September began with plenty of driving! I ended up making 2 trips home at the very beginning of the month, blasting tens of pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere for the benefit of socializing with family.
I spent the weekend lounging and eating especially well with my mom and dad. Home cooked meals, and nights spent around a fire.
After living away from home for five years since graduating high school, its magical to be able to drive to my parents home and hang out with them. Celebrating our existence, talking around a campfire, and again, eating well. Fresh veggies from the garden, amazing salads. Walks in the woods with the dog and cat!
While I hate the waste involved in driving 4 hours one way to get to where my parents live, I can’t help but giddily celebrate my time spent with them, especially when I consider how rare it’s been for me to see them over the past 5 years of my life.
I spent my Sunday afternoon slowly driving back towards my current place of residence and work, only to return the following weekend to pet sit for the dog and the cat.
It was an amazing introspective time spent in solitude, with just my childhood pets and the outdoors, the veggies and fruits in the garden, and the contents of my parents’ freezer and refrigerator at my disposal.
I straight up just hung out with my dog and my cat, wrote a lot, read a lot, and enjoyed the sunny, northeastern September weather
The following weekend, I snuck in some golf with my brother and a good friend of his, and got some maintenance done on my car as a precursor to selling it. Let’s hope selling it goes smoothly in October!
The next weekend, I had a real casual date. Grilling some chicken breasts and an assortment of veggies! Onions, peppers, asparagus, simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Hard to beat!
And then, another round of golf.
And the final weekend of September, I impulsively went to go see Griz after hours of incessant (but happily received) peer pressure from my roommate and his girlfriend. That was an expensive night for me, but it was really fun. The only bad thing was that I enthusiastically dunked my friend’s phone onto the ground while making a story telling gesture, shattering the screen. Otherwise, good evening.
Entertainment wise, I finished out the month with some bowling with the roommate and another friend. A classic activity for me.
Sprinkled throughout the month was some casual tennis with my roommate, my favorite sport!
Here’s a chart of my categorized monthly expenses:
Home/Rent – $1217
Rent – $1083
Internet – $40
Utilities – $94
Auto – $68
Car Payments – $10
Gasoline/Fuel – $58
Okay, no fines this month, which is awesome. $58 spent on gas. I didn’t make my traditional monthly auto loan payment because I PAID OFF MY AUTO LOAN IN FULL!*
*by taking out a personal loan.
So my car is paid off. I now have $15,000 in debt accruing interest at 8% instead of less than $12,000 in debt accruing at about 3%.
But I now have the ability to sell my luxurious and expensive car. I should get around $16k for it, which is exactly what I paid for it (before taxes and registration). In a way, my 6 months of ownership with the vehicle ended up being a bargain. A low priced long term rental! Having to pay for a full year’s taxes and registration on it is unfortunate though.
Once I sell, I’ll go car free for a bit (right as its getting cold out!) but I’ll eventually capitulate and buy a much more reasonable, 10 year old vehicle. We’ll see what happens!
Transit/Travel – $0
No spending in this category for the month. No bus travel, no air travel. Just a whole lot of driving and biking, and subway travel on my prepaid metro card. The funds I put on my metro card way back in April are still going strong.
Health/Wellness – $0
For working out, I ride my bike and use my apartment gym (paid for by my expensive rent). I occasionally bike over to the park near my house for bodyweight fitness. I find working out outside to be much more pleasurable than inside a gym.
But as of now, no health/wellness issues or expenses this month
(I am ignoring my monthly health insurance premiums here)
Sustenance – $305
Again, I spent more than I usually did on groceries and sustenance during September, but I am okay if this trend continues. Spending money on quality groceries rather than fast food and eating out is a long term goal of mine. For now, I fall prey to the convenience of Chipotle, fast food, and eating out far too often.I happen to be trying to gain weight, so a little month over month growth in food spending should be expected if I’m to meet my weight gain goals! 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.”
My Chipotle tower more than doubled in size month over month, and my grocery spending remained about the same.
I continue to consume far too much convenience food. The convenience and cheapness of this crappy food often overpowers my nutritional will, and as cliche as it is, I absolutely love pizza! Over months and months, surely my levels of self-control and delayed gratification will win out over convenience and instant gratification! Again, this is a lifelong battle.
Human behavior change is incredibly difficult, so it’s best to be patient and easy on yourself. Celebrate the little things, and compound on the little positive changes that you do make!
Daily Living – $0
No spending in my daily living category for the month. No Amazon purchases, no clothing purchases. Zilch!
Entertainment – $167
Alcohol – $10
Entertainment – $157
I spent a grand total of $10 on alcohol this month, on a single beer at a show I attended!
I am currently in beer debt to my roommate, and I’ve enjoyed a few beers on my brother’s dime as well. So, while I only spent money on a single, overpriced venue beer this month, I am in debt to others, so I expect myself to spend a bit on a nice variety pack as a thanks to those who have donated alcoholic drinks for me to enjoy.
Similar to August, my entertainment spending came from three approximately equal sources
1) An awesome Griz concert!
2) A few rounds of golf, walking of course!
3) Various trips to the bowling alley!
Overall, September was a low spend month for me entertainment wise. Only $167 total!
No spending on games, electronics, books, equipment for hobbies, lodging or memberships/subscriptions for the month.
Misc Expenses – $113
Other Expenses – $100
Political donations – $13
I incurred $100 in miscellaneous expenses this month, all $100 coming from the mysterious “other” category.
What could this be?
Well… at that Griz concert I went to I happened to SLAM my roommate’s girlfriend’s phone, shattering the crap out of the screen.
I demanded her Venmo from my roommate, and immediately Venmo’d her $100 (assuming she would use that money to replace the screen).
In the moment, it was a perfect way to solve the issue. I got the peace of mind that I needed after unexpectedly destroying the crap out of her phone screen. Alright here’s $100! Problem solved!
I got to enjoy the rest of the concert guilt free, so it’s a win in my book.
Total Savings – $1610
Solid amount of savings this month, boosted by a $300 credit card sign up bonus. Additionally, boosted artificially by my lack of payment on my car (now personal) loan.
September savings rate: 47%
September Mistake of the Month:
Being completely unnecessarily put in the red $100 while already spending $60-70 on a night out by recklessly slamming someone’s phone on the ground. Oops!
Things happen, that’s all they ever do.