How I Spent My Money: August 2017

This post contains affiliate links, because I like money, but I s2g I wrote this post before adding the affiliate links and the monetization does not affect my opinions.

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Today marks Halloween 1st, so here’s my requisite apology for failing to post August’s installment of How I Spent My Money until now, and a picture of a vErY sPoOkY cat:

spooky halloween kitten wearing witch hat

So! In July’s How I Spent My Money post (and possibly in previous posts before that), I proposed setting aside a separate part of my budget for travel expenses and gifts, which is what I then tried out in August.

Total spending: -$1216

With my previous 3-category budget, that puts me at $616 over budget.

With my new 5-category budget, that puts me at $312 over budget.

Either way, not great, but the 5-category budget does seem to work better in terms of alleviating my guilt over spending on myself. (I tend to put spending on others before spending on myself – e.g. not skimping on a gift for someone else, and then choosing not to dine out to make up for it – when in fact my desires should come first, or at least be equally important as those of others.)

Going out: -$489

Under my old budget, I spent $489 on going out ($249 over budget), including

  • $57 on pre-D&D dinners (one of which was a $9 meal from McDonald’s (I still had a hangover at 5PM and it was cheap; sue me))
  • $35 on eating out with friends
  • $389 on eating out with my partner ($184 of which was for his birthday ($145 of which was spent at Lolinda, which was delicious))
  • $4 on work lunches (thanks to multiple promo codes, that $4 was spread out over 3 whole lunches 💅🏻)
  • $4 on renting Blade Runner on Amazon (in anticipation of watching Blade Runner 2049 when it comes out)
  • and $10 on MoviePass, which I’m pretty sure is going to be hella worth it just because San Francisco movie prices are so damn high

along with $10 cash back from Mogl, which is a great app.

Necessary things: -$124

I also spent $124 on necessary things, which put me $56 under budget. This included

  • $1 on AWS for my portfolio website
  • $48 for my mom’s Lyft rides to and from work
  • $16 on bobby pins
  • $16 on contact lens solution
  • $21 on food for my family
  • and $22 on Amazon for Hada Labo Gokujyun Cleansing Oil, which I use as part of my hair-washing routine.

The only purchase I regret here is the bobby pins, because I bought the wrong kind. I have a lot of hair and it is crucial to have GIGANTIC bobby pins for holding my topknots in place. Unfortunately I purchased normal-sized bobby pins thinking they were the giant ones I usually use, when in fact they were normal 2″ ones. My bad.

Frivolous things: -$603

Finally, I spent $603 on Things™, putting me at $423 over budget. Of this, I spent

with $12 cash back from Ebates.

(I ended up getting flocked hair pins, actually, not bobby pins, and they’re… ok? They work fairly well because they grip my hair well, but the flocking comes off too quickly for my liking.)

Under my new budget, the breakdown is slightly different.

I spent

  • $305 on going out (vs. $489)
  • $124 on necessary things (same as under the old budget)
  • $48 on frivolous things (vs. $603)
  • $686 on gifts
  • and $53 on travel

which puts me at $33 over budget for going out expenses, $550 over budget for gifts, and under budget for everything else.

This is a LOT more palatable for me because gift expenses are generally things I can budget for ahead of time, and they usually only happen a few times a year, so the non-gift months balance out more expensive months.

That being said, I did spend a bit more on eating out than I intended to, AS USUAL, so my partner and I are going to need to develop some cheaper habits, I guess.

I guess.


Setting a separate gift and travel budget has already proven itself way more effective at getting an accurate picture of my spending, so I’m going to keep it up for the foreseeable future.

My partner and I are still spending too much on going out to eat, which is, like, a pretty big problem (and which was not a problem when I was single, RIP (but also bae is #worthit)).

Given the fact that I’m going to be playing DnD with this set of coworkers for, like, as long as I can, and that I’ll be buying dinner on DnD nights for the sake of socializing, I’ll have to cut out a restaurant meal or two with my partner in order to stay under budget, which will be good for both our wallets and our health, although it will require more effort and willpower.

Obviously this post is like a month late now, but at the end of August I already knew I was going to have a lot of expenses in September, what with planned friend outings, a bachelorette/birthday party, my Harry Styles concert(!!!), a wedding, and the release of Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which I needed to watch opening weekend because MENSWEAR and also POSH GIRLS LOVE A BIT OF ROUGH, so my expectations for September were very low, which was wise.

Let’s just say that $eptember’s expen$e po$t i$ coming $oon.

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