The numbers are in for January and they aren’t pretty. Yearly expenses like insurance and winter taxes affected the total, but I got awfully sloppy when traveling or working long hours.
For those interested, here’s the list of expenses by category, rounded to the nearest whole dollar. Please note that I won’t include automatic paycheck deductions for retirement or health accounts, special-occasion gifts, nor cash donations to fundraisers in my community.
House & Garden: $1992
- $472 mortgage
- $677 insurance
- $575 winter property tax
- $62 lawn & garden (In winter, this includes de-icer and birdseed.)
- $168 maintenance (Mainly once-a-year purchases: furnace, water, vent, and refrigerator filters)
- $35 fit-over-glasses safety goggles (no more scratched lenses while pruning!)
- $3 splurge (A long throw pillow with four hand-sewn deer – neither “American rustic” nor “holiday” – which I had eyed for some time)
Utilities & Services: $238
- $67 internet
- $34 electricity
- $53 natural gas
- $84 phone (Whenever I feel nostalgic about $107 per year, I remind myself how spotty the service was.)
Automotive Expenses: $1185
- $51 fuel (unusual amount of travel this month!)
- $1134 insurance (The new no-fault insurance law doesn’t activate until July.)
- $210 dining out, including work cafeteria and vending machines
- $273 groceries, which is higher than normal because I restocked canned and frozen food
New sweaters replaced too-big ones. Then the buckle of my only leather belt, which was less than a year old, came apart. The splurge was a gray-and-black Steve Madden cape, which I often wear to work, for less than $10 at the Salvation Army store.
- $23 used books
- $7 newspaper subscription
Work-related Expenses: $292
- $160 renewal of 5-year teaching certification
- $99 union dues
- $33 student supplies
- $9 vitamins
- $7 writing supplies
- $86 tent and inflatable mattress
Grand Total: $4543
Ouch! If I spent this amount every month, I’d go broke. The obvious area for improvement is food; I can prepare on-the-go meals and beverages. I need clothes for warmer weather, but those are easier to find at resale and charity shops.