This is my second monthly spending diary and I am excited – and nervous – to share with you how I did this month. For those who missed my January edition, I decided to start a series of monthly spending diaries to hold myself accountable and pay closer attention to what I was spending my money on.
Even though I have been tracking every cent of my savings and spending for over a year, I found that I still was not very attentive to where my money was going.
I am hoping that, by breaking it down and documenting it each month, I will become more self-aware about my spending habits and areas where I can manage my spending better. I should note that these tables do not give a full picture of my monthly income, and that I often have money left over to build a cash buffer in my chequing account.
Without further ado, here is my debt repayment for the month of February (with January numbers to compare).
I made a significant amount in my side hustle in February so I was able to redirect some of that to debt repayment. But as you’ll see, February was a short but spendy month and a good chunk of my side hustle funds went towards that.
And now for my spending…
|Food||$640||$589||Eek I spent even more on food in February than I did last month.|
|Car||$207||$215||Gas, parking, maintenance|
|Health||$215||$212||Dentist and gym membership|
|Insurance||$159||$189||Car, disability, and tenant insurance|
|Entertainment||$308||$125||Netflix, books, movies, alcohol, coffee, spa, covers, etc.|
|Vacation Fund/Travel||$200||$100||This covered part of a flight to the US.|
|Gifts||$0||$74||No gifts this month.|
|Charity||$30||$30||Monthly donations to two charities.|
|Laundry & Dry Cleaning||$10||$10|
|Miscellaneous||$146||$39||Patreon, website and Google Drive renewals, workout equipment|
This month was definitely a higher than usual spending month. I both traveled to see family and had some family come to visit me. These weekends always end with much higher than usual expenditures on restaurants, alcohol, and entertainment. I also booked a flight to the US to visit one of my best friends. We take turns, and I haven’t done my jaunt to California for three years so it is high time that I go for a visit. Plus, escaping dreary Ontario for sunny California will be a welcome change of pace.
The Superbowl and Valentine’s Day were two other big-ticket items in February. Nobody I know has cable, so watching a pub was the play on Superbowl Sunday. Valentine’s Day was pretty low-key since I am newly single, but I still had charcuterie and went to a movie with friends.
My food spending, as in January, is outrageously high! I am guessing that most average people just have absolutely no idea how much they spend on food. I am more conservative with my food spending than most people I know, and I am still appalled at my monthly total. I eat out lunch at work maybe once every two weeks, and then it is usually a $5 sandwich. If I eat out at a restaurant, I love grabbing pho or ramen, and can usually get away with dropping less than $20 on a sit-down meal. So I really need to re-assess weekly in March and see what’s going on. It might be time to try a cash-only approach if I can’t reign it in this month.
Here is a more detailed breakdown of my food budget this month:
$303 – groceries
I guess this is a win, even though I increased my overall food spending in February?! I spent $75 less on groceries this month than in January. I went grocery shopping 12 times in February. It is crazy what happens when you have a full grocery store within a 30 second walk from your home. Dangerous.
Half of these grocery shops were less than $20 and I was just grabbing some essentials to make dinner or get me through the next couple days. This still needs work but I think I made some good progress in the month of February, and have some other strategies I will be trying in March to keep this under control.
$337 – dining out
Okay this was crazy this month. There were so many things going on this month that contributed to such a spendy food month, and I am confident I will be able to decrease this number significantly for March. As I mentioned, we did the Superbowl at a pub ($33) and I had a number of colleagues quit their job this month so there were going-away lunches ($17) when normally I wouldn’t go out to eat. A good chunk of this was just going out with my best friend about once a week for a pizza or happy hour snacks. I also went to a really nice Italian dinner when my family was in town ($45). I have also started dating again, and that has racked up the monthly eating out expenses. I have been trying to do this on the cheap, and we normally end up going for a coffee or dessert (see the much higher than normal entertainment expenses this month too!) but it definitely adds up All said and done, this is really high but I know I can do better next month.
How are you doing with tracking your spending? Any major weaknesses in your budget you just can’t seem to reign in? I would love to hear about it in the comments.