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Monday, April 1, 2019

Breaking Down & Staring Down the March Spend

MY TOTAL MARCH SPEND OUT OF POCKET: $4,128.41.
COMPARE TO TOTAL FEBRUARY SPEND OUT OF POCKET: $3,159.25.
Please note, there were 3 extra days in March vs. February 2019. However, there were days where I was too tired to blog or just typed a few words. I often caught up on the spending log, but not sure I was 100 percent scrupulous. I hope so. I put observations, below, after the numbers. The amount of money spent seems shockingly high--but does count a big birthday splurge; haircut; hair color; yoga classes; and a short trip to Cape Cod. Will do my best to watch out in April.

1. GROCERIES [to feed family of 4, including 1 vegetarian and 1 vegan--plus 1 small dog, who makes 5 total]
February: $732.09.
KINGS: $216.91.
SHOPRITE: $39.92.   
WHOLE FOODS: $346.02.
CVS, milk, cereal, dried fruit, nuts, etc.$129.24.

March: $968.61. ⬆️
KINGS: $479.90.
SHOPRITE: $0
WHOLE FOODS: $373.72.
QUICKCHEK: $25.78.
GRAND CENTRAL MARKET, NYC: $37.37.
EGGS FROM FARM STAND ON CAPE: $7.
EASTHAM SUPERETTE ON CAPE: $36.84.
MONTCLAIR BREAD COMPANY, BREAD: $12.

2. FOOD AND DRINK OUTSIDE THE HOME, OR DELIVERED
February: $359.44.
STARBUCKS [APP]: $38.27.
DINING OUT, ME, INCLUDING JOYIST: $165.89.
COFFEE, IN ADDITION TO STARBUCKS: $73.94.
BAKERIES + SNACKS: $41.32.
PIZZA DELIVERY: $42.17.

March ["NEW" MEANS NEWLY LISTED CATEGORY]: $722.69. UP ⬆️
STARBUCKS [APP]: $89.30. UP ⬆️
JAVA LOVE: $30.54. NEW 📣
DINING OUT, ME, WITH OTHERS OR ALONE: $336.96. UP ⬆️
JOYIST [healthy, pure food & drinks, plus serene workspace]: $139.50. UP ⬆️
FANCY COFFEE BEANS: $33.99. NEW 📣
BAKERIES + SNACKS: $10.54. DOWN ⬇️
PIZZA DELIVERY: $24.71. DOWN ⬇️
CHINESE FOOD DELIVERY: $39.15. NEW 📣
FANCY DARK CHOCOLATE [USUALLY FOR BAKING]: $18. NEW 📣

3. PUNCHY MISCELLANEOUS
February: $363.47.
GYMNASTICS AND SOCCER CLOTHING FOR PUNCH: $99.97.
FEEDING PUNCH + PALS [SOMETIMES W. ME + FIG] AWAY FROM HOME: $263.50.

March: $67.23. DOWN ⬇️
FEEDING PUNCH + PALS [SOMETIMES W. ME], INCLUDING TREATS + SNACKS AWAY FROM HOME: $59.23. DOWN ⬇️ [I think I may have crunched some of this into the dining out category above, not sure--and most of the Starbucks app $ is when I buy food and beverages for Punch and pals.]
MHS DANCE SHOW: $8.

4. BEAUTY/STYLE
February: $588.23.
ACCESSORIES/JEWELRY: $178.05.
BEAUTY SALON FOR PUNCH + ME: $185.
HIGH-END BEAUTY PRODUCTS: $189.99.
CLOTHING/ME: $35.19.

March: $522.01 DOWN ⬇️
ACCESSORIES/JEWELRY: ZERO! DOWN ⬇️
BEAUTY SALON FOR ME [cut and color, two visits]: $351. UP ⬆️
HIGH-END BEAUTY PRODUCTS: $NONE. DOWN ⬇️
ORDINARY/NOT LUXE BEAUTY PRODUCTS: $78.71. NEW 📣
CLOTHING/ME: $92.30. UP ⬆️ [included bra, wasteful, not so great]

5. DONATIONS 
February: $165.50.
CHARITABLE DONATIONS: $104.
SCHOOL FUNDRAISERS: $61.50.

March: $142. ⬇️
CHARITABLE DONATIONS: $120 [public radio pledge, $10 monthly]
SCHOOL FUNDRAISERS: $22.

6. GIFTS
February: $225.89.
GIFTS and cards, mostly gift cards.

March: $732.43 ⬆️
GIFTS for friend and Sis and girls: $31.
Bday gift cash/young friend + card: $34.
FOR PUNCH'S 12th BDAY ON MARCH 11: $667.43 [subtotals below]
Bike, $280.
Helmet $30 [Sis paid the other $40].
Adorable Uggs, half price + Uggs suede protectant spray, $77.50.
Bday party lunch + treats at Serendipity in NYC for Punch, 4 girlfriends, me + Dan, with tip: $270.93.
Hallmark card and bow to put on bike, $9.

7. TRAVEL/VACATION
February: That was the anniversary overnight Dan planned/NYC.
March: Truro! Cape Cod cottage, girls getaway, 2 nights, Airbnb, my part was $140.

8. MISCELLANEOUS 
February: $371.06.
GASOLINE: $15.
CAR REPAIR/MAINTENANCE: $25.
PARKING FEES + TICKETS: $37.70.
BUS TO NYC/UBER IN TOWN: $34.93.
CANDLE: $19.19.
SUNDRIES: $101.65.
MAGAZINES: ABOUT $32. [Eating Well special issue; LIFE Mary Poppins special issue; small Taste of Home slow cooker magazine]
BOOKS: $80.
READING GLASSES/PEEPERS BRAND: $25.59.

March: $877.07--WAY UP ⬆️
CVS, INCLUDES GROCERIES, ORGANIC MILK, NUTS, DOG FOOD, GREETING CARDS, CLEANING PRODUCTS, ETC.: $186.29.
VET FOR SUGAR [2 VISITS]: $185. NEW 📣
5-PACK YOGA CLASSES: $120. NEW 📣
GASOLINE [including Cape trip]: $108.54. ⬆️
CAR REPAIR/MAINTENANCE: $0. ⬇️
TOLLS: $5.
PARKING METERS/FEES: $7.75. ⬇️
ROUND-TRIP BUS TO NYC: $13.90.
METROCARD: $20. NEW 📣
UBERS IN TOWN: $49.46.  ⬆️
HOME DECOR, INCLUDING CANDLE, LAMP SHADE, SPATULA, FRENCH PRESS: $69.20. NEW 📣
MAGAZINES: ZERO? [seems impossible, but true]  ⬇️
BOOKS, all 6 purchased in Cape Cod thrift shops, which my friend loves: $8. ⬇️
SUNGLASSES: $23.
ATM BANK FEES: $9.
BOOK SIGNING/TALK, LIDIA BASTIANICH, $17.
OFFICE SUPPLIES/FOLDERS: $14.93.
MY NEW BIKE HELMET, SINCE I DIDN'T HAVE ONE THAT FIT: $40.

OBSERVATION DECK:
  • I think that knowing we were spending so much on Punchy's bday in March helped me hold back on luxe splurges like beauty products and accessories. [Kim's feedback to plan those spends also helped.]
  • This number is so much higher than February that I wonder if I recorded everything last month. The longer I do this, the more committed I become. It is, strangely, fun. I know I did eat out more this month, including with Sis; an old friend; and Celia. And on Cape Cod, Anne & I had a delicious dinner out; I had a lobster roll for lunch; and we went to the Hot Chocolate Sparrow for sandwiches and coffee twice.
  • The black lace "tulip bra," bought the night of the day I found out I didn't move on to next round for job I hoped for, was kind of a waste of money. It's not too comfy. It was an impulse buy. It could have turned out to be great, but it didn't.
  • The lamp shade, on the other hand, is as fabulous as I hoped.
  • It's hard to put off practical expenses. I mean, I could live without sunglasses--my last pair broke months ago--but probably shouldn't, as I like/need UV protection. Same with the new bike helmet. I choke when I snap the strap on my old one.
$ MONEY SPENT OUT OF POCKET TODAY
  • Kings, 24 oz. yellow baby potatoes and 3/4 lb. large sea scallops for dinner, so delicious. Fed family of 4; stretched out meal w vegs we had--baby spinach [sauteed] peas + mushrooms [simmered]. Also used ingredients already on hand: garlic, EVOO, fresh basil, lemon, sea salt, white cooking wine, black pepper, butter. You do need the arsenal. Spent $24.66.
MONTHLY SPEND SO FAR: $24.66.
AVERAGE DAILY SPEND FOR MONTH AS OF APRIL 1: $24.66.


4 comments:

  1. Hey Alice, you haven't asked for advice....so I'm going to tread lightly. I know hte birthday month is over, but it might be worth pinning for next year: $600+ for birthday celebrations seem super high to me (and that's coming from a woman who rented a cotton candy machine for one of her kid's birthday parties). I think a really special present (bike) means no secondary present (uggs). Or a home celebration means no outside celeb (Serendipity). I know celebrating Punch is a complicated emotional endeavor at times, but I doubt a lovely home-made lasagna dinner at home, a special rented Netflix movie and a sleepover with one special present would have felt skimpy to her and would have clocked in at a whole lot less. Hope you don't mind me popping in....

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    1. Hi Kim....I'm so glad you popped in! You know it! I love hearing what you and other friends think. I know $667 may seem over the top for a 12-year-old's bday. I'm not trying to defend myself in an unhealthy way--I've been looking my spends straight in the eye. You're right, it was VERY GENEROUS, and I want to see that clearly, but a few factors were at play. A) Punch has lived with us continuously since age 6.5 and in that time, this was only her third bday party w friends [and she has been with us for her 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th bdays]. In context, Figgy had a friends' party every year. P's first party was at the Y; 2nd was at a hibachi place, a meal. And this was the third. They weren't consecutive years; last year, no friends' party. She gets stressed out choosing the guest list and what the party should be. We were happy she settled on our Serendipity suggestion and stayed there--and that she is nurturing nice friendships, girls to invite. This did not come entirely easily. We have dinner and Baked Alaska at home w our family, Sis, and two close fams, including friend Nikki, now 17, if they can make it [that was part of our March grocery bill]. But we have skipped years for parties. B) We receive a fairly generous monthly subsidy from the state for Punch and it felt right to get her a new bike, because she is very can-do and independent and needs exercise w her ADHD. A bike does seem wholesome and I want very much to provide wholesome elements when possible. She also did not have a properly closing helmet any more. C) One year, I paid little Fig's magically thinking yoga teacher maybe $250 or more to take Fig and a few friends to the park and do some magical yoga thing. D) Maybe you are right about the Uggs. However, as a fashion lover myself, I wanted Punch to have a pair. Supposed to be so cozy, and these so pretty with the bows in back. I knew the kids' shoe store was having a half-price sale and decided to strike while the iron was hot. E) This is not said in jest, but a bit of fear--I might be raising a materialistic fiend and you, lovely, big-picture women who give back. I'm not sure. F) When baby P left us and lived w birth fam, from age 15 mths to 6.5, I'm not sure about any bday parties? It's a painful memory I have of one of those years but shouldn't divulge here. Also, of course, Dan and I are childlike and like to indulge our children and our inner children, I guess, when possible. Lord knows, in dark times, we all suffered. But this was a happy occasion. Yes, I should probably make clear that all bdays cannot and will not be this generous. Because we do not spend $667 for Fig's August birthday, and we should be fair, but that subsidy does ring true. Thank you, as always. Love, Alice

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  2. I so get itl Kids are such powerful little triggers, aren't they? The love of the party, the yearning for her to make good friendships, the guilt over her lost years...totally makes sense when you explain it how you indulged. xoxo

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    1. Hi Kim......yes, triggers in small=person suits.....but then I popped up in bed and thought, wait a minute, we had a bday party at the horse stables where P took lessons on either one or two of her bdays. So if that's right, that would mean Punch had pal parties for age 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12, skipping only one year.....but I must say, those first parties, at the horse stables, young P was simply not skilled at friendships. When it was time for everyone to get a pony ride, she would be mean about who went first and who shouldn't go at all. I'm telling you, things we took for granted with our girls--not there. Hard work. Have a good day, friend. Alice

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