I finally bought myself a pair at the beginning of the month in preparation for the annual massive snow melt induced sidewalk puddles… that didn’t happen this year *facepalm*
I’m still quite happy with the purchase though. They’re a jade green colour that I’m absolutely in love with, and I’m happy to have them in my wardrobe for when the puddles decide to recur.
Fuel – Unhappy
My fuel costs almost doubled over February, what’s not to love? I so called this one last month. Not only did my fuel consumption increase during the cold snap, the cost of gas increased. That and I fueled up on the last day of the month, so $40 worth of the gas I’m driving on this month I paid for last month. That happens from time to time, it just inflates the total a bit.
Insurance – Neutral
Still just a combination of house insurance and car insurance. Not much is going to happen here for a little while.
Communication - Neutral
Still just my cell phone bill. Apparently I made another a long distance call on it last month? I’m going to have to check into that.
Entertainment – Happy
The Boy’s father gave us tickets to the Home and Garden show in Edmonton, so I paid $15 for us to park there. It was fun, but next time we’re taking the LRT! Also, I signed up on a recreational dodge ball team with some people from work, so it cost $60 to register for that. That’ll go towards my weekly exercise total which is currently lagging….
Vehicle Care – Unhappy
Spring is finally here, and you know what that means? Rocks being thrown at your windshield! Yay! :(
I took a rock to the window earlier in the month so I paid to get the impact filled before it had a chance to crack further.
Shopping – Happy
I picked up a bouquet of pink roses to help girly up my fiancé’s rather masculine living room :D
Pet Care – Happy
The Boy has a pampered pooch. I bought him some pig ears. I’m so his favourite human.
Wedding – Happy
A Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. Wedding magazines have basically replaced the rest of my other magazines. Still haven’t booked anything yet. We’ve tried, but nothing yet. We may have to cut our guest list down.
Fees – Neutral
I’ll probably kick this account to the curb after I sell my house, but for the time being it’s my main account.
This is how my spending broke out this month:
Lots of spending all around! One thing that happened in March is that I became acutely aware of how many times I was buying take out coffee. When I’m tracking my spending at Starbucks, I count the times I refill my card as transactions, not when I buy the individual cups of coffee. Buying coffee at Tim Hortons, I was counting individual transactions because I was paying in cash. Anywhere you see $1.80 on the calendar above, it means the only thing I bought that day was a cup of coffee. I have more thoughts on that, but I’m saving that for another post.
I’ve officially tracked my spending for ¼ of 2014! That’s further than I thought I’d make it to be honest. How did your spending go last month?
Recommended Reading: Put Your Whole Heart Into Your Debt Repayment