The Cash-Money Watch of the Century

Handsome, right?

Handsome, right?

…but it makes a beautiful fake plant.

Money flower image via Evan-Amos on Wikimedia Commons 

Listen up, kids: what follows is $673.99 of spending.

Oh yeah, I paid my bills, too:

Rent     $739
Water/trash/etc     $44.36
Reliant     $45.02
TWC     $77.19

Sadly, that can not be included as part of the $652.16 of spending, but hey, I’m doing better.

I think the most important part is that I am being more cognizant of my spending, even though I do not get on here every three days like I used to.  Instead, I watch my wallet, I pay cash for stuff even though it makes my wallet empty and seems to annoy clerks at stores, and I make a plan each month.

Here is the plan for next month:

  • Rent     $739- DONE
  • Water/trash/etc     $44.36- DONE
  • Reliant     $45.02 (done recently, and my billing cycle is odd, so it usually comes on the 12th-14th, so I’ll watch for the next one)
  • TWC     (The bill for next month hasn’t come yet, and it comes around the 5th or 6th of the month…)
  • Mommy     $40-DONE
  • LA Fitness     $32.46
  • Wells Fargo Credit Card     $90.40 (due soon)
  • Dallas Morning News subscription     $11.52 (monthly)
  • ANN Taylor LOFT     $47.71 ( due 8/21)

I will need to call my car insurance person this week and find out when the new policy is required.  My dad and I use the same lady, but I think I was supposed to look into another company (in all the spare time that I ended up using to watch “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix or reading my books from the library).

As for the non-fixed items of interest:

  • Food     $120 ($30/week)
  • Gas    $70
  • EWC     $10
  • Target/Walmart trip     $60 < x < $80

And really, that’s all I can think of right now.

Is it okay to whine about how annoying it is to have a car door that doesn’t open and that requires expensive car latch parts to fix?  Yes?

No, probably not.  But I guess I should be glad I live in a country where my biggest problems are whether my car door opens at my request.

7/11     MOBILE 1 LUBE EXPRESS

Oil change     $39.99
-Discount coupon     10% off
SUBTOTAL     $43.99
TAXABLE     $17.99
NON TAXABLE     $26
TAX     $1.48
TOTAL     $41.07

7/11     KROGER

Organic strawberries     $2.00
Organic strawberries     $2.00
Blackberries     $2.00
Goldfish crackers, huge size     $6.99
Grape tomatoes     $3.29
Organic blueberries     $2.00
Organic blueberries     $2.00
Godiva chocolate     $2.21
Hershey kisses     $3.50
Hershey kisses     $3.50
Diet coke     $3.34
Muffins     $2.99
Apple drink     $0.50
Coca-Cola (bottled, one)     $1.00

TAX     $1.16
TOTAL     $38.48

7/11     CRATE&BARREL

Gifts for parents     $100

7/12     KROGER GAS

Gasoline     $36.74 (11.556 gal @ $3.17/gal).  I used my $0.30/gal discount on this trip, hence the suspiciously low gas price.

7/12     SUPERTARGET

Shower caddy     $11
Sunglasses     $12.99
SUBTOTAL     $23.99
TAX     $1.98
TOTAL     $25.97

7/13     PETSMART

Prescription cat food     $20.99

7/18     ALBERTSON’S

24 pack of bottled water     $2.22
French bread     $1.69
Pork loins     $38.67 – $24.98 = $13.69 (buy one get two free deal)

TOTAL     $17.60

7/18     KROGER

Blue bell sherbet     $2.50
Granola bars     $3.89
Granola bars     $3.89
Froot Loops     $1.99
Frosted Flakes     $1.99
Viva paper towels     $5.99
Cottonelle toilet paper     $5.99
-$1.98 (2/$10 Tissue/Towel deal)
MANUFACTURER COUPON     -$1.00
MANUFACTURER COUPON     -$0.50

TAX     $0.74
TOTAL     $23.50

7/19     NTTA

New TollTag (except it is a sticker, should be cheaper, right? WRONG)     $40

7/19     EYE DOCTOR

Eye exam, all that jazz      $69.25 (some $304-odd dollars were billed to my vision insurance)

7/20     ALDI

Farfalle     $0.89
Macaroni and cheese     $0.39
Farfalle     $0.89
Sweet relish     $1.29
Mayo     $1.99
Pasta salad kits     $0.99
Tuna     $0.69
Tuna     $0.69
Spaghetti     $1.49
93% Lean ground beef     $4.85
Strawberries     $0.99
Pineapple     $1.79
Blueberries     $1.19
Grape tomatoes     $1.99
Wheat bread     $1.89
Apples     $3.99 (total waste of money, 3/4 were bruised or spoiled)
Organic pasta sauce     $1.99
2% Milk     $2.69
Yogurt     $0.39
Yogurt     $0.39
Yogurt     $0.39
Croutons     $0.89

SUB/TOTAL     $35.53

7/22     LOFT

Beautiful dress     $69.50
-$15 BIRTHDAY COUPON

SUBTOTAL     $54.50
TAX     $4.50
TOTAL     $59

7/22 WELLS FARGO

Credit Card payment $20

7/23     WALMART

Pineapple, canned     $1.38
Jell-O, 2 packs     $1.42 (2 @ $0.74/each)
Whipped topping (Cool Whip, non-name brand)     $1.42

SUBTOTAL/TOTAL     $4.28

7/24     WALMART

Buttermilk (small size)      $1.48

7/24     KIA PARTS OUTLET

Actuator      $66.29
Latch “assy”     $49.52 (hey, that’s what the invoice says)

Shipping      $11.58
TOTAL     $127.39

7/25      EWC

Tip     $8

7/26      CVS

Prescription, strong-ass kind     $2.79

7/26    KROGER

Ground beef     $4.99
Tomatoes    $3.29
Raspberries    $2.99
Blackberries    $3.49
Strawberries     $2.07
Bread     $1.00
Carbmaster yogurt (10 for $4.00 deal)     $4.00

TOTAL     $21.83

 

 

Image via Wikimedia Commons user SolarSurfer

See when I think of bugs, I like to think happy, like the picture above.

But in reality, it’s more like this:

AAAAAAAA! Smash it!

Image via Wikimedia Commons user Muhammad Mahdi Karim

My apartment recently had a bug problem, and the bug that I found IN MY CUPBOARD WITH MY DISHES looked more like this:

Image via Wikimedia Commons user Saphan 

And yes, that picture is huge.  In reality, the thing was about 1&1/2 inches long, so it wasn’t a big huge scary one.

But as far as jumping out of my dishes to run up my ceiling, any size will do as far as scaring me.  And rather than take care of the thing like an adult (“Baby,” my dad reassured me over the phone, “who has the advantage, size-wise?” “Me,” I whimpered, “but what if it eats my face first??”  “Alex…”)

…I screamed at it first while it ran away from me, in hopes that screaming at it would make it drop dead.  It didn’t work.

Once my dad came over to take care of it (I know, I know), I spent the rest of my weekend stocking up on Raid and other bug killers.  I put a bunch of roach motels in each room of the apartment (and there’s about 4 in the kitchen alone), got that funny bug plug-in from Bed Bath and Beyond, and now I haven’t seen any bugs so far.  I plan to keep it that way.  I thoroughly rinsed all my dishes and left them out of the cupboard so that I could install the bait motels and also spray a little bit of ant/roach spray into each corner of the cupboards.  I also sprayed my baseboards and the entryway to my apartment.

I also cried about the bug problem, but that lasted for about 30 seconds before I realized it wasn’t changing the situation, so why was I wasting my time/tears on that literal shitbug?

Nevertheless, the apartment complex must have received other reports, because they put a nice notice on everyone’s door that spraying would happen on the 2nd of July, and could you please vacate the premises, including pets, for that day?

Boarding my cat costs me money, so I wasn’t thrilled.  But as my dad and mom pointed out, “That means they are actually doing something serious about it, which is more than anyone else does.”  And, the cat was more than happy to see me later, which makes her appreciate home that much more.

I am much more aware of the cleanliness in my apartment now, so this gives me incentive to clean with bleach more often.

7/2     PETSMART

Kitty apartment     $20
Overnight stay     $12

TOTAL     $32

7/5     WALMART

Milk 1 Gallon     $3.48
Baby carrots     $1.78
Apple juice concentrate     $1.18
Greek yogurt     4 @ $0.90/each = $3.60
Strawberries     $3.48 (but it was a big pack)
Blueberries     $1.98
Bandages     $0.96
Finger-barriers     $1.97
Clementines     $5.87
Eggs     $1.54
French bread     $1.00
Yogurt 4 pack    $1.88
Romaine hearts     $2.98
Tomatoes     $2.40

SUB/TOTAL     $34.10

 

Woo hoo, don't those bags look enticing?

Woo hoo, don’t those bags look enticing?

In case you didn't know, I like peas.

In case you didn’t know, I like peas.

I am not getting any more bugs in this apartment, so I got some bleach to clean the counters.

I am not getting any more bugs in this apartment, so I got some bleach to clean the counters.

Hot underwear, y'all.  Same goes for the socks.

Hot underwear, y’all. Same goes for the socks.

The thing on the right: huge waste of $1.  Waiting for my measuring spoons to show up, now that I have effectively replaced them.

The thing on the right: huge waste of $1. Waiting for my measuring spoons to show up, now that I have effectively replaced them.

I live alone, and there exists a need for two types of frozen ice cream.

I live alone, and there exists a need for two types of frozen ice cream.

Woo hoo, I finally have some ibuprofen in the house that didn't expire last year.

Woo hoo, I finally have some ibuprofen in the house that didn’t expire last year.

Don't you love the faces they make out of the food?

Don’t you love the faces they make out of the food?

Haven't made the Tazo tea yet, but I did make some of the green tea, and the caffeinated quality is just such that I was able to stay awake at work, but not enough to keep me up at night.

Haven’t made the Tazo tea yet, but I did make some of the green tea, and the caffeinated quality is just such that I was able to stay awake at work, but not enough to keep me up at night.

Nom nom nom.

Nom nom nom.

Those shorts are gonna look damn good today.

Those shorts are gonna look damn good today.

Same goes for that bra. Both of them.

Same goes for that bra. Both of them.

 

6/13     TOTAL WINE AND BEER

Radius Cabernet      $9.99
Radius Cabernet     $9.99

SUBTOTAL     $19.98
TAX     $1.65
TOTAL     $21.63

6/14     HOME DEPOT

Roach bait     $5.47
Raid wasp killer     $4.48
Bounty Basic paper towels     $1.00
Raid spray (ant and roach)     $7.47
Sponge     $2.44
Citronella candle     $5.00

SUBTOTAL     $25.86
TAX     $2.13
TOTAL     $27.99

6/14     BED BATH AND BEYOND

Riddex plug-in     $14.99
TAX     $1.24
TOTAL     $16.23

Gift Card- $12.03
Remainder: $4.20

6/14     KROGER GAS

Gasoline     10.518 gal @ $3.239/gal = $34.07

6/15    ALDI

Spaghetti     $1.19
Alfredo sauce     $1.69
Organic baby carrots     $1.49
1% Milk 1/2 gallon      $2.09
Tomatoes     $0.99
Blackberries     $1.89
Strawberries     $2.58 (2 @ $1.29/each)
Blueberries     $1.29 (waste of money- all were spoiled, and I realized this too late to take them back.)
Wheat bread     $1.39

SUB/TOTAL     $14.60

6/22     ALDI

Large eggs     $1.65
Sourdough    $1.99
Garlic bread     $1.79
Ice cream sandwich     $2.29
Chocolate butter cookies     $1.69
Red grapes     $1.69
Strawberries     2 @ $1.49/each = $2.98
Blackberries     $1.89
Blueberries     $1.19
Multigrain waffles     $1.29
1% Milk 1/2 gallon      $2.09

SUB/TOTAL     $20.54

6/22     KROGER GAS

Gasoline     8.435 gal @ $3.469/gal = $29.26      Dang, look at that price jump.  I used a $0.10 reward on the previous visit, but still.

6/25     BANK

Deposit to mother’s account     $40
PMO for Rent     $739
PMO for Gas, water, etc.     $47.58

6/28     SUPER TARGET

Target brand spray bleach (like Tilex)      $2.99
Lysol toilet fresher-upper clips     $2.99
Clearance-priced underwear     $1.50
Clearance-priced underwear     $1.50
Hanes cotton underwear 3 pack     $9.00
Target-branded demi bra     $14.44 (CW: $15% taken off of orig.$16.99)
Gold Toe socks     $11.00
Clearance sports bra     $5.08
Hot shorts     $18.99
Starburst minis pack     $2.36 (CW: 5% off of $2.49)
Ritz crackers     $2.00
Tyson frozen meat bags: chicken and pulled pork     $12 (2 for $12 deal)
Carrots     $1.69
Tazo tea     $3.00 (Really $2.00 since I had a bad ass coupon from Tazo)
Lipton instant green tea mix     $2.24
Baking soda     $0.67
Sugar     $2.27 (CW: 5% off of $2.39)
Strawberries     $3.69 (CW: 5% off of $3.89)
Raspberries     $1.90 (CW: 5% off of $2.00)
Raspberries     $1.90 (CW: 5% off of $2.00)
Frozen peas     $0.89 (CW: 10% off of $0.99)
Frozen peas     $0.89 (CW: 10% off of $0.99)
Frozen apple juice concentrate     $1.47
Frozen fruit     $2.96 (CW: 10% off of $3.29)
1% Milk     $3.49
Simply Juice (Raspberry lemonade)     $2.00
Blue Bell ice cream pint     $1.87
Blue Bell ice cream pint     $1.87
Ben and Jerry’s ice cream single serve     $1.02
Nail deco kit     $5.99 I’m gonna use this thing today, and I can already tell you my nails are gonna be fabulous.
Shampoo     $2.54
Elastic headbands     $4.69 (you can’t buy just 1 or 2, you have to buy a 4 pack)
Ibuprofen     $2.47 (CW: 5% off of $2.60)
Glass jar     $3.99 It is hinged- now I will never have to hassle with the garlic jar again.
Measuring spoons and cups     $1.99 I lost my measuring spoons I did have, and this was the cheapest way to get more.
Plastic bowls     $0.99
Up and up plastic bags for food     $2.49
Up and up plastic bags for food     $3.79
Up and up plastic bags for food     $3.79
Wipes     $4.55 (CW: 5% off of $4.79) I am never buying these again there, this is highway robbery.
Toilet paper     $7.99
Cat litter     $12.34 (CW: 5% off of $12.99)
Up and up version of Immodium     $2.51 (CW: 5% off of $2.65)
Ramekins (but really just glass bowls that are perfect for ice cream     $1.98 (2  @ $0.99/each)

-$5 off of $30+ grocery purchase Target coupon
-$1 off of $5+ fruit purchase Target coupon
-$1 off TAZO tea purchase

SUBTOTAL     $172.77
-REDCARD SAVINGS     $1.64
TAX     $9.97
TOTAL     $181.10

TARGET GIFT CARD      $140
TARGET DEBIT CARD     $41.10

6/27     EWC

Tip     $10

I don’t even know what to stay or where to start.  What I will say is this: $1169.97, and that’s what I get for it?  For once, I’d have to say this isn’t that bad.

There’s a lot of side-whining going on in this post, but that was to note to myself later where things went wrong.  I also know I lost a receipt that went to a Kroger visit, and I am really irritated I lost it since it showed the price-gouging that they do on the Digiorno cheese I like to use on my pasta.  I paid almost $6 for it at Kroger, and when I went to Walmart today (I’ll do another post for that later), I saw it for about $3.00.

I guess the biggest thing I have to be more aware of is that there are some specific places I need to go for certain things.  I will always need a supply of frozen fish to eat, so when I head to Walmart for that, I need to be more conscientious and get some pasta cheese then, too.

Most importantly, you’ll notice I did not have a slew of coupons this time at Target, and that killed my bottom line.  I have got to waste more time combining coupons, sales, and Cartwheel offers.  You’ve seen me get more stuff there for less.  Also, clothes are expensive at Target, so I may need to shift more clothes purchases (when it is workout clothes, that it) to Walmart.

Target’s quality of clothing is so much better, though!  And they had my size of underwear, too!  Super duper midget size is not very common (the underwear pack I bought is offered cheaper through Amazon, but wait for it- my size wasn’t offered the last time I looked last month- urgh- let’s hope that changes next month).

Did I mention that I still haven’t bought the one thing I really have needed all summer: sunglasses?  Urgh.  But when I went to Walmart today, I saw they have reasonable ones for less than $10, something Target doesn’t offer, so I guess I’ll make a stop at Walmart this week and find my dream pair of sunglasses.

 

 

 

 

6/01     ALDI

Strawberries     $1.19
Kiwi     $1.29
Blackberries     $1.89
Sourdough     $1.99
Bananas      $0.59
Baby carrots     $0.99
Ravioli     $2.49
Strawberries     $1.19
Romaine hearts     $2.79
Croutons     $2.79
Blueberries     $2.79
Yogurts     $1.54
Eggs     $2.09
Milk     $2.09
Tomatoes     $3.98

SUBTOTAL     $27.31

6/01     BARNES AND NOBLE

Book     $7.99
Robot kit     $14.95

SUBTOTAL     $22.94
TAX     $1.89
TOTAL     $24.83

6/03     SPROUTS

Honey      $7.79
Vitamins     $7.99

SUBTOTAL     $15.78

6/06     GLORIAS

Enchiladas, mixed drink     $24.88

Valet     $5

6/07     ANN TAYLOR FACTORY

Blouse top     $12
Another blouse top     $12
Sleeveless sweater     $10
Shorts     $24.99

SUBTOTAL     $58.99
TAX     $4.87
TOTAL     $63.86

6/07     FAMOUS FOOTWEAR

Bearpaw shoes     $24.99
Blowfish summer shoes     $29.99

SUBTOTAL     $54.98
TAX     $4.54
TOTAL     $59.92

Well shoot.  These few days so far have blown my budget.  This is $221.58.

But you know what?  That’s kind of okay.  The shoes have been a purchase I have put off for ages, and the soft ones are an indulgence, but I am thrilled about them.  So so soft.

And the clothes will allow me to have more to wear at work this summer during the long days.  We start working ten hour days on Monday, so that might also help me keep from going shopping- if I am too exhausted to do anything except work and sleep, it might be good for me financially.

 

5/24 TARGET

Frosted Flakes, nom nom nom.

Frosted Flakes, nom nom nom.

All kinds of veggies

All kinds of veggies

Chocolate cravings

Chocolate cravings

Goldfish and more chocolate

Goldfish and more chocolate

Wine stoppers

Wine stoppers

Girl products

Girl products

Hells yes!  Hairspray!  Finally!

Hells yes! Hairspray! Finally!

Plunger should have been bought long ago, and I also wanted to get some gardening junk.

Plunger should have been bought long ago, and I also wanted to get some gardening junk.

Summertime is here, y'all.

Summertime is here, y’all.

Best spending of money, ever.  This cutting board makes me so happy.

Best spending of money, ever. This cutting board makes me so happy.

Because I removed that stupid Reliant surge protection charge.

Because I removed that stupid Reliant surge protection charge.

Should be comfy cozy.

So pretty

So pretty

I am extremely paranoid of running out of toilet paper, to the point that I have a lot of space in my storage devoted to toilet paper rolls.

I am extremely paranoid of running out of toilet paper, to the point that I have a lot of space in my storage devoted to toilet paper rolls.

 

Energizer batteries     $6.99 – $1.00 manu. coupon = $5.99
Hershey Kisses     2 @ $3.29/each = $6.58
Lindt dark chocolate bar     $2.24
Goldfish crackers     $3.99
Drink powder mix, individuals     $1.79     (Cartwheel savings $0.10)
Tomatoes     $2.50
Frosted Flakes     $2.94
Nature Valley Crunch granola     $3.69
Oatmeal     $1.75     (Cartwheel savings $0.10)
Raspberries     $2.99
Honeycrisp apples     $6.06
Green Giant frozen      $2.50 (2 @ $1.25)
Green Giant frozen     $1.79
Green Giant frozen      $2.50 (2 @ $1.25)
Frozen waffles     $1.50
Surge protector      $8.79
Armorall wipes     $3.99
Sunscreen     $9.99 – $1.00 manu. coupon = $8.99
Lipstick     $6.79 – $1.00 manu. coupon = $5.79 (Cartwheel savings $1.20)
Garnier hairspray    $3.31 – $2.00 manu. coupon = $1.31
Bath towel     2 @ $4.24 = $8.48 (Cartwheel savings $1.50)
Accent rug     $9.99
Door mat     $8.49 (Cartwheel savings $1.50)
Wine stoppers     $4.69
Cutting board     $9.99
Paper towels     $0.97
Matches     $0.89
Toilet paper     $9.99 – $0.50 manu. coupon = $9.49
Wipes     $3.07 (Cartwheel savings $0.17)
Always pads     $5.49 – $0.50 manu. coupon = $4.99
Tampons     $4.99
Tampax     2 @ $6.99 = $13.98
Liners     $4.49
Bandages     $2.04
Replenish contacts solution     $9.39 – $3.00 manu. coupon = $6.39
Eye drops     $3.84 – $1.50 manu. coupon = $2.34
Plunger     $6.19
Trowel     $1.00

- $2.50 TAMPAX COUPON
-$1.00 COUPON
-$1.79 FREE VEGETABLES COUPON
-$1.00 COUPON
-$5.00 Store Coupon (no clue where that came from, but I’ll take it)
-$5.00 Store Coupon (same here)

SUBTOTAL     $163.86
REDCARD SAVINGS    $3.44
TAX     $9.03
TOTAL     $169.45

5/25     KROGER

Boule     $2.99
Strawberries     $1.88
Strawberries     $1.88
Raspberries     $0.99
Raspberries     $0.99
Raspberries     $0.99
Blueberries     $0
Blueberries     $3.39
Cream cheese      $2.99
Ice cream     $1.00
Ice cream     $1.00
Yogurt      $3.50
Tortilla     $1.59
Yogurt     $2.50 (5 @ $0.50)
Milk     $1.99
Simply Juice     $1.99

TAX     $0.16
TOTAL     $29.83

5/26     KROGER GAS

Gasoline     $37.28

5/25     LOWE’S

8 inch pot     $2.97
Saucer     $2.48

SUBTOTAL     $5.45
TAX     $0.45
TOTAL     $5.90

5/31     CONDOM SENSE

Personal item     $15.95

TAX     $1.32
TOTAL     $17.27

5/31     EUROPEAN WAX CENTER

Slow growth lotion     $20

TAX     $1.65
TOTAL     $1.65

This is $261.38 of spending on things that were somewhat needed, needed, and completely frivolous.  I think you can tell what was frivolous and what wasn’t.  Sadly, Target continues to get my money from me, for various reasons, but mainly because they have schemed in a way that ensures they have what I need at the most convenient price, so I spend the money there.

 

 

 

This is what boring people do with boring things. And it makes them happy. I am boring.

Newspaper image via Creative Commons

 

5/11     WALMART

Orange juice     $3.78

SUBTOTAL/TOTAL     $3.78

5/13     KROGER GAS

Gasoline     11.343 gal @ $3.28/gal = $37.31

5/15     CHIPOTLE

Steak bowl     $7.20
Chips and guac     FREE (I had a coupon)

SUBTOTAL     $7.20
TAX     $0.59
TOTAL     $7.79

5/15    LOWE’S

Duct connector     $3.97
Dryer duct extender     $1.97
Foil transition duct     $9.97

SUBTOTAL     $15.91
TAX     $1.31
TOTAL     $17.22

5/17     CENTRAL MARKET

Meatloaf dinner for 2     $13.99
Coconut cake slice     $2.99
Blueberries     $2.50
Raspberries     $2.98
Dark chocolate organic     $2.47
Choco-Love bar     $2.99
Gunsight Rock cabernet     $12.95
Peaches     $3.46
Sourdough bread     $3.69

SUBTOTAL     $48.02
TAX     $2.67
TOTAL     $50.69

5/18     ALDI

Peaches     $1.47
Tomatoes     $0.59
Strawberries     $1.29
Strawberries     $1.29
Blackberries     $1.69
Blueberries     $2.79
Kiwi     $1.29
Vanilla yogurt (4 @ $0.39/each = $1.56
Organic linguine     $1.19
Romaine hearts     $2.79
Skim milk    $2.99
Organic baby carrots    $1.49
Jam      $1.99
Alfredo sauce     $1.69
Plain bagels      $1.69

SUBTOTAL    $25.80

5/22     WHATABURGER

Whataburger, fries, drink      $6.62
-FREE WHATABURGER COUPON     -$2.99

SUBTOTAL    $3.63
TAX     $0.30
TOTAL     $3.93

5/23     RENT

Villas at Chase Oaks     $739
Water, trash, etc     $49.99

So, for once, my costs other than rent were only $146.52.  Rent and such make the expenses of this post $788.99.

I am finally making progress in keeping the non-essential expenses to a minimum.  I am out of medical debt now, too.  Which is thrilling since I was very behind on my medical debt.

And yes, for me, it was behind.

Now that I have settled into my apartment a little more, here are what my fixed expenses look like:

RENT     $739

WATER/TRASH/ETC    ~$40-60

ELECTRICITY     ~$40-50 (my last bill was $40.60, and that was with an erroneous charge)

INTERNET/CABLE     $76.40

Guys: my fixed, non-negotiable expenses so far are $910.40.

Now, keep in mind, I call these “non-negotiable” because they are what will keep my lights on, etc.  (And also, because my previous employer called certain customer service requirements “non-negotiable,” so the adjective kinda just rolls off my tongue easy.)  I didn’t include food or anything.  These are bills I can count on every single month.  I know they are coming, and I generally have a good idea of how much they will be.  My electric company send me an email every week telling me about my previous week’s electricity use.  As for the cable?  Well, I know they will charge the same thing each month, and I know it is highway robbery, but it’s not like the company is a non-profit, right?

Speaking of highway robbery, you should check your electricity bills for silly charges like “surge protection.”  There was a $9.99 monthly fee discussed when I set up the electricity account, and I was told that it was “surge protection.”  Urgh.  I declined it, but then the representative told me it was mandatory in order to set up the account.

That’s the sneaky part.  Every company from the east coast to the west coast of the USA knows that people will hardly ever remember to “opt-out” of something, so they automatically opt you in to a service so that you have to be effortful and remove it later.

Unfortunately for my electric company, I remembered.  I called the “surge protection” supplier and cancelled the service and received a confirmation email.  I made a note of it and forgot about it.

Well, guess what was on my electric bill this time.  A charge.  For surge protection.

I called the company and sat on hold for 30 minutes while a representative gave me the runaround, telling me they couldn’t refund the charge since I had not called the electric company after cancelling the service with the surge protection-provider.  I called her out and told her that was crap, since I was never instructed to contact the electric provider directly, just to cancel it myself.  I asked to speak to a supervisor, and she explained that I had to be connected to a different department for that, and they had just left for the day (that’s because she had me on hold for 20 minutes.  Otherwise, I would have been able to talk to that department.).  Oh, and you can’t call that department directly tomorrow, she said, we have to connect you ourselves.

So I called the next day during my lunch break and reamed the poor guy from the customer service escalation department.  He was extremely patient and kind, and he agreed to refund the charge.  Apparently they DO tape your conversations with reps, and he found the recording and told me that the service was presented poorly, and he would refund me the money.

WOW.  I really do love my electric company.  And not just cause they have a Texan actor advertising it all the time.  The service this time annoyed me, but they fixed it.  And really, once again: it’s not a non-profit, so there’s no incentive for them to do otherwise.

The two things I need to get on are 1) a Netflix account and 2) a newspaper account.  The newspaper is supposed to be $2.99/week, so that’s a $156 expense a year.  And just so we’re clear, that’s totally worth its weight.  I love the newspaper.  That subscription option will give me a paper Sunday paper, and a digital newspaper every other day of the week.  That’s exactly what I need.  Maybe I am an old fogy for reading a paper, but really?  Oh well.

Don’t you wish you could insure this instead?

Image via Wikimedia Commons

5/6     TIME WARNER CABLE

Bill payment for internet services, basic cable, all that jazz     $76.40

5/7     CAR INSURANCE COMPANY

Six month policy premium payment      $344.79

5/9     TOTAL WINE AND BEER

Modelo beer (6 pk)     $7.99
Chimay Blue (750 ml)     $11.04
Crown Royal (200 ml)     $7.99
Veil raspberry vodka (50 ml)     $1.99

SUBTOTAL     $29.01
TAX     $2.39
TOTAL     $31.40

5/10     WALMART

Parsley flakes     $2.68
Take along (wtf is this?-oh, plastic containers!-)     $2.26
Candy     $4.68
Gum     $2.96
Tank top     $3.94
Tank top     $3.94
Tank top     $3.94

SUBTOTAL     $24.40
TAX     $1.79
TOTAL     $26.19

5/10     ALDI

Strawberries     $1.29
Strawberries     $1.29
2% Milk     $2.89
Couscous     $1.49
Couscous     $1.49
Organic pasta sauce     $1.99
Sourdough     $1.99
Penne pasta     $0.89
Farfalle     $0.89
Penne pasta     $0.89
Roma tomatoes     $0.89
Blackberries     $0.99
Blackberries     $0.99

SUB/TOTAL     $17.97

This is $496.75.  Heavens.

The worst part?  $421.19 of it was all bills.  Daaaaaaamn.  Being an adult is no fun, kiddies.

Happily, this will cover the car insurance until the summer is over.  As for other astronomical bills hanging over my head?  My right foot still needs to be paid, and the bill is over at my parents’ house…

There’s quite a bit of work that still needs to be done, as far as getting my spending under control.  I am doing much better about planning my trips to the store: for example, I have yet to have to go back for a massive trip to WalMart or Target to buy household items because I plan those trips carefully.  My toilet paper supply is still serving me well, and there’s still food in my freezer to eat.  The only things I am replacing are the fruits and veggies that I absolutely need fresh each week.

 

 

July Spending

$1645.66

June Spending

$1397.55

May Spending

$1897.95

April Spending

$1903.80

March Spending

$1942.27

February Spending

$1044.20

January Spending

$785.52

December Spending

$590.82

November Spending

$914.75

October Spending

$821.76

September Spending

$400.75

August Spending

$715.09

July Spending

$647.53

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