January 2020: side hustling. And groceries

I got the year right on the first try!

January started off with a stroll through the national zoo during the last evening of Zoolights, a $144 (after Rover’s fees) petsitting gig, aaaaand then the first Saturday morning I woke up with the flu and was in bed for the better part of a week. I thankfully wasn’t scheduled to work that weekend, but I guess my body couldn’t cope with the idea of 48 straight hours of free time and compensated by getting horribly sick, even though I had so many other things I wanted to do with that time 😑

I am HERE for all of the events involving lots of pretty lights
These flamingos were pretty awesome

Hikes 2 of 52

As I listed in my 20 for 2020 goals, my partner and I have a goal to go on 52 different hikes during the year. Or nature walks, since winter is stupid. We are already behind for the year (thanks, flu!) since only two happened in January, but they were good ones.

I hadn’t even heard of this park until we went.

Kenilworth has been on my DC to-do list for years so I’m glad I finally went. We’ll be back in the spring or summer when there’s a lot more to see!

Marsh and cattails

The budget-ruiner

(lol that’s funny since I don’t budget)

Peep that grocery bill down below. Yeah. Remember how one of my 2020 goals is change my diet and I hinted there at high grocery spending? Yep that’s it. To be fair, January would’ve been a stock up month anyway since we were gone for half of December for the holidays and didn’t have any food in our fridge as a result. But organic meat and dairy and substituting out some of our normal carb-loaded staples was largely what was behind that number.

It (hopefully) shouldn’t be this high most months, but I think I’m going to have to adjust my baseline spending to more like $175 per month, not $150.

Also spending was pretty low in other areas (like eating out!), which helped make up for the increased spending on groceries.

First numbers of the year

Rent $700.00
Internet and utilities $60.83 Electric was higher this month, dang heating cost!
Groceries $223.94 hahahaha YIKES
Restaurants/bars $27.57
Gas $21.00
Barre membership $104.94
Stupid tax/barre fee $15.90 Don’t get sick and forget to cancel a class 😑
Misc dues/subscriptions $43.04 Patreon and subscriptions
Entertainment $87.26 A ballet ticket and a theater ticket
Clothes $58.17
Other shopping ($51.26) What I did buy was offset by returning a sleeping mat to REI
Vacation $105.21 Planning to escape winter in February!
Gifts $24.15
Charitable giving $97.57
Chorus $36.31 New concert cycle means new music fees
Total spending: $1,554.63
Paychecks and other income $2,319.24 Extra paycheck month!
Retirement contributions $2,381.75
Side hustle income (second job) $169.53 Minus reimbursing my partner one Lyft ride to work since post- a longer than normal, stressful shift with no food I got too inebriated to drive home. I worked a lot towards the end of January, but got paid for it in February since there’s a two-week lag so this is lower than it should be
Other side hustle income (Rover) $457.60 Thanks largely to getting paid for my NYE dogsit
CC cashback $184.69 I redeemed a bunch of cash back in December that hit in January
Total income: $5,512.81
Total: $3,958.18
Savings rate: 72%


This is one of my highest savings rates ever. By which I mean March 2018 might have had a higher savings rate, but I wasn’t factoring in my retirement contributions back then (and they weren’t nearly as high of a percentage of my paycheck as they are now!), so it’s pretty much apples and oranges. Either way, this was a fantastic start to the year!

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