January Savings

February 1, 2011

I have records of my spending for last year, so at the end of each month I will be able to compare what I spent in 2010 with what I have spent in 2011. Even with the experiment, I am still spending plenty of money―on rent, groceries, bills, gas, dining out, and miscellaneous entertainment. I made a few big purchases this month, including entry into my first triathlon, so I actually expected to have spent more than I did last January.

But, in fact, I spent 3% less and put 89% more in savings. My biggest savings (22%) was in the “miscellaneous” category, which, in addition to new stuff, includes race entries, the credit card bill, and random expenses of living such as cost of riding Metro. (Restaurants are not included in the miscellaneous category for reasons implied below.) My next biggest savings was on groceries (14%), thanks to my efforts to use up everything in my fridge, freezer, and pantry. Several weeks this month, I had an extra few bucks in my wallet by the time the Saturday farmers market rolled around because I wasn’t spending cash on anything other than food and I didn’t need to pick up extra groceries midweek. This meant I took less out of the ATM.

I would’ve seen a bigger dip in my spending had my restaurant bills for this month not been nearly 600% higher than they were last January (yikes!). In January 2010 I spent money on meals in two restaurants: dinner at fancy burger joint in the suburbs and light lunch at a café in D.C. Last month I paid for three really delicious, multicourse dinners replete with vino downtown. One of the dinners was a Christmas present for Channing―may I count that bill against December instead, pretty please?

Last January I spent almost $200 on items that are off-limits now, including yarn and fabric for crafting projects, toner for the printer, and a new pair of jeans. I’m guessing I would’ve bought more stuff, had I not had a large Christmas credit card bill to pay.

My credit card bill this January was significantly less because, thanks to a new job and a 15% increase in salary over last Christmas, I was able to pay for most presents out of pocket. Of course, I started that new job in March 2010 and spent a lot of money on office-appropriate clothes during the last couple weeks of February. Savings next month should be pretty sizable. Stay tuned.

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One Response to “January Savings”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Didn’t know you got a new job. Congrats!


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