July 2017: car windows and Craigslist

Oy. Two weeks ago was an unexpectedly busy week and I didn’t actually mean to disappear but that’s just what ended up happening. Last week I was at the beach with my family and bless me, I legitimately went into the week thinking I’d sit down some afternoon and write up some posts to schedule during the week to make up for the disappearance. Jokes. Beach week is for going to the ocean twice a day, reading, sleeping, and eating too much. There’s just no room for blogging in all that vacationing!

So much vacationing!

But I’m back and here to talk about this month in my finances.

Car things
As I wrote about earlier, July started off super unexpectedly expensive. I’m still mad about it. The total car cost this month hovers right around $500 with windows, a purchase of car wax so I could glob it on all the dents that had paint scratched off and were likely to rust, and a stick of touch-up paint to stop said likely rusting (which ran me a cool $16 even though I can confirm it is not actually liquid gold). Despite the label indicating the color should’ve just about been a perfect match for my car, turns out the paint was actually pretty purple. So now in addition to all the dents, my blue car now has some purple splotches–I’m just adding character to my old car all over the place! But my car did get a thorough wash and wax out of the ordeal so its two-color self is all pretty and shiny now.

Amazon Prime Day
I’d never have known about it if it weren’t for you meddling kids my coworkers hadn’t mentioned it. But they did and ah I fell prey to the siren song of sales. I bought a set of tea strainers (my mesh ball isn’t doing it and I can never seem to find the damn thing when I want it), a set of facial products that I just bought about a month before but figured since I’d be ordering more anyway doing it now for $5 off seemed a decent idea, and an essential oil diffuser. I’ve been idly considering starting to experiment with essential oils and this forced my hand (I say that like it actually did. No, what actually happened is that I saw one for $20 and decided that was acceptable for an impulse purchase). So there was also an essential oil purchase soon after, oops.

Craigslisting
July was the month of Craigslisting. I’ll elaborate on this in a later post, but my roommate moved out on Saturday and I decided I was going to stay put. Thus the great Craigslist replacement roommate search began. The whole thing was compressed into the middle two weeks of July (the holiday plus my car took up the first one, and I sure as hell wasn’t about to go on vacation without having someone lined up who was going to be paying rent for August) so it was a whirlwind of sacrificing my spare time to interview people. One night I legit had someone come in the half an hour I had between me getting home from work and me leaving again for barre. I’ve never chosen a roommate before (my first roommate in this apartment was a college friend and one of her friends was the replacement she found) so it was an interesting two weeks of making pro/con lists and deciding what all the “I’m clean and responsible and I don’t party” responses actually meant.

In addition to the Great Roommate Search, I also decided to get off my ass and sell things I’d had laying around my apartment for ages. I was already on CL to post my roommate’s room so there was no excuse not to snap a few pictures and put up two other posts. I sold a pair of lamps for $30 (the usual I listed them for $35, the woman asked if she could have them for $25 and I said $30) to a woman who I was about 80% sure wasn’t going to pick them up since on two separate occasions she cancelled but did finally show up.

My parents gave me a bike they had gotten for cheap or free somewhere that was too short for me and also had a broken left gearshift (I figured out it was broken on a 7-mile bike ride a year and a half ago, which was not the most fun day of my life). Given that it was rideable but…frustrating, I debated what to price it at and decided on $50. Right away someone asked for $30 and I told them $40 but they disappeared right after. Had a woman ask if $15 was fine and didn’t bother responding to that. I mean I spent no money on the bike but I was going to get more than $15 for it, dammit.

Four days later the first person reappeared asking if the next day was okay to come get the bike. Sure, I’ll sacrifice my Saturday morning, no problem. Whatever, I made $70 that week on stuff I’d been thinking about getting rid of for ages. And now there’s more room in my living room!

So without further ado, here are the numbers:

Rent

$1050.00

My half of rent
Internet and utilities

$70.15

I am…not happy about this. My roommate was home during the day for a few weeks in July so there was excessive a/c use
Groceries

$140.75

Only 3 weeks of groceries for me, plus I made some trips to the grocery store at the beach. I figure a bit of throwing in for the prodigious amounts of food I eat on vacation is the least I can do for a free week at the beach
Student loans

$110.25

Automatic loan payment
Car things

$495.88

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Gas

$48.53

This is what I get for driving from DC to the beach, back to my parents’ house, and then back to DC. I’m blaming most of this on traffic on I-95 because I HATE 95 and will blame it for anything I want! But also yesterday’s drive back up to DC was one of the slowest I’ve ever had
Barre membership

$104.69

Medical expenses

$49.88

My contacts are damn expensive. I’m still on my mom’s insurance so that covered 3 boxes and this was the charge for the 4th. I’m going to look into seeing if my FSA will reimburse me for this even though I didn’t go through my individual work insurance…
Transportation

$15.50

Misc shopping

$260.92

Amazon Prime Day purchases, essential oils, and a suuuuuper early Christmas present for a friend because it was on sale and I couldn’t pass it up
Clothing

-$28.00

A refund from a return finally posted to my card
Restaurants/bars

$43.83

4th of July partying in Charlottesville where the drinks are $5 at regular price (be still, my heart) and most of the rest of it was getting breakfast for myself and my siblings the morning we drove home from the beach. I forget sometimes that my brother is a bottomless pit
Personal care

$35.93

Mostly an Amazon Prime Day sale
iTunes

$4.22

I’ve been using the Moment app for a few weeks now and really liked it. However I really wanted to pay for the upgrade so I could exclude certain apps from my usage time like podcasts, phone calls (yeah I got yelled at one day by Moment for going over my limit because I was on the phone with my dad for an hour. Thank you, but I consider that time well-spent on my phone), and the app I use for recipes when I’m cooking
Misc dues/subscriptions

$20.56

Spotify, Patreon, and YNAB. This honestly might be one of the last months I pay for YNAB especially since transactions from one of my credit cards don’t show up anymore. I’m just holding out for Personal Capital to add in an option to split transactions…
Domain name

$10.87

My name is unique so I’m not worried about someone buying it, but I’ve decided if someone does own my name domain name, that person should be me. I’ll hold onto it until I need or want it
Total spending:

$2433.96

Paychecks and other income

$2339.68

Side hustle income

$70.00

Getting that Craigslisting on!
Total income:

$2409.68

Total:

-$24.28

My friends, I am counting that as a win! Given that after my car windows got broken I’d already written this month off as a net negative one, the fact that I came so close to zero is most definitely awesome. I could’ve been so much better about shopping, but it’s too late for that for July. I’ll have to work on that in future months.

P.S. I’ve also started tracking my zero spending days using the spreadsheet created by David at Zero Day Finance. July saw me at 14 no-spend days (although okay, I cheated a bit by starting with a month where I was on vacation for a week).

 

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