I’ve been tracking my spending via a new app this month (review coming soon, but I really like it!), and taking a look at all of my discretionary spending has been quite interesting.
This list includes everything I spent this month outside of rent/groceries/bills/gas. I think it’s important to take a close look at this spending on a regular basis not because I shouldn’t be buying anything unnecessary (fun is important!), but just to be sure I’m happy with where my money is going.
– 8/4 – $6.43 – Beer at trivia night. Fun, cheap, great way to spend a Tuesday night.
– 8/5 – $21.48 – Soup and a cocktail at going-away party. Yes, this was a way fancier restaurant than I would normally go to, but it was super fun and, again, no regrets.
– 8/7 – $9.76 – I bought a new crockpot and a hand mixer at a thrift store, they’re great, and will make it easier for me to expand my cooking-at-home repertoire.
– 8/12 – $28 – Treated my friend to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I think it’s really important to be generous when you can, and try not to let my desire to save get in the way of doing nice things for people I care about.
– 8/16 – $15 – Admission and splitting a bottle of wine at an outdoor concert at a local winery. The weather was perfect, I had a great group of friends there, a live swing band performed, and I danced. It was wonderful.
– 8/17 – $9.99 – Spotify. I really could get by perfectly well without it, but my little brother uses my account basically every day and understands that he has to log off when I’m on a road trip. Could cut it from my budget but I don’t mind too much.
– 8/18 – $13.96 – Had an old friend driving through town and met up for lunch.
– 8/21 – $8 – Took a ferry ride across the Sound with a friend from Missouri.
– 8/21 – $4.84 – And bought a breakfast wrap on the other side. Oops. Totally avoidable if I had just packed a snack or eaten more at home, and it wasn’t even very good.
– 8/21 – $50 – Wedding gift.
– 8/21 – $6.27 – Parking at said wedding, which was dumb and completely avoidable since there was free parking available across the street. Chalk that one up to nightmare Seattle traffic and not wanting to miss the ceremony, with a healthy dash of bad planning.
– 8/22 – $2 – Downtown parking for a touristy day.
– 8/22 – $2.19 – Coffee! I was wiped out from the night before, and at least I went with drip.
– 8/23 – $5.01 – A totally overpriced latte for my drive back across the state. Whoops.
– 8/25 – $.96 – I forgot my lunch and bought a day-old bagel at the grocery store by my work. At least it was a cheap solution.
– 8/25 – $20.61 – I was very social this evening. Had a beer and a split appetizer with one friend, then a glass of wine with two other folks.
– 8/26 – $1.20 – Bought some clothes, I’ll explain my crazy good deal in a future post, once they come in the mail 🙂
– 8/27 – $5 – Went to a networking event. I don’t really enjoy doing this sort of thing, but it’s a good idea to do every once in a while, or so I’ve been told.
The only things on that list that I would cut out if I were re-living the month would be the breakfast wrap, parking fee at the wedding (plan ahead and know where the free parking was!), the fancy latte, and the lunch bagel (again, plan ahead), for a total of $17.08 in regrettable spending. That’s a number I feel quite good about (although obviously I’d rather it was $0).
I don’t give myself an allowance, instead just trying to spend my money wisely. Whenever something comes up, I think about whether the purpose fits with the things that I value, and choose based on that. Tracking my discretionary spending helps me make sure that I really do walk the walk.