To preface this week’s money diary, you should know: this isn’t how I typically spend money.
I like to think myself a generally moderate, responsible person. This week, at least as spending goes, was a little bit nuts. I decided to stop putting off some of the items that had been on my wish list for a long while, e.g. cleaning, yoga pants, nude hosiery, window shade. And on top of that, this week I incurred expenses that usually happen only once or twice a month, like spending time with Little Sis, meat CSA delivery, treating my friends to dinner during game night. So while this week was excessive, keep in mind that it is not typical.
It used to be a quick fifteen-minute bus ride to my Little Sis’s house. But alas, those times are gone. Since I moved, those fifteen minutes have turned to forty on good days, and an hour or more in traffic. Even though I don’t have to get into the city until late morning, I’m running behind and decide to take a Lyft instead of dealing with the transit shuffle. ($15.85)
Little Sis wants to bake cream cheese roll ups, so we stop by the crunchy food coop on the way home to pick up ingredients. I also grab some coconut yogurt for me and watermelon juice for her. ($13.87) While we wait for the roll ups to bake, I boil her some spaghetti to go with the bolognese sauce I prepped Friday evening. In spite of all the veggies and greens I mixed in, she actually likes it! We eat lunch while playing Mysterium. She likes playing the ghost.
After taking Little Sis home, I rush back to my place to grab gym clothes and high tail it over to the YMCA before closing time. I manage to sneak in about half an hour on the elliptical and ten minutes of arm and chest presses.
In the evening, I unwind on my computer, looking up educational materials to help Little Sis along with math. There’s one kid-oriented textbook series that catches my eye, so I put a hold on the decimals guide at my library’s online portal. ($0.00) I durdle around on Amazon for a while and order vermiculite for a gardening project. ($14.99) Since my stomach can only handle so much real-pasta, I cook some lentil-quinoa pasta to go with my bolognese, which I munch on while watching Lemon online. ($6.99)
Saturday total: $51.70
After eating the last of my lentil-quinoa spaghetti, I make my way to the city for a shopping day. On the way, I come upon the last yard sales of the summer. Neighbors swarm around a small collection of houses on the hill selling oil paintings, books, compact disks, lemonade and the occasional churro. I poke around but don’t end up buying anything.
I head to the commercial district, which is closed off to cars for the day and shoppers roam free. On the bus ride across the river, I browse Amazon and buy a replacement pair of Gillette Venus Swirl razors. ($12.15) While walking the street, I notice employees at Madewell are handing out caramel popcorn to lure people into listening about their recycled denim program. I grab a bag for fiancé and I to snack on later.
The consignment shop has some nice sheath dresses from J. McLaughlin and Max Mara, both around $50-75, but the patterns are a bit luxe-eighties and I’m not sure how often I’d get to wear them. Pass, for now.
After doing a full walk down to the park, I make my way over to the Wolford store in the boutique mall nearby. Unfortunately they don’t have samples for me try on any of the hosiery, but they have a 30 day refund window and I’m told they’re basically indestructible. I buy a pair of individual 10 tights in Gobi. ($49) When I get home, I realize they’re a bit too sheer for what I need, so I resolve to go back next weekend to upgrade to a denier 30 pair.
Fiancé gets home from his last weekend on the job. We snuggle up and watch Carol, which I’ve been wanting to see for ages. ($7.99) I eat eggplant and corn salsa over sliced potato and hard boiled egg. We both snack on the caramel popcorn.
Sunday total: $69.14
I come in Monday morning, ready to beast. My mug full of vanilla, cloves, and cinnamon white tea gives me just enough caffeine to focus on my big project for the week.
Most days I try to bring my lunch. Today is eggplant and corn salsa over sliced potato and a hard-boiled egg. By dinner time, though, I am feeling a hankering for something sweet. I stop by the local pie shop on the way home and get a slice of bacon, leek, and gruyere quiche and a 5″ blueberry pie for Fiancé and I to share. ($13.09) I supplement the quiche with beets and fennel because vegetables are important, I’m told.
After dinner, I try to freeze my credit. Experian is a breeze but TransUnion and Equifax are giving me issues. ($5) Whatever. I work the annoyance out of my system with a Jillian Michaels’ ab workout, streamed from my library’s Hoopla account. ($0)
Monday total: $18.09
In the morning, I finally manage to call into TransUnion’s automated system and freeze my credit report. ($5) In the morning phone-commute time, I also cave in and buy lululemon Agile Pants II in midnight teal. ($95) This is probably the most I’ve spent on a piece of non-shoes clothing possibly ever. Also one of the few times I’ve bought clothes new. I try to put a bid on a athletic jacket on Poshmark to replace my four-year-old one with a broken zipper. The seller doesn’t end up getting back to me.
I continue chugging along at work. The early evening is spent in long meandering conversations with my friend and my fiancé, both in the midst of career changes.
My meals are all stuff I already have. Tea for breakfast; sliced potato and hardboiled egg covered in bolognese with beets and fennel on the side for lunch; leftover wonton soup and roasted Italian eggplant from last week for dinner; and the remnants of my blueberry pie for dessert.
Tuesday total: $100.00
I manage to successfully bid for a replacement jacket on Poshmark. ($51.49) Now, while I still need some business clothes for upcoming work trips, my casual off-time shopping is complete. I also finalize an order for a roller shade to cover the small stained-glass window in our living room. ($73.50) The window itself is pretty but also the stained glass doesn’t prevent sunlight from shining directly in my eyes.
Work continues as usual. Lunch is a hearty steak burrito from around the corner. ($9.00) The evening is spent hauling our new-to-us Ikea Kallax birch bookcase, which fiancé picked up and paid for, to the living room and playing Edritch Horror into the wee hours with a couple friends. We usually take turns paying for dinner, and I haven’t tanked for a while, so I order the four of us delivery from a local vegan taco shop. ($58.75) The vegetarians are happy and the sunflower seed cheese hits the spot.
Wednesday total: $192.74
Work, work, work. I am running low on prepped meals so I get a chicken sandwich and jalapeno potatoes at a food truck near my office. ($15) In the afternoon I snack on some pears from the office fruit bowl. Dinner finishes off the last of my veggies: beets with fennel and tomato eggplant with a poached eggs on top. Nom.
After work, one of my coworkers who lives near me is taking an Uber home and I’m able to catch a ride, just missing a torrential downpour. ($0)
Prepping for house cleaners, Fiancé has managed to make the house downright tidy! I still have too much clutter in my bedroom, which I organize as much as possible. There’s a stack of paperwork that’s been sitting on my desk for months. While I know I should digitize them, they end up, unsorted, in my bed stand instead.
After failing, yet again, to get Equifax to freeze my credit, I need to get out some excess frustration. I do the Jillian Michaels ab workout again and cap the night off with a little blogging and some suitably snarky Evelyn Waugh.
Thursday total: $15.00
Friday is my favorite day. Not only is it the start of the weekend, but it’s also when I get my CSA delivery! Note: I get really excited about vegetables.
End of summer marks the best season for produce. My crate is full of beets, chard, eggplant, garlic, kohlrabi, dandelion greens, oyster mushrooms, acorn squash, tomatillo, and carrot. ($32) I also get my monthly meat CSA delivery, which contains ground beef, ground lamb, farm seasoned sausage, beef roast, fermented black garlic, and grass fed BBQ beef sticks. ($65) I eat a couple of the beef sticks for lunch.
I’ve scheduled a deep cleaning of the condo and decide to work from home to let in the cleaners. I pay them $250 for the service and give each woman $20 tip. ($290) They do an okay job but I realize I really don’t like having strangers in my house and fiancé and I decide, in spite of my earlier intentions for lifestyle inflation, that monthly cleanings probably wouldn’t be worth it after all. We plan to instead outline a bimonthly cleaning plan so we can keep the place tidy and nice ourselves.
I like to cook my vegetables as soon as I get them so Friday evenings are dedicated to bulk meal prep. I make Asian eggplant with ground lamb and mushrooms, rice, sautéed mixed greens, tomatillo salsa, sweet root salad, and roasted acorn squash with cinnamon. It takes me about four hours to make everything. I take a bite here and there while cooking which fills me up for dinner.
Friday total: $397.00
- Food: $206.71
- Shopping: $296.13
- Entertainment: $14.98
- Transportation: $15.85
- Other: $300.00