How I Spent My Money: September 2017

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As I mentioned in my August installment of How I Spent My Money, I’ve decided to switch over to a 5-category budget broken down like so: Going Out, Necessary, Frivolous, Gifts, and Travel.

Here’s how I did in September.

Total spending: -$1742

This puts me at $838 over budget, which is pretty damn bad. Let’s break this baby down.

Going out: -$819

That’s $547 over budget.

I spent $189 on eating out with my partner, $82 of which was spent on Mexican food (probably because when it’s hot out, the only thing I can stand eating is Mexican food for some reason). ๐ŸŒฎ๐ŸŒฎ๐ŸŒฎ

I also spent $33 on an outing to watch Kingsman: The Golden Circle ($16 to Lyft to the theater because we were running late, $17 for our matinee tickets, and $0 for a gigantic tub of popcorn, thanks to my AMC Stubs birthday reward).

I also spent an additional $23 on Lyft rides related to spending time with my partner.

$114 went to hanging out with my friends, with $19 of that spent on pre-D&D dinners (2 of them), $30 on Lyft to go play board games at my coworker’s house for 7 WHOLE HOURSย ๐Ÿ˜ฑย (Sean’s apartment is hella swank, and we played Bang!, Betrayal at House on the Hill, and Munchkin Adventure Time until literally 3AM), and $65 at Sacrilege Brewery in Half Moon Bay for Victoria’s birthday (the deep fried artichoke hearts were amazing ๐Ÿ˜).

I spent $3 on work lunches (2 of them, thanks to coupons), $86 on Dua Lipa concert tickets (in February!), $65 on paying back my partner who transferred me his GA ticket for Niall’s concert in November, and $253 on two tickets for Niall’s world tour (the San Jose show).

Finally, I spent $30 on a polish change for my hands and feet (in preparation for my old coworker’s wedding) and $12 to take Lyft to the Harry Styles concert I attended.

(Technically, I recouped the $30 nail salon expense – my partner said he’d pay for all my manicures, ever, because 1) he likes when I have painted nails, 2) I’m really bad at painting my own nails and almost always end up crying out of frustration because it takes so long and I always fuck it up, 3) my nails aren’t especially healthy, so I can’t get manicures (or polish changes) very often anyway, and 4) I feel really uncomfortable with other people doing my nails. This was only my 2nd time having my nails done, and I didn’t particularly enjoy it, but I was SO glad I didn’t try to do them myself again. My partner paid me back by paying for my portion of our meals until it added up to $30.

The color, by the way, was Essie’s Sexy Plunge. Hard to forget a name like that. ๐Ÿ’…๐Ÿป)

Necessary: -$236

I went $56 over budget. Of this $236, I spent

(I put the Harry Styles tour merch under my Necessary category, because in terms of things that will make me happy for literally years and which, therefore, are worth more than what I paid for them, those t-shirts and that pin are priceless. #priorities)

Frivolous: -$687

This is $551 over budget, and most of it was spent on clothing. WITNESS MY SHAME:

For clothing, I spent…

$38 on 10 pairs of underwear from Aerie (which was a good deal, especially considering how well their ruched-back boybriefs fit my butt; also, my old underwear was getting pretty stretched out), as well as

$87 on sweatercoats/coatigans from Uniqlo (I bought the Melange Wool Coat in Brown and the Tweed Knitted Long Sleeve Coat in Gray; they are both gorgeous; they were both purchased so I could look like Noora Sรฆtre), in addition to

$18 on Cinderollies foldable flats (so I don’t destroy my feet wearing my 4″ stilettos for Victoria’s wedding, because There Will Dancingโ„ข ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿป; I bought mine from their Etsy shop but it looks like they’re only available from the standalone website now), along with

$413 on Cole Haan shoes (I bought the GrandEvรธlution Wingtip Oxford in Ironstone Leather and the Jagger Grand Weave Oxford in Sequoia Leather; I’m keeping the former and returning the latter because they’re too expensive to justify the slightly uncomfortable fit, although I did get 2.5% cash back with Ebates, 10% cash back on my debit card, and 20% off with a promo code), and an embarrassing

$38 at Forever21 on a slightly cropped, brightly striped sweater, a black denim overall dress, and a soft pink crop top with a lace-up back (the total was $54 but I used my old store credit),

and another $65 at Forever21 on a super cropped gray t-shirt (I prefer my crop tops to sit well above my bellybutton), a cranberry red long sleeve crop top, two sleeveless knit crop tops (in cream and dark green), a super tacky black fanny pack with Chinese-style embroidery, and an activewear fanny pack (I’m going to return both fanny packs; the former was intended for surviving GA during Niall’s concert, but I’ll get a mini crossbody bag instead, and the latter was for running, but I decided I can just continue holding my phone in my hand).

Phew. (That’s a total of $659 on clothing alone. ๐Ÿ˜จ)

On top of that, I spent $55 at Sephora for

  • Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara (the only mascara I can use that doesn’t flake or irritate my contacts; it doesn’t do anything dramatic – just darkens and lengthens a smidgen, which is enough for me)
  • Sephora brand micellar water (in Green Tea, Yuzu, and Rose; I haven’t used it in lieu of normal cleansing, but it’s been phenom for removing eyeliner without irritating my eyes)
  • and the Bite Beauty Agave Kisses Set (which I will probably return because I already own lip scrub and I just bought the Goodal Camellia Lip Oil, plus I only added this to my cart to get free shipping so I could get my birthday reward).

I dropped $42 on Amazon for

Finally, I spent $56 on some fancy balsamic vinegar and basil-infused olive oil (for my mom; I saw it while out for Victoria’s bachelorette and knew my mom would flip over it).

I also received $110 in cash gifts for my birthday, which makes it even more embarrassing that I went over budget by over $500.

Gifts: -$323

This is $187 over budget.

I spent a total of $267 on day-of expenses for Victoria’s combination birthday/bachelorette celebration, including

  • $89 on a gift certificate to KitTea, a cat cafe ๐Ÿฑ
  • $51 on snacks from Whole Foods (can I just say!!! it was amazing to open the fridge to see that everyone had brought PINK DRINKS!!! i love womenย ๐Ÿ’—)
  • $53 on restaurant food
  • $47 at The White Hart in Pacific Grove for afternoon tea (which was A GODDAMN DELIGHT!!!)
  • and $27 at Succulent Gardens in Castroville for my DIY succulent arrangement, plus Victoria’s portion of the cost (the service, selection, and overall experience were SUCH a joy. i highly recommend taking a trip out there if you’re in California.) ๐ŸŒฑ

I also spent $83 on a wedding gift for my old coworker. (My partner put in the same amount for a combined total of $166.)

Travel: $0

Obviously, this category is under budget, mostly because I didn’t go anywhere in September.


September was… a huge failure in terms of sticking to my budget, but I think I also had a lot more fun than usual in September(???).

I probably could’ve cut back on eating out a bit, but my partner and I did a pretty good job of cooking at home this month. (We’ve been using his new Instant Pot and it’s pretty rad. ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป)

I am kiiind of regretting spending so much money on Niall’s world tour tickets, but I do have pretty decent seats, so we’ll see if I actually want to sell them or not. I have, like, a year to decide.

(The Dua Lipa tickets, on the other hand, I don’t regret at all. I got last row balcony seats for my partner and me, since The Masonic is a small enough venue that even the balcony doesn’t feel very far away from the stage. I can’t wait for HER VOICE!!! And HER EYEBROWS!!! And her LEGS!!! ๐Ÿ†˜)

I really like the makeup remover wipes I got (The FACE Shop Herb Day Cleansing Tissue) ’cause they don’t dry out my skin, nor do they leave an oily residue, so no regrets there. I’m also in love with my Goodal Camellia Lip Oil, which is super moisturizing and protective and only slightly sticky. (I’ve been using it at night.)

As mentioned earlier, I regretted one of my Cole Haan purchases and am waiting for the return to process. The shoes were super cute and very well-cushioned, and the leather was high quality enough that I’m sure they’d eventually stretch to fit my feet, but the toe box was just too narrow to be comfortable, and I’m too old to buy ill-fitting shoes anymore.

We’re a week into October now and I still have yet to regret any of my Forever21 purchases (except those fanny packs, both of which I returned). I just love a good crop top, okay?

(This reminds me, I’ve been meaning to listen to Aspiring Adults, a podcast started by two Talk Direction listeners. There’s an episode on sustainable fashion that I’d like to listen to because I know my fast fashion purchases aren’t… ideal. I should probably also watch The True Cost at some point.)

My makeup purchases weren’t strictly necessary, but in the interest of not infecting my eyeballs with year-old mascara and liquid eyeliner, I thought it was a good idea to replace my go-to eye products. (I do eye makeup like, 6 times a year, tops, so buying new products always feels like a huge waste.)

And I don’t regret any of my gift spending (especially not the bachelorette expenses!), so I guess I can blame September on

  1. socializing more than usual, and
  2. crop tops.

Just kidding. I blame September on me. But I had a damn good time.

Looking ahead, October’s going to involve actually being credited for the items I returned, some hanging out with friends, maybe a little less D&D than last month since a few of us are taking trips, a long-needed doctor’s appointment, my annual eye exam, Niall’s Flicker album release(!!!), and a trip to LA for Victoria’s wedding.

I expect travel expenses to take up a sizable portion of October’s report, as we’re taking a 5-day trip to LA, but my partner and I have already talked about trying to control our spending while there, and I’ve already earmarked money for this trip, so I’m not too worried about it.

(Famous last words.)

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