I love doing summaries of my monthly spending, mainly because I get exasperated with myself for spending too much! It’s fun to look at the breakdown and say to myself “Really? You had to buy that?” One of these days I’ll remember to say that to myself when I’m in the store, before I actually buy something. Then I’ll turn around and put it back on the shelf. Anyhow, my net income last month was $3286.06. Of that, I spent $1498.77. That means that I saved about 54% of my income, which is pretty good, although I’m going to try to get it up to 60%. Here is the breakdown of my expenses:
- Rent: $752.34
- Gym Membership: $11.30
- Service charges: $8.20
- Cell Phone: $22.60
- Internet: $102.25
- iTunes: $12.87
- Netflix: $8.99
- Baby shower gift: $63.81
- New printer: $34.48
- Food & Misc.: $481.93
A brief note about the service charges: it’s pretty funny, actually. I went to Subway and their machine froze up so I couldn’t pay with my credit card. I had no choice but to run to the ATM in the convenience store next door. It charged me $1.75 and then my bank dinged me another $1.50. The reason this is funny is because the cashier had decided-before she discovered that the machine was frozen-to give me a 10% discount. That would have saved me about fifty cents, but the meal ended up costing me about $2.75 more than it normally would have.
Speaking of Subway, food is definitely my worst category when it comes to spending. I love my chocolate bars, I usually pop into Starbucks on the weekend, and I just can’t seem to stay away from the vending machine at work. I used the ATM a lot this past month and I haven’t been tracking my cash spending so I don’t know exactly how much I’ve been spending on food outside of the grocery store. But here are the amounts that I spent on my credit card alone.
Pizza place: $25.50
Vending Machine: $12.80
I’m blown away by how much I spent at Dollarama. Especially when you consider how often I pop in there on my way to work to pick up a couple of chocolate bars that I buy with whatever change I have lying around at home. The total spending at Dollarama is probably much more than $43.80. I can remember buying a new computer mouse and some printer paper there last month, but mostly I think it was chocolate and various unhealthy foods. That’s definitely something I’ll have to work on.
I go to Subway about once a week. It’s usually after my last shift of the week, just as a way to celebrate the beginning of the weekend. But I’m usually not hungry when I get it. I just buy it because it tastes good. So I could probably cut that out of my routine. Fortunately the current weather will help me out with that. As I write this, it’s -17 outside with a -25 windchill so that should deter me from the 15-minute walk to Subway and the 15-minute walk home
I’m not sure what to think of my trips to the pizza place. I go there during my lunch break. I know that bringing food from home is supposed to be cheaper than eating out, but the pizza place only charges $5.10 for two slices and a can of Coke so it’s a pretty good deal. And I have to eat something at lunch, so I don’t feel like I’m wasting money like I do when I go to Subway. I think I’ll just try to limit the pizza to once a week because there are healthier options.
The vending machine is another thing I need to give up. If you pay with your credit card, they charge you an extra fifteen cents. That means paying $1.90 for a chocolate bar, which is highway robbery. I definitely need to avoid that.
And as for Starbucks…well, I got a gift card for Christmas so I shouldn’t be spending any of my own money there for the next month or so.
So in summary, I will be focusing on (a) avoiding Dollarama, (b) avoiding Subway and (c) avoiding vending machines.
P.S. I will post my December dividends report as soon as possible. My TFSA is currently being held hostage by Scotiabank until they receive/process the documentation I have mailed in. So I am unable to see how much income I made on the stocks that I had transferred in! It should be around $900 total, but I’ll give you the exact number as soon as I can.