Previously September was my most impressive spending report, at least savings-wise. (I’ve had some other pretty impressive months, but those were impressive if you used the “holy shit, that was a ton of spending” definition of “impressive.”)
Well, turns out December just blew that out of the water!
Overall it was a pretty quiet month; and that combined with the fact that I worked four of five weekends at my second job helped contribute to just how much money I had left over.
In other news, I’ve officially been tracking my net worth and spending for a year, and what a difference that year has made! If you don’t already track your spending, I recommend that you do!
I drove home for Christmas (for all of about 60 hours because I went to work the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Am I hoarding my vacation days like a vengeful dragon for use during 2018? Yep!). Gotta love cheap holiday travel! I also went to Ohio early in December to see family, but I bought that plane ticket in October, so this trip cost me the price of a roundtrip Lyft ride to the airport and a coffee while waiting to board my plane.
My parents mentioned a few months ago that they’ve been holding onto some savings bonds that some relatives purchased for me when I was born. You’ll hear more on those later—I’ll be asking the personal finance community for some advice on what to do with those.
What I didn’t know is that there was also apparently a random stack of cash they’ve been holding for me in their safe deposit box as well. Don’t ask me why. I’m not asking why. I got the surprise of $281 in cash when they gave me the envelope with the savings bonds.
Between that cash, the money from my side hustle, and the fact that December was an extra paycheck month, the income side of the equation looked pretty damn awesome for the month.
|My half of rent|
|Internet and utilities||
|My half of utilities|
|Plastic window coverings||
|Here’s hoping this ends up saving us a bit on heating, even though the lack of insulation in the walls is probably a bigger culprit of cold air leaking in than our surprisingly decent windows
|Automatic loan payment|
|Greatly helped along the way by the fact that my parents had enough grocery points for $1.00 off/gallon and they paid to fill my tank when I was home over Christmas|
|Lyft to/from the airport|
|Paid off the rest of what I owed from the sweaters/jeans I bought in November|
|Christmas tree and the last of the spending on gifts, largely offset by what my siblings owed me from joint gifts I bought in November|
|This is a bit higher than I wanted it to be, but ’twas the season for catching up with friends while at home plus a meetup with the ONLs while they were in town!|
|Donation to Stacey Abrams’ political campaign|
|Miscellaneous shopping, including *gasp* a book that was not from the library!|
|Spotify and Patreon|
|Reimbursement for my November dentist appointment|
|Paychecks and other income||
|Five paycheck month, interest, and I redeemed some credit card cashback via check (because my double cash card doesn’t get me cashback on statement credits, but I do get cashback on payments I make!)
|Side hustle income||
|Got my second paycheck! This is minus what I’m putting aside for taxes, and with some Lyft costs subtracted out for the two occasions I didn’t drive to work (the holiday party being one of them)|
|Little did I know this was sitting in my parents’ safe deposit box at the bank!|
Fifty-one percent. That’s a fifty-one percent savings rate for December. That is the first time in my life I’ve saved that much.
Brb buying all the avocado toast in celebration! Just kidding, I’ve got avocados at home and can make my own avocado toast. But you are all welcome to congratulate me on how awesome I am! 😉
Celebratory spending spree
What did I do with all of that extra money, besides (not) buying all the avocado toast a girl can eat?
The cash got split between my Roth IRA and my brokerage accounts. The extra paycheck is being used somewhat as a slush fund (remember how I said Qapital is a super-aggressive savings app? December happens to be the expensive part of the 52 week challenge!) and as a bit of padding for my emergency fund. And, as usual, every cent from my second job is going towards my consumer debt. Just a few months until I’ve got that paid off!
I think the last time my savings rate looked this good was back in March when I got my tax return (which was a 45% savings rate month). January’s income won’t be this much, but seeing as how I’m doing the Uber Frugal Month challenge, in theory my savings rate should be similarly high.
Can I do a repeat performance? Find out in a few weeks!