Thursday, December 12, 2019

money diaries vol 1: holiday edition

Money has always been such a taboo subject, but ironically, it is also one of the most important factors in our day to day lives. Yet, no one wants to talk about it. I love that my generation is stepping away from this faux pas and is being more honest and upfront with series like CNBC's Millennial Money and Refinery 29's Money Diaries. 
And while I've always shared our travel budgets, I'm hoping to talk money more in this space in the coming year, and I thought doing my own version of a money diary series could be a fun way to do that. With the holidays in full swing, I feel like we are definitely indulging and spending more than usual. Juggling between trying to enjoy the holidays while not jeopardizing our financial goals has been quite the balancing act, so I thought  this would be a good time to share my first money diary. Here is everything that the Husband and I spent money on last week. 

Monday December 2nd
Kicking things off on Monday-my busiest work day of the week. I have breakfast and coffee at home and fill up my gas tank ($27.81) on the way into work. After work, I stop at Aldi ($61.42), my favorite discount grocery store. They have a limited selection because it's a seasonal store, but I still manage to do 90% of our grocery shopping here. On the way home, I call Husband and have him grab Indian take-out ($43.88) for dinner. Yes, I literally just went to the grocery store, but the reality is that it will be another 2 hours before we eat, as I would have to drive home, unpack the groceries, and then cook. Not happening because I worked though lunch again today and if I don't eat in the next half hour, there is no telling what Hangry Jasmine might do. So, it's Indian take-out for the save.

Gas $27.81 
Aldi Groceries $61.42
Indian Take-out $43.88 
Total: $133.11 

Tuesday December 3rd
This is always my longest work day as I'm gone from 7:30AM-6PM. I am 100% a morning person, so I wake up early to cook, not one, but two recipes with the groceries I picked up yesterday before I head out for the day. This ensures that we will have 2 separate meals for lunch and dinner and will not end up eating out. Husband also has a long day planned, so he drops our dog off at doggie daycare ($25) for the day to make sure our pup has ample potty breaks and a chance to play while we are at work. Also, paid car insurance ($109) today via auto draft. 

Doggie Daycare $25
Car Insurance $109 
Total: $134

Wednesday December 4th
Once again, we have all of our meals from home with the exception of Husband's lunch. He goes out with his co-workers for lunch ($14.70) most every Wednesday. Also, our account is auto drafted today for a month and half worth of the pup's dog food ($39.29) that just shipped. 
Husband's Lunch $14.70 
Petco Dog Food $39.29 
Total: $53.99

Thursday December 5th
I don't currently work on Thursdays (this changes in the new year), so I use it as an errand day, which normally means spending money. Our account was auto drafted the monthly bill for our storage unit ($60) this morning, which reminds me to stop by and grab our Christmas ornaments so we can decorate the tree this weekend. Then, I have an appointment with an oral surgeon ($0) because I'm planning to get my wisdom teeth out. They do an exam, take x-rays, and we have a consult about the procedure. Because I myself am a dentist, I know a lot of other dentists, so they don't charge me for today's appointment. Let's call it a professional courtesy. After my appointment, I stop at Harris Teeter ($9.81) to pick up a few grocery items that I couldn't get at Aldi earlier in the week. Then, I head to Massage Envy. As a dentist, I literally spend my work day standing, bending, stretching, and leaning to get procedures done. This physically takes a toll on your body, so I get a few massages a month. Since, I have a membership, I pay a discounted rate for a 60 minute massage ($40) plus a tip ($20). It's worth every penny as I will get to bed without any body pains tonight. On my way home, I buy an extra large fry at my favorite bad for you fast food place. 

Storage Unit $60
Oral Surgeon $0 
Harris Teeter Groceries $9.81 
Massage $60 
Zaxby's French Fries $3
Total: $132.81

Friday December 6th 
TGIF. Ironically, my monthly Massage Envy membership ($65) gets pulled from auto draft today. I just paid for a massage yesterday, so this fee will cover my next massage. On Fridays, the girls at the office always order out for lunch, but I resist the urge and eat my packed lunch instead because I don't like to eat out unless it's something that I value. After work, I stop by Target ($54.17) to stock-up on K-cup coffees for the house/office and a few holiday items. I have a gift card from cashing in some credit card rewards points, so the Target trip doesn't cost me anything out of pocket. Next, I make a quick trip to the Dollar Tree ($4.18) where I pick up Scotch tape, gift tags, and Hallmark wrapping paper on the cheap. Then it's a relaxed evening at home, drinking inexpensive $3/bottle Aldi wine. 

Massage Membership $65 
Target $0
Dollar Tree $4.18  
Total: $69.18 

Saturday December 7th
Getting all the chores done today. We have breakfast, coffees, and lunch at home as we spend the day cleaning the apartment and doing laundry. We also decorate our tree today and wrap the Christmas gifts to go underneath. Since, we've worked so hard, we've earned a date night and spend the evening getting couples pedicures ($82) followed by dinner ($67.75) out. We tried a Mexican restaurant that has been on my radar with appetizers, drinks, and entrees. 

Nail Salon $82 
Taco Bar $67.75
Total: $149.75

Sunday December 8th
This turned out to be our spendiest day of the week as we did a day trip to to check out Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg. It's a little over an hour drive so we stop at Starbucks ($25) first to have fancy drinks for the car ride. Not sure how much we actually spent on our coffees today as we reloaded our Starbucks card to cover future purchases too. Since our goal is to check out the holiday wreath contest, we decide not to spend $50 on regular entry tickets, but purchase cheaper tickets for the Christmas tour only ($30) instead. We also take advantage of free parking and use the free shuttle service. After our tour, we eat lunch ($67.78) at one of the colonial restaurants-it was phenomenal. Then we pick up a holiday ornament ($24) to commemorate our visit because we have to right? 
After checking out some shops in downtown Williamsburg and surprisingly not buying anything, it's time to head home. But we stop into Joann's Fabrics & Crafts ($13.38) on the way so that I can grab supplies for a DIY tacky sweater contest at work. I spend the evening working on my sweater while Husband cooks dinner.

Starbucks $25 
Christmas Tour $30
Ornament $24 
Colonial Lunch $67.78
Joann's $13.38
Total: $160.16

Our spending breakdown for the week:
-Groceries $71.23
-Restaurants $154.33 
-Bills $196.81 (car insurance & gas/storage unit) 
-Beauty & Health $207 (pedicures/massages) 
-Dog $64.29
-Entertainment $121.78 (Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg
-Christmas Spending $17.56 (Joann's/Target/Dollar Tree) 
When I look at our day to day spending, it really doesn't seem like that much, but when you add it up...Wow. Just wow. Some of the spending that we did this week actually carries over into other parts of the month. But as I said earlier, we are definitely spending more right now on activities and eating out with the holidays and it shows. 

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