Well folks April expenses went up quite a bit, and it hurts a little. Some of these expenses I could control (but I did not), and others were “needed,” but just happened to fall in this month. To start off the month I decided to live it up a bit and hit up a noodle bar with friends for $30, then go out drinking with friends for another $30 all in one night! *hangs head in shame* I was out having fun with friends and that’s ok from time to time, but looking back it does smart a little bit. Perhaps I was rewarding myself for previous frugal months? Anyway, so those expenses were literally the first day of the month, not the best start. Within the first week I had my usual HOA fees and electric bill (21 bucks baby!) so nothing new there. Standout expenses for the rest of the month were a $175 charge to mount new sport tires on the summer rims of my MINI Cooper. This car hobby is my one significant luxury in being frugal and I accept that as it brings not only fun, but life long friends.
Another big cost for the month is an order for 30 bags of Plenny Shakes (formerly Joylent) which was $170 that happens about once every 2-3 months. In fact I was late in ordering and was forced to spend $7 on a 6-pack of Clif bars from the grocery store when I ran out of food in the house for a few days (I don’t have my refrigerator plugged in). Oh the horror! Haha. I also purchased a Black Diamond ReVolt rechargeable headlamp for an upcoming canoe/kayak paddling trip. I’m in love with this thing! It lasted 9+ hours in my own personal test and I love the fact that my new one weighs less and is more waterproof than the old one that was rated a best buy. I dream of living on the road in my rig and just recharging this in the cigarette adapter while driving to my next hike sounds wonderful. Anyway, the second to last unusual expense was $200 withdrawal from the ATM. Now I said in my 2016 budget wrap-up article that I was concerned with not knowing where my cash went for the year. Some of this is to pay for laundry I’ve come to realize, as I use machines in the basement of my Co-Op and some of it goes to my lunch card at work. We are given $8 / day M-Th for lunch and I’m generally a bit over each day. Friday I have to pay for myself and the rest… well I’m still figuring that out. But the cash I had on hand lasted me over 4 months into the new year so I’m ahead of 2016 at this time. And finally I paid $300 to have my taxes done. It is what I do to feel confident they are done correctly right now while I am still working. Throw in a good amount of gas expenses this month and a few more restaurants and there you have it. One thing to note for those interested in shaving… I did spend $6.35 on Cremo’s Mens Cooling Shave Cream. I shave my head and face regularly and had been using cheaper products (namely good old Barbasol shaving foam/cream), so I decided to take a chance on something a little special to see if my shaves were any better. The verdict? It’s not bad at all, but not as good as my regular shaving cream/foam, it costs more (a dollar something for the foam) and it doesn’t last as long. Plus, the menthol it too strong for me, it makes my eyes tear up. Oh well, it wasn’t an expensive experiment. Some other things I did:
Detailed my car with friends…
Checked out the Easter bunnies…
And hung out with a friend’s pooch…
Let’s look at the numbers downloaded from Personal Capital:
Some things to note:
- I need to make sure I am conscious of where the cash in my wallet is being used now that I’ve withdrawn it.
- Restaurants are about $100 for the month or $25/wk which is where my retirement budget has it pegged.
- I track my expenses for tax preparation in the “Advisory Fee” category. This will go down significantly when in retirement as they will be so much more simple to do, and as a result I’ll be doing them myself!
- Still loving that my Big Three expenses are low so I can afford to take some liberties in other expense categories.