Financial Fitness Check-In: September 2022

I need to preface September 2022’s check-in by saying that this was the first time I have taken a proper vacation since pre-pandemic, maybe even since 2018, and that I had been saving for months for it. It’s also the first vacation I’ve ever taken with like real adult money. So saying I spent moneyyy this month is correct. I broke down my personal deep dive into vacation and normal life spending.

On my vacation I had some specific things that I needed to do, if you’ve been around for a minute, you’ll know that I live in a small, remote town. There is nowhere to buy clothes, books, make up, etc. there’s one grocery store within an hour’s drive. I also realized that I have never worked in an office in the fall ever, and haven’t in the winter since 2019. Last year we were work from home, and the three years before that I wore scrubs or was serving, and then before that I was in school. So I really needed to get fall/winter business casual clothes, I also wanted to get some candles from my favorite candle shop back home, and I was going to Montreal with one of my oldest friends and didn’t want to have to be worried while I was there.

In real life, my cell phone bill was higher than normal. I had to hot spot off my cell phone data a couple days to work and I accidentally went way over my data and it hurt. I also shopped the Hill House Home drop before I went on vacation (everything arrived last Friday and I’m in love with both items).

I also left Montana well-stocked in both wet and dry food and cat litter for the pet sitter before I left. I don’t think I actually needed to, but since I have done a lot of pet sitting I know the anxiousness that comes when you don’t think you have enough supplies to get you until the owner comes back and I don’t want to do that to anyone else ever. And it’s not like I wouldn’t use the stuff up.

I was pleasantly surprised with what I spent on gas, gas is so expensive up here. The day I left Ottawa to come back, it was 1.46.9 in Ottawa, when I landed in Thunder Bay it was 1.99.9. And that’s per litre not per gallon. And then today when I got gas for the first time this month it was 2.09.9, so only going $18 over budget when I drove to Thunder Bay and back was impressive.

I flipped back through the past few months and the one area that I have really made a reduction in is subscriptions, I’ve nearly halved it. Although I do think I will be paying for my Disney+ annual subscription this month and in my monthly spending check-ins I don’t break it down by month, so that may not be technically correct. My coffee spending has nearly tripled which is insane, but I’m really trying to get back to my strict once a week schedule, it’s harder now that I’m not home with my Nespresso machine all day every day. My groceries have also shot up, I think that only doing HelloFresh once a month will help with that, but there are other things I need to do to get back on track.

The other areas that I’m really surprised by, or not surprised, but it really called to attention how much I spend in “shopping” I think I need to dig in to that category a bit more and see what exactly that is and what I need to do to bring that down. I am determined to not carry a credit card balance into my thirties, and while I know I have time there, I also want to get out of this small town and to do that I need money for rent and deposit in a larger city that is likely to be more expensive, and to hire movers at a minimum. So I need to much more diligent about saving more than I spend, and quickly.

I don’t think this one was as detailed as I normally get, but I feel a bit weird about discussing exactly how much I spent on vacation. It sounds like bragging or showing off, even though I think it was a very reasonable vacation. There’s a fine line with talking about money so openly, and I think that would cross it. Next month’s will be back to normal since I am trying to be quite tight this month.


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