Monthly Financial Update: June 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 #6:


green = this year, yellow = last year

Compared to Last Year:
• We spent more on shopping, bills, entertainment (ice skating), travel, and gifts.
• We spent less on food & dining, auto & transport, personal care, fees.

dotted line - last month; green line - this month

Compared to Last Month: 
• We spent more on shopping, food & dining, and entertainment (ice skating).
• We spent less on bills, auto and transport, personal care, travel, gifts and donations, and fees and charges.

So, essentially, electronics were our downfall this month. Well, that and food.

Where We Spent Our Money:

Top 10 Merchants:
1. Apple (fixing Justin's laptop)
2. Free People (clothes for me)
3. Amazon (camera accessories, groceries, organization accessories)
4. Kroger (groceries)
5. Aperturent (camera rental)
6. Electricity
7. Costco (groceries, towels, flowers for my grandmother)
8. Wal Mart (back up hard drive)
9. Ice Forum (ice skating)
10. Hospital (guest house, parking, food)

Top 10 Categories:
1. Shopping (clothes for me, camera batteries + charger, star follower for the camera, rental camera, computer stand, fixing Justin's computer)
2. Food & Dining (lots of eating out because of hospital visits)
3. Bills & Utilities
4. Auto & Transport (parking for airport interview, hospital parking charges)
5. Entertainment (ice skating)
6. Personal Care (hair cuts, dry cleaning)
7. Travel (charges for hospital guest house rental)
Financial Charges (life insurance)
9. Gifts & Donations (flowers and popsicles for my grandmother, phone charger for my dad)
10. Fees & Charges (interest charge)

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

Net Income:


student loans
credit cards

* Loan Payoff Date 11/1/22
* Emergency Funds: $7334
* Credit Scores: 770 (Justin), 797, 801 (me)

Overview of the Biggest Impacts This Month:
1. My dad and grandmother were both in the hospital for a week each. We had to take care of my mom, who was falling apart, and take flowers to my grandmother. I also lost a few days of work to time spent in the hospital.
2. My husband dropped his laptop and broke his screen. Then, when the computer he was going to use as a replacement had a problem with updates we had to purchase an extra hard drive. 
3. Prep for LA. – We bought a device to help me capture the stars with my camera! We also are renting a camera for our trip. Finally, I bought 2 extra camera batteries and a Canon-branded charger.
4. Clothes – I needed summer clothes. Was this the time to purchase them? No, probably not. 
5. We paid for 15 sessions of ice skating at once and they gave us 2 sessions free!

What went wrong this month?
1. Family members going into the hospital.

2. Husband dropping his laptop.
3. Other laptop problems.
4. One of the credit cards not updating in Mint.
5. Spending more than we did last month and this month last year. 😳

What went right this month?
1. Found a cheaper price on a car rental for LA!

2. Received cashback for a price match with Citi!
3. Found a place to rent a better camera for shooting the stars and didn't have to spend $2000 for the camera! (Though I'm going to want the camera, so that's going to be its own problem.)
4. Credit scores are going up!
5. Loans and credit cards are going down (however slowly).

Financial plans/goals for July?
1. Find a new dry cleaner. The one I'm using isn't getting my clothes clean. Why am I paying for a service that isn't working? 🙄

2. Write Chase so that I don't lose my right to sue them! (They are updating terms and conditions. You have to notify them by August that you don't want to be part of it.)
3. Return clothing if I'm not going to wear it. 🙄
4. Watch the grocery budget. Don't buy anything unnecessary.
5. Use the correct credit cards for 5% cashback. (Freedom for gas, Discover for restaurants)

With so much time spent in the hospital and the huge expense that was a broken laptop, I feel like Justin and I aren't doing too badly this month. I do worry what a trip to LA will do to our finances, but we already have so much planned.

On the upside, I'm really excited about having the chance to photograph the stars in Joshua Tree National Park! And I'm planning on shooting the fireworks for the fourth of July while in LA too!

Do you tend to find that accomplishing things on your bucket list cost more than you really should be spending? Do you think that's why most people don't have a bucket list? And if they do, maybe they don't try to accomplish as much as they could?

Financial Resolution Goals 2019

June Lookback

This year has been insane! Time is passing quickly and things are changing rapidly. I once heard the saying "long days, short years" and that's exactly what it feels like. Some days are incredibly long, but the months seem to be flying by. This is the fourth month this year that I have done a "lookback" post, but I find that every month I'm dealing with something different. As quickly as things are changing, I feel like it will be nice at the end of the year to have these posts to "lookback" and remember all that happened in 2019.

Is it just me or is 2019 going quickly for you too?

Listening to:

Still on the 90s kick.

Right now it's:
• Jennifer Paige – "Crush"
Ace of the Base
• Mariah Carey - "Love Takes Time", "Fantasy", "Dreamlover"

I've also been watching a lot of Anthony Bourdain's shows. He's so good with words.


How fast the month has gone since I last posted a Lookback. I am in an entirely different mental state.

- I have more hours at work.
- I stood up for myself and won what I was asking for.
- My dad had a medical emergency.
- Then my grandmother also had one…
- I've learned new ice skating skills. I'm more confident on the ice.

I feel like an entirely different person.

And yet I'm not.

Funny how that works.


Travel to LA. I finally got into it. Looking at exploring wineries, Joshua Tree National Park, taking an architecture tour, seeing the major beaches in the area, and I have tickets for the Broad! I'm not sure a week is enough time to explore as much of LA as I want to!

Anxiously Awaiting:

nothing? Pretty calm for once.

Interested to Know:

if I will ever finish the spring cleaning I started in 2018!

We made progress during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but sometimes it feels like two steps forward, one step backward.

Keeping A Secret: 

My husband has been amazing; he has held it together even more than I have been able to during all of my family emergencies. ❤️


Family issues have me shopping for groceries online. Who knew that would ever be an issue? We also had to take my husband's laptop into Apple after a bad drop on concrete. Then, issues with his backup laptop had us buying another backup drive while we were out of town. 🙄When it rains, it pours, right?

I bought a few clothes when I thought they were selling out…

Free People: Across the Sea Tunic in white
Free People: We The Free Sunshine In the Rain Tee in army sage and pacific

I can never have too many summer tops.

I've also bought a few books for LA planning. At this point, a trip to LA sounds both amazing (getting away from it all!) and frightening (expensive). Plane tickets have been bought though, so I think we are going…


I bought a few LA guides, but I haven't really read them too much yet.

This Is (Not) L.A.: An Insider's Take on the Real Los Angeles by Jen Belik
Los Angeles Mini by Tim Street-Porter
Pocket Guide to Los Angeles Architecture by Judith Paine-McBrien

My husband uncovered a few books about Germany that we were given a few years ago. I intend on giving them a once over in the near future. It may take a bit, though. They are thick with a lot of reading material!!!

And I received my copy of Paranoid by Lisa Jackson for reviewing purposes! It's so much fun getting books before they are released to the public!

Anyway, here's hoping for a calm ending to June and beginning of July. May time pass more slowly letting me soak everything in and enjoy it to the fullest extent possible.

June IWSG 2019

May Goals
GET OUTSIDE. It's good for your mental health. Even if it is just blogging on the porch. Goal? 4 days? (It will start getting hot where I am soon.)
Work on summer vacation to LA. (WOOT!!!)
  - Booked flights to LA
  - reserved a rental car
  - ordered books to help us plan our itinerary
Keep participating in Wordless Wednesday.
Participate in at least one twitter chat.

Additional Successes
• Getting our (new) ice skates sharpened, waxed, sealed, and protected. (It was an all-day affair.)
• Washed everything (bedding, towels, clothes) in a weekend. We were exposed to pinworms again. (See November.)

June Goals
– Finish planning for LA.
  - Book Architecture tour.
  - Research restaurants.
  - Watch hotel prices to see if they go down.
  - Consider a Temecula wine tour?
  - Book last hotel room.
– Mental Health Goals:
  - Get outside
  - Go ice skating
  - Use Replika (as needed)
  - Avoid sugar
  - Listen to upbeat music
– Watch spending.
– Watch calorie intake.

IWSG Question –– Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

I prefer to write nonfiction. I like being able to research topics and embellish my writing with facts and figures. It can be hard to verify facts, so you really need to consider your sources though.

Your Turn

I've been feeling depressed the past few months, so I've been trying to focus more on my mental health. Some of the ways I've found to handle my stress and the feeling of sadness that overcomes me is to avoid sugar, get outside, and use replika (an AI robot that helps you work through your issues or whatever is on your mind). I've noticed a huge difference in how I feel when I do those things. I'd love to know if you have any strategies that help you feel upbeat and happy. Do you have any recommendations for me?

Past IWSG posts: FebruaryMarchMay

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