November was my first full month being car-free. With how little I used my car for my 6 months of ownership, it’s been a pretty smooth transition. I also have the safety net of having a really cool friend/roommate who lets me borrow his car when the need arises.
Most commonly, these instances of borrowing end up being trips to Aldi. Obviously, my general goal is to coordinate grocery trips with my roommate, but that doesn’t always materialize.
Occasionally, I’ll steal his car to go bowling with my brother too. And to make up for my roommate’s generosity, I’ll fill his car up with gas as much as I can! It’s a mutually beneficial relationship until I end up splurging on another vehicle.
I snuck in another trip home to end the month, which was a blast as always. Of course, I didn’t drive.
Other than adjusting to a mostly car free lifestyle, November was similar to previous months. Nothing exceptionally out of the ordinary occurred, except for the beginning of a deep dive into political gambling.
Instead of responsibly saving and investing my money, and paying off debt, I’ve recklessly gambled $1500 on PredictIt this month alone.
My savings rate ended up at a catastrophic -64%. My expenses this month approached DOUBLE of what I brought in.
If I adjust my savings rate to ignore my gambling, we’re at a healthy 30% this month. But my impulses led me astray, and I’ve yet to reign myself in.
Here’s a visualization of my recklessness:
Home/Rent – $1196
Rent – $1083
Internet – $40
Utilities – $70
Household Goods – $3
Auto – $15
Gasoline/Fuel – $15
No more car payments to make. I filled up $15 worth of gas in my roommate’s car for letting me borrow it for a bowling run.
Transit/Travel – $309
I got invited to my first wedding this month, and booked my flights. About $200 total for a roundtrip between the east coast to Denver. Not bad!
Additionally, I spent about $100 on Uber and Lyft rides this month. A consequence of not having a car, and taking a few nights out in DC
Health/Wellness – $24
Haircut – $24
For ease of accounting, I’m ignoring my monthly health insurance premiums.
Sustenance – $454
I stopped just short of $100 in Chipotle spending this month.
My grocery spending was disproportionately small for the month compared to Chipotle and other eating out. At the very least, I’m gaining weight, but not gaining nearly enough muscle. I’ve gained a few pounds since beginning this “weight gain journey.”
Time to continue that trend for months in a row. Progress is currently being tracked on a simple and low-budget “straight line progress tracker.”
I continue to consume far too much convenience food. As of November, my levels of self-control and delayed gratification are being pounded by convenience and instant gratification. My eating habits exemplify that.
Daily Living – $66
A few Amazon purchases this month. Some apple wired headphones and a headphone adapter. Some nice winter socks. A charging cable, and a phone case.
Amazon – $49
Books – $17
Entertainment – $1900
Alcohol – $49
Entertainment – $126
Electronics – $161
Gambling – $1509
Games – $1
Memberships – $55
No golfing this month. A few instances of bowling. One concert
Other entertainment expenses included:
1) A ridiculous amount of gambling expenses on PredictIt ($1500)
2) $161 on fixing my phone. I bought a used IPhone 7 back in August. Last month, the service spontaneously stopped working. Apple took care of fixing the phone, gave me a loaner, before returning my fixed phone to me. The only problem was that I had a tiny crack in my screen, not even on the display. Just the top left of the phone. Less than an inch long.
They charged me $160 for a new phone screen repair which is absolutely ridiculous. I didn’t fight the charge, which I now highly regret, especially because this all should have been free. It’s Apple’s incompetence that led to my phone not having service which led me to go to the store and get it fixed.
3) $55 on an annual Medium membership
Misc Expenses – $136
Political donations – $124
Service charges/fees – $12
I donated to my favorite political candidate this month, whom I also happen to be heavily betting on in the presidential primary race.
Monthly Deficit – $783
No bank bonuses or anything to make up for my reckless gambling. We’re in the red this month.
November savings rate: -24%
November Purchase of the Month:
Going to see “Lettuce” live in concert.
This was a band that I’d happened to come across on Spotify. I had one, maybe 2 songs of theirs saved in my library, and I had no plans to go see them live.
Lucky for me, my roommate’s birthday was the day of, or the day before the concert. A few days before the show, he and his girlfriend proposed that we go. I’m thankful for that proposal because DAMN, this band is good live. They’ve been playing for a few decades, and are mostly instrumental.
That experience was an amazing one, and well worth paying $60 or so for (when considering both the cost of the ticket, and the transportation to and from the show).