Some of you may know that I moved recently and that I was in the middle of taking a few summer classes too. I was spending money like crazy on little things here and there (If you’ve ever moved, you know what it’s like!), and it was driving me nuts seeing my bank balance slowly drain every day. It’s crazy seeing how much money I spend in a week, especially as a college student. How much I spend on train rides to school alone blows my mind.
I told Danny that it might be a good idea for me to write down my purchases so that way I can track them much more effectively. It’s so easy to slide that debit card when you don’t have to hold yourself accountable until the next time you see your bank statement. Well, Danny went out the next day and purchased a little notebook for me to do just that! So thoughtful of him.
When I first started keeping my money diary, I didn’t think I would end up sharing it on my blog. As the days writing in my journal went by, I realized just how much keeping track of my purchases was helping me to be more mindful of my spending.
I never, ever realized how much crap I buy until I started keeping this journal for myself. I find it so painful to review my bank account online, and that’s mostly due to the fact that I don’t control my spending when I’m in the midst of doing the spending. Granted, I think I’m being a little tough on myself, I certainly don’t splurge often, but I have saving goals I need to hit, ya know?
So here’s goes. My first ever money diary. This blog post actually makes me feel so vulnerable, and I guess it’s because money feels like such a private, personal thing to me. I learned so much about myself this past week just by tracking my spending. I highly recommend anyone try this, you’ll get something out of it for sure!
Did you know that Hello Giggles recently published one of my articles on their website? Read it here, What it’s like to be young, married, in college, and looking for your first apartment.
Today is my day off so I get to do unpack more boxes, although I don’t get much done because I get my period. Cramps, man. Nothing more to say about that.
I don’t drive which is not a huge deal since I’m smack dab in the middle of everything. Seriously, I love where I live. I don’t have to walk far to get anywhere. I take a shopping list with me but I decide to stop at Starbucks first to use the Internet. I purchase a chai latte, $2.94. Afterward, I go to Target to purchase Fabuloso cleaner, a gallon of water, clementines, and tampons, $13.07.
Total of Day One = $16.01
My alarm clock goes off at 6, but I stay in bed a lot longer than I’m supposed to. I race to the train station and purchase a round trip ticket. Once I get off at my stop, I get on the subway to get to my school. I spend $11.50 on transportation before nine o’ clock this morning. Ouch. Once I get off at my stop, I visit a pharmacy to get a bottle of seltzer water, $1.64. I bring lunch that day so that’s all I get for myself.
After class, I head back down to the subway and refill my MetroCard, $13.00. I make a quick stop at home to drop off my stuff and get my laptop. I head to Starbucks but not before I lose my coin wallet with my student ID card, my debit card, and my MetroCard in it. Damn it. I retrace my steps but someone has already picked it up by now and it’s gone.
I call Danny in tears and he tells me to ask around and see how much it costs to set up the Internet at home. Since I use the Internet to work and finish my homework assignments, I decide he’s right and give Comcast a call. They tell me I can get the internet set up that day, and ask if I have a router/modem.
Since I lost my wallet, I have to take money out of the emergency stash to purchase a router/modem. It ends up costing me $94.00, but it’s better than renting it from Comcast in the long run. I also purchase milk, and a pack of gum while I’m out, $9.74. At least I have Internet now so that means less Starbucks purchases, and one more bill I have to pay. I guess that’s alright.
Total of Day Two = $129.88
I’m using money from the emergency fund we have stashed at home so I’m extra mindful of how I’m spending money today. I got lucky yesterday since no one took my ticket on the way back home from school. I only have to spend $4.25 to get to school today, plus another $6.50 to replace the MetroCard I lost. Once I get to school I pay $5 for a replacement student ID card. I stop by the bank to get a temporary debit card, but they tell me I need two forms of ID. The lines to take out cash are long so I decide to leave in order not to miss the next train.
When I get home I stop by Target to get a few snack items plus another two gallons of water, $7.72. I purchase a Wendy’s chicken sandwich today since I’m tired AF, and there’s still laundry waiting for me at home. I count out my quarters, $2.00 for using the washer, and another $1.75 for the dryer.
Total of Day Three = $32.34
I spend another $4.25 on my train ticket, and $6.00 to refill my MetroCard today. On my way home from school I see a street vendor selling Italian Ice. I ask for the smallest size, $1.00.
Total of Day Four = $11.25
No school today but I still have a bunch of homework to do for one of my classes. I head over to an art supply store for a sharpener, but I end up leaving with paintbrushes too. I just went to an art gallery in Chelsea where I was inspired by some of the paintings, but nonetheless it was still an impulse buy, $11.78. While I’m out, I stop at a grocery store to purchase more water and a bag of veggies, $3.87.
Total of Day Five = $15.65
I make another trip to the grocery store and drop a cool ten dollar bill on beans, veggies, and yogurt. As you can probably tell by now, I purchase food when I need it so I rarely stock up on grocery items. My husband is on the road most of the time so this is my way of preventing food from spoiling.
Total of Day Six = $10.02
Today my sister and I do some grocery shopping. We take her car so I make sure to get the heavy stuff I need this upcoming week, like cat litter and laundry detergent. I also get some food for the week, including salads and nuts.
Total of Day Seven = $44.92
My final thoughts
I’m surprised at how much money I ended up spending. I thought I only spent $100 max in a week, but I actually ended up spending a total of $260.13 this past week. That number would have been lower had I not lost my wallet or signed up for internet service but that’s okay. But I did learn that the way I feel has a lot to do with how I spend my money whether I like it or not.
Did you enjoy reading this money diary? Let me know below if I should write more of them!