Monthly Financial Update: May 2019

In December, when reviewing my finances for 2018, I mentioned my desire to look at them on a monthly basis in 2019. Justin and I spent a little too much in 2018 and let our finances get the best of us. Maybe by looking at our finances monthly (and letting you guys/gals keep me in check), we will do better this year. That's the goal anyway.

Here's month #5:


Compared to Last Month:
• We spent more on travel, hair cuts, fees, and entertainment.
• We spent less on shopping and auto & transport.

Compared to Last Year:
• We spent more on travel, shopping, auto & transport, bills & utilities (record high temperatures this year!), personal care (My husband found a new place to cut his hair.), and entertainment (like ice skating).
• We spent less on food & dining, and fees & charges. (We cut our Delta card last year saving us $100.)

Overall, our spending is higher than it was last year though I'm grateful it's not drastically so. I'm also glad it is less than we spent last month. My ideal would be our February spending, but I do think the extra we've spent on ice skating has helped me to get to a better frame of mind. I'm also glad to see that our spending is much less than what we spent during the fall months. I guess we will just keep trying. It's crazy to see how quickly little expenses add up!

Where We Spent Our Money:

Top 10 Merchants:
1. United Airlines (flight to LA)
2. Electricity
3. Marriott (hotel in DC)
4. Quiktrip (gas)
5. Amazon (home organization, books, conditioning treatment for ice skates)
6. Package Store (coconut rum, framboise, beer)
7. JCT Kitchen (restaurant)
8. Chase Sapphire Preferred Membership fee
9. Trader Vic's (restaurant)
10. Life Insurance

Top 10 Categories:
1. Food & Dining
2. Travel (flight to LA, hotel in DC, rental car, Lyft service while in DC)
3. Shopping (clothes, bug spray, ice skate sharpening, books, home organization)
4. Auto & Transport (parking in DC, parking in ATL, gas, oil change on car, tail light on truck)
5. Bills & Utilities
6. Personal Care (hair cuts, dry cleaning)
7. Fees & Charges (fee for Chase Sapphire Preferred card, ATM fee that should be reimbursed by the bank, late payment fee)
8. Entertainment (ice skating)
9. Financial Charges (life insurance)
10. Gifts & Donations (Mother's Day cards, birthday cards, birthday bag & paper, birthday gift)

✓+ Gas & Fuel – under
✓+ Public transport – not used
✓+ Mobile Phone – under
✓+ Groceries – under
✓ Life Insurance – on target
✗ Restaurants – over
✗ Hair Appointments – over
✗ Everything Else – over

Net Income:


credit cards

student loans

* Loan Payoff Date 11/1/22
* Emergency Funds: $5557
* Credit Scores: 760 (Justin), 794, 799 (me)

Overview of the Biggest Impacts This Month:
1. Flight to LA purchased
2. Ice skating. (Both going and all of the supplies we needed to buy to care for our skates)
3. Trip to DC
4. Birthdays & Mother's Day (meals out, gifts)
5. Trying to get my husband's work desk organized.

What went wrong this month?
1. Travel costs. There can be a lot of good that comes with travel, but the costs can be difficult to swallow. Ideally, I'd like to get better at traveling more cheaply. Then again – it's hard to argue when my route to get to a place costs less but takes longer and the husband says "How much is our time worth??!" 😳
2. Credit card spending was up. My guess – flights to LA, eating out more, and ice skating caused this.
4. We ran out of coconut rum. And framboise. And sparkling wine. So we stocked up. To be fair, it's more cost effective to drink at home than out. The good news is that we had money in our grocery budget to cover it.
5. We probably spent more of our grocery budget than we needed to do when we found a new farmer's market within 30 minutes of home. So many new and interesting foods! And because my husband is a foodie, we couldn't leave without purchasing all of our groceries for the week there, plus some extras. Hopefully, either by going more, we can reduce our purchase desires for foods we have never seen before. Or alternatively, we can choose to stick to our regular grocery store and avoid the temptations altogether. Not yet sure which option is best for us. 😳

What went right this month?
1. I was able to reduce our grocery budget by nearly half. We just weren't spending it, so I was able to allocate the money to other categories where we were over budget (restaurants, everything else).
2. I got paid via PayPal for some side jobs and we were able to use that money to pay less on our cell phone bill.
3. I also got back some money for business expenses that we used to cover the purchases I had already made for my job.
4. Finding lower prices on items and requesting price adjustments.
5. DC was pretty cheap with breakfast included in our hotel costs and free food available at the event we went to.

Financial plans/goals for June?
1. Re-work budget to include money spent on ice skating.
2. Eat out less.
3. Book the last two hotels for LA with points.
4. Call Citi to confirm price adjustments.
5. Return a top I won't be wearing to get money back.

May was a pretty big month for me in terms of getting into a better state-of-mind. Part of that included spending more time outside, which often included getting a snack or drink to enjoy outside while laptopping. We also spent more time at the ice rink. Finally, our trip to DC to visit friends and explore embassies helped me break my mental rut.

Should being in a better position mentally always correlate with spending? Probably not. I just need to figure out what works for me and finding a median position where I am in control of how much I'm spending as well as in a good place mentally.

In terms of self-care, what do you do for yourself? Do you have any recommendations for me that are free or cheap that maybe I haven't thought of yet?

Does the beginning of summer change how you budget? Do you have different spending habits from season to season?

Financial Resolution Goals 2019

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...