Welcome to the first month in what feels like many months that has started to feel a little more normal. My spending for the last several months has been all over the place, with a major move, transitioning to a new and expensive city, and trying to build new habits, routines, and well…a new life.
There is still work to be done and kinks to iron out. September is already looking less spendy than August. But it felt wonderful in August to have things level out somewhat after several tumultuous months.
And after a scary dip into the negatives with my savings rate in July, it was a great feeling to pay down debt and see my net worth start to climb again. So here are my numbers for saving and debt repayment in August. For ease, I am now putting all values in USD.
|Student Loan||775 USD||200 CAD|
|Retirement||341 USD||500 CAD| 171 USD|
|Emergency Fund||0 USD||0|
|Other Investments/Savings||0 USD||0|
|Total||1116 USD||700 CAD | 171 USD|
YES. One of the best part of my finances leveling out is that I can finally go back to making big payments on my loans. And you know what? That bad boy is almost gone. I just made one big payment for September and will make another in October, and that should be the end of them! I also have money automatically moving into my 401K every payday like a well-oiled machine and it’s exciting to see that account start to grow from nothing.
Now on to my spending for the month of August:
|Food||$761||$1090||395 on groceries and 366 on restaurants.|
|Entertainment||$420||$475||Includes Netflix, Spotify, alcohol, bar covers, concert tickets, books, etc.|
|Vacation Fund/Travel||$279||$743||Plane ticket to visit home.|
|Cell Phone||$200||$146||Had to finish paying down the tab on my cell phone to my Canadian provider and pay my US bill. This will level out in September to just a regular monthly bill.|
|Charity||$12||$32||Now that cash flow is back to normal, this will get pumped up in September with regular monthly contributions to a couple orgs.|
|Household||$459||$35||An A/C unit, pillows, sheets, air mattress, etc.|
|Public Transportation||$176||$200||Still waiting for my work transit stipend to kick in. In September, this will go down significantly.|
|Laundry & Dry Cleaning||$27||$11|
|Miscellaneous||$336||$204||Most of this is the cost of my storage unit and tipping my movers.|
|Clothing||$60||$120||A pair of sneakers|
Yay my spending decreased by nearly $800 from July!
I feel like the bottom line for the month of August is that I am still having a lot of lump sum and one-off expenses that will disappear in September. Paying and tipping movers, paying for my storage unit that I have now vacated, paying off my cell phone in full, buying an A/C, and paying higher than normal transit costs – these will all be things of the past in September. I can’t wait to start seeing regular and substantial increases to my networth and to hit a long-awaited milestone: to become debt free very soon!
So how are you doing with tracking your spending and/or your budget? What areas do you ace and what do you continue to struggle with month after month? Let’s discuss!