Anyone else notice how when I have spendy months I avoid writing this post until much later in the month? Ahem, anyway.
I’m doing something new in this post and putting up a referral link to one of the credit cards (ETA: okay, two ?♀️) I have. I am trying to be very strategic about the referral links I use, but while this blog is a(n expensive) hobby of mine and not a business, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be nice to at least break even on my annual hosting costs. Plus this isn’t me throwing up links for the hell of it since I’m talking specifically about how I used this card in June. (The second card I talk about doesn’t have a referral program, go figure!)
I’m only recommending cards I personally use, plus this card is a no-fee credit card with decent rewards. No $450 annual membership fees here. If you sign up through my link, thank you in advance!
BUT. Remember how I paid off my (admittedly zero interest) credit card debt a few months ago? Yeah. Don’t be like me. Especially if you’re going to have to pay interest on your debt. Paying interest erases 100% of the value of the signup bonuses you get on new cards so if you can’t pay off your balance on time and in full every month, please don’t sign up for a card!
Okay, on to the numbers!
Scroll down and take a peep at that number. Holy hell, how can I go from spending an average of around $150/month on groceries to over FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS?!? Two things.
For one, I bought $200 of gift cards for my grocery store in June. The second quarter of the year was 5% cashback on grocery spending on my Discover card, and while it would be a lot for me to maximize the $75 in cashback on up to $1,500 in purchases, I decided to get $10 cashback with that $200 purchase. I’m still on my first year with the card so Discover is matching all of the cashback I earn in the first year. So really it was $20 cashback on $200 of grocery spending I’ll be doing anyway, and essentially I prepaid most of my groceries for July and into August.
Referral link time: if you’re looking for a no-fee cashback card with rotating quarterly 5% categories (and a cashback match on what you earn in your first year, including on the $50 you get from signing up through this link, which is awesome), perhaps you want to check out the Discover It card. Because seriously, that’s one hundred free dollars right there.
Even without that extra $200, $208 is still a ridiculously high grocery bill for me. I’ve got one word for you: Costco. Specifically it was all one trip where I needed to buy more allergy medicine, saw that contact solution was on sale so decided to buy that even though I didn’t need any immediately (sadly until/if I get laser eye surgery, I am always going to need contact solution so might as well buy more when it’s on sale), AND saw that my favorite granola was on sale. This is the granola that I hadn’t seen in months because Costco randomly decided to stop carrying it and I was just about to finish off my last bag. So I stocked up and bought three bags of granola in that trip as well.
Unless I am specifically buying one thing, it’s way too complicated to break out food spending from other things at Costco—and most of the time it is all groceries anyway—so it’s all lumped together under groceries. But just know that includes a bunch of granola as well as allergy medicine and contact solution.
JUST KIDDING, THEY’RE GONE! It feels like they’ve been paid off for quite a while but this is finally my first spending report without them.
What do April, May, and now June all have in common? Oh yeah, they’ve been super expensive months. Some of that is timing, especially with my annual car insurance up for renewal in May. Some of it is blog opportunities like CampFI. And some of it is that I’ve been working on a new minimum spend since the end of April.
I decided to open up a Chase Ink Business Cash card for the 50,000 point sign-up bonus (technically it’s $500 in cashback but Chase cashback comes to you in the form of points, and if you’ve got a Chase travel card like I do, you can transfer those points to that account. Et voilà, they’re no longer only redeemable for cashback). I’ve been eyeing the Ink Business for a while with the 80,000 point sign-up bonus, but it would be very difficult to spend $5,000 in the first three months. So I went with the lower-tier 50,000 point card, which conveniently comes with no annual fee and has a $3,000 in the first three months minimum spend.
Minus rent I don’t spend a ton each month. So when I am opening up new credit cards with significant bonuses/significant (for me, at least) minimum spends, I do it strategically. Remember last year’s post about my CSP? (You know what? Fuck it. Here’s the referral link for that one, which yes, comes with a $95 annual fee that’s waived for the first year. Am I a real blogger now if I’ve got a link up for the CSP?) It’s no coincidence that I’ve only opened up two credit cards with major points bonuses/spends in the last two years at the same time each year.
I’ve bought FinCon tickets (although that ticket price is coming back to me since I won a new blogger scholarship! Luckily it turns out I didn’t need that to reach to minimum spend, even though that was my intention at first). I bought a ticket to CampFI Mid-Atlantic next year (they haven’t released the link for that yet but since I went last year I got access to it early. If you’re thinking about going—it’s over Memorial Day weekend next year—let me know and I can shoot you the link). I bought a ticket to the Cents Positive retreat. I was going to spend money on these things anyway, but it’s convenient that they all happened within the same few months so that I could use them for my minimum spend.
I’m happy I’ve finally reached the $3k a few weeks early and can now return to using my cards the way I normally do without making sure I’m putting everything I can on the new card so I can reach the minimum spend.
What you came here for
|My half of rent
|Internet and utilities
|Because I’m an idiot who forgot to cancel a class
|Bought some sunscreen I can wear daily that doesn’t make my face all gross and oily, yay! It was super expensive but taking care of my skin is worth spending money. Aaaaand you gotta love the pink tax. Nothing like paying out the nose for your special purple (PURPLE) ~lady painkiller pills~ to make you feel even more like burning everything down to the ground than your cramps already are ?
|My usual $25 to PP, $50 to Puerto Rico, and $200 to organizations at the border because sometimes it seems like throwing money towards them is the only thing I can do
|Tiny house festival entry fee. So worth it!
|Patreon dues and the annual hosting for myfullname.com domain
|NYC trip minus the bus tickets since those were earlier
|I took a Lyft both ways to my mid-day visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (I finally got timed tickets, yay!), and my mom and I took one closer to the immigration march downtown on June 30th
|Return ticket from Orlando and business cards so I’m all ~official~ now
|CampFI Mid-Atlantic 2019
|I barely survived the last one but have decided I’ll suck it up and go again next year…
|Retreat plus blogger add-on
|One of my previous roommates accidentally shipped something to my apartment so I shipped it back to her. This is obviously something I wasn’t going to bother to ask her to pay me back for!
|Truly miscellaneous: I decided it was time to buy one of those clay things you soak in water and then put in your brown sugar so it’s not all dried and clumpy. Or rather, two, since it was a two-pack. I’ll think of a use for the second one some day
|It’s that time of year
|Paychecks and other income
|An extra paycheck is the only thing saving me this month
|Side hustle income
|Same with the extra week’s contributions here
Oh hey it was another spendy month! Even WITH a fifth paycheck. The good news is I a) have completed the minimum spend I was working on, b) I’ve got a bunch of extra money coming in for July, and c) for a few reasons July should be less expensive than normal-normal (not what’s been “normal” for me the last few months). So you can very likely expect to see that post in a few weeks at the beginning of August instead of halfway through it ?