April 2017: my first spending report

So. I’d planned to write a few posts ahead of time and schedule them to publish later or at the very least to do an “I’m on vacation and therefore on hiatus for a bit!” post before I left for Boston/the Azores, but man that totally did not happen. I’m going to blame that on the fact that we were supposed to fly out of Boston for the Azores the evening of Monday, May 1 and get back at 5:00pm on Sunday, May 7 so we could drive all evening/into the morning so I could get back to work on Monday the 8th. But then there was a strike, either involving Portuguese security staff or the cabin crews (unclear which tbh) for May 1-2 that affected our flight.

Our departure from Boston got pushed first to Tuesday, May 2 (which was fine because by the time we got to the Azores it would be early on the 3rd and the strike would presumably/hopefully be over). Then at 2:00pm before our 9:00pm flight we got a text saying it was rescheduled yet again for Wednesday, May 3. After a number of conversations about what to do because I only had vacation time for a full week, not for any additional days, we did decide to extend our trip out to this Tuesday so it was the full time we’d planned for and not shortened. I just took unpaid days on Monday and Tuesday (next Friday’s paycheck is going to be sadness. Although I did work extra this week to get it down to 9.5 unpaid hours, not 14, and I’ll be taking much shorter lunches next week to further make up that time because I can’t afford to not get my usual full paycheck!) and showed up at the normal time on Wednesday morning (after now essentially 2.5 weeks out of the office. Remember that flu thing? Yeah, that was an entire week) loopy from jetlag and the fact that we didn’t get to DC until 2 am. It’s been a fun week, y’all. I’m still playing catch-up, further compounded by the fact that I’m out of town this weekend for a friend’s wedding. I thought I’d have the whole week to do things, not just a few days!

It’s a damn good thing we were staying with my aunt and uncle who live in Boston and weren’t in a hotel for the night before our flight because that would’ve gotten very expensive very quickly. We did lose a bit of money for having to cancel the first hostel we were staying at for the first two nights, but we surprisingly got most of that money back, and I did manage to find us a reasonably cheap hostel to stay at for the two nights we added onto the end of the trip. Anyway, I’ll do a trip post with lots of photos later, but I want to share something else in this post tonight: my first spending report for the month of April.

I’m going to do these as a way to both publicly share for accountability purposes and also to have a record of what my spending trends are. April is as good a month as any to start, although it also isn’t because it’s been a suuuuuuuuper spendy month. Although I guess I’m now setting the bar incredibly low and it’ll help myself look better in the future? Sure, I’ll go with it. So without further ado, the numbers in all their painful glory:



My half of rent
internet and utilities


My half of the utilities


This is a low number, probably because I was sick and ate nothing but soup and smoothies during that week…
Student loans


Automatic loan payment
Car insurance


I not only paid a monthly payment from my previous plan, but it was also time to switch companies/policies (which I wanted done before leaving for my trip) and I paid for a full year in order to save $60. So I won’t have to pay for insurance again until May 2018!


Higher than normal for a month I didn’t go anywhere because for a friend’s birthday I planned a mini road trip. Have I mentioned I love my fuel-efficient little old car??
Barre membership


A bit of a waste this month (it runs mid-month to mid-month) because of the week spent with the flu and the 1.5 weeks on vacation that I just got back from but oh well
Medical expenses


The last of my deductible before my insurance kicked in and also a surprise $50 urgent care copay because I needed a doctor’s note but was too sick to get on the bus to my PCP but could walk to urgent care. DON’T GO TO URGENT CARE is the hard lesson I just learned


Lots of dr visits and chorus rehearsals means lots of metro money
Household goods


Cleaning supplies and that plant I picked up a few weeks ago
Misc shopping


Ouch. This month I bought a Vitamix, a new raincoat in preparation for the Azores trip (but which I needed anyway), a carry-on travel backpack in an effort to pack light/not need to check a suitcase for the trip, and (ugh) new sunglasses since I left mine at chorus rehearsal but wasn’t able to return due to the flu and the trip. None of these things will show up in future months though!


One day I will finally break the hold Old Navy has on me


Met a friend for margs


Bought a birthday card for a friend
Azores trip


One of three of the hostels we stayed at, the rest of this trip to come in May’s spending report


Budgeting course I thought looked really helpful (haven’t finished it yet because vacation)
Misc dues/subscriptions


Spotify (one day I’ll get rid of it but I love being able to listen to various playlists in the car without using data), Patreon, and YNAB
Total spending:


Other income


Deposits from my parents, interest, and money from being selected to do a study! 45 minutes of repetitive questions later and I was $30 richer


 Post-tax and after my automatic deductions to my 401(k)
Total income:




Ouch again

Thank goodness for my fantastic tax return because I do actually have spare funds laying around to cover the difference here (plus some of it was immediately sent to Vanguard so I can’t touch it).

Sadly May isn’t going to look much better. Like I mentioned above, I put a lot of the Azores trip on my credit card in order to get the double travel points and because my new card doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee; I’ll get reimbursed by my sister and mother for part of the trip. I also need to spend $4,000 on my card by mid-June in order to get the excellent sign-up bonus of 50,000 points. Thanks to both the trip and the year of car insurance I put on my card right before leaving town, I’m almost there already. However, now that I’m back from vacation (minus tomorrow night’s hotel room and Uber trips to/from the venue and my hotel because the room at the venue was $80 more expensive) I’m working on making sure May is better than April! We’ll see how I do in a few more weeks.

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