Monthly Spending Report: January 2016

January was a nice, calm month. It was great to get a chance to step back and recover from the craziness of the holidays, although I did take part in a number of events and activities. I started to play dodgeball every Wednesday (cheap, fun, and great exercise!) which has led me to meeting a number of new people. I also had a chance to meet new people at a few events hosted by my local Young Professionals Connection. We went rock climbing and to see the local hockey team play. In addition to those events, I “met” new people online, to include but not limited to Julie from Millennial Boss. We had a really great time on a Skype call. It's rare to meet someone whose path is so similar to mine. Not many of us young millennial females aspiring to retire early out there!

Unimpressed kitty is unimpressed.
Unimpressed kitty is unimpressed.

Why do I do a monthly spend­ing report?

I find it best to do a monthly spend­ing report for a few rea­sons. One, it helps me eval­u­ate how I did the pre­vi­ous month. Did I hit a tar­get reduc­tion in spend­ing or did I go way over bud­get for a par­tic­u­lar cat­e­gory? Two, it helps keep me account­able. How can I make an extra pur­chase know­ing I’ll have to explain myself to all of you? Talk about awk­ward when the blog­ger can’t walk the walk and talk the talk. Three, I want to prove this crazy thing called finan­cial inde­pen­dence works! Fourth, it pro­vides an exam­ple of real world bud­get­ing and expenses. Some of the peo­ple I talk to haven’t ever seen a proper bud­get or seen one put into action, and part of the pur­pose of this blog is to lead by example!

I use Mint to help me track my spend­ing and keep an eye on my accounts. Some peo­ple use Per­sonal Cap­i­tal and oth­ers use You Need a Bud­get (YNAB). What­ever tool works best for you and your needs is the best one for you, since every­one and their bud­gets are different.

So, with­out fur­ther ado, I present my spend­ing (for bet­ter or for worse) for January 2016.


Auto & TransportSuper low gas prices are once again amazing. I paid $15 for a full tank of gas! Only $1.48/gal! I haven't paid that since I started driving in 2006.
Mobile PhoneSo low. I love Project FI! See my review here:
Util­i­tiesMuch better than the $225 I spent this time last year.
Food & DiningStill pretty high. :/
SupportI've started helping out my sister with a monthly donation.
RentNormal spending here.
PetsMr. Mew got fixed! It was a hefty vet bill, but with the rollover I haven't gone over (despite what my messed up Mint budget says).
EntertainmentI bought some credits for my favorite app when they had a sale and went to see a movie. The Big Short was great!
MiscAny activities I did (bowling, rock climbing, hockey game, etc).
ShoppingI was sick, so I bought a humidifier and some medicine. Saved my life. I also spent a gift card (and a bit more) on some clothes to refresh my wardrobe. I'll have a post about that soon.
TransferNo idea why it added my CC payment in this. Also took out some money to repay a friend.
TravelPaid for part of a hotel for a friend's birthday, and bought my ticket to Camp Mustache! I can't wait for Memorial Day!


This month came in at an even $2800. Not the best month, but also not the worst. Having incredibly low car costs, utilities, and phone bill helped out a lot. I think only $800 in non-budgeted expenses was ok, but I definitely could've done better. Especially as I'm trying to save up for a down payment for a house. I've never had this much cash on hand, so it's a rough battle to not run out and spend it all on something…. like all the things I've got planned for February. It's already started off with a bang! The list of activities increases by the day. New meetups, sports starting up, Superbowl parties, a trip to Chicago (so far includes drinking, Deadpool and a Monster Truck rally), and a friend coming to visit are just a few of the things on my calendar. The challenge will be to keep my spending as low as I can while still having a good time.

Coming up on the blog, I'll have a post about my search for a duplex, the struggle with clothes, and more! Have a great February!

What did your month look like? Did you stick to your budget?
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