August 2017: Fitbits and roadtrips

It’s hard to believe that August is already over, although the definite fall feel in the air does certainly help! But it is, and therefore it’s time for another monthly spending report.

Roadtrip
The month started out with a bang with more vacation time (right after my week at the beach, oops!). I have a friend who just moved from the DMV area to LA (hello, excuse to visit LA!) at the beginning of the month, who was super-generous enough to invite me to join for a few days. Anyway, it was amazing and wonderful and I’m just going to say fuck it to FI and go ahead and quit my job to travel around this beautiful country for a while, because that’s a responsible thing to do, right? Also that reminds me that I didn’t put up many pictures on Instagram. Lemme go post some #latergrams to make everyone (including me of past me) jealous…

Like so: sunset at Bryce Canyon!

Fitbit
I had an Amazon gift card I got for Christmas that I just didn’t want to spend (does anyone else do that? Wait to save a gift card for an “appropriate” occasion even though they could’ve used it a long time ago? What is with that?), despite, y’know, having bought things on Amazon many times since Christmas. Well the time arrived when my old Fitbit, which had been chugging along for 2.5 years, decided that battery life wasn’t a thing it needed anymore and died on me twice in a week.

I originally got a Fitbit because I was curious how long my walk to work was (not nearly as long as I thought, for the record), not because I’m obsessive about tracking my steps or anything. It’s also not like not having a Fitbit is going to keep me from going to barre on a regular basis. But. Through the power of a smartphone, I have $3 pulled out of my checking and into savings when I hit my step goal for the day and another $3 when I hit my distance goal. Sure, I could do this manually, but it’s so much easier to have apps do it for me, and therefore a pain when my Fitbit inconveniently dies. Also a pain to have to charge it every 36 hours or so.

I thought about getting the newer version of mine, which would’ve been free with the Amazon gift card, but eventually decided to pull out the big guns and get a fancy one with a heart rate tracker. This was mostly because it’s nice to a) use it as a watch and b) actually be able to see stats without syncing to my phone, but it’s been nice having the heart rate stats for workouts and sleep tracking. Shiny, expensive new Fitbit with pristine metal and glass just ripe for the scratching means I also paid for a screen protector. Since Amazon is a dangerous wonderful world, I also found two interchangeable wristbands to dress it up. I’ve never particularly been fond of wearing that sporty Fitbit look all the time, so it’s nice to have something that looks better at work.

Side hustling
Okay, so it’s not a sustainable side hustle. I have yet to pick up another job, which would actually be a side hustle. But, in addition to more Craigslisting, I also sold some gift cards I wasn’t going to use, and dog/housesat for a coworker two weekends ago. Only the Craigslist money shows up below because the rest was deposited in September.

Here are the numbers for August. You can find past spending reports here.

Rent

$1025.00

My half of rent, minus $25 for the inconvenience of having to wait a week for the new washer and dryer to get delivered (my landlord also totally waited for Labor Day sales, let’s not kid ourselves about that. I mean props, but I hauled a shit ton of laundry over to the house where I was dogsitting two weekends ago)
Internet and utilities

$60.11

Groceries

$124.67

Student loans

$110.25

Automatic loan payment
Vacation

$144.62

Shoutout to my lovely national parks pass for letting me get into super expensive parks for free!
Gas

$14.81

Barre membership

$104.69

Fitbit

$93.19

Transportation

$5.00

Damn you, lack of free on-street parking in Alexandria on a Sunday during brunch!
Misc shopping

$141.20

New water filter for the fridge, some gifts, a few cleaning supplies. Plus, ahem, an Ikea trip. I was relatively good there, but I definitely walked out with a bit more than the food storage jars I’d gone in to buy…
Clothing

$24.31

It was time to say goodbye to my $5 Old Navy flip flops, which had plastic straps that decided to start rubbing the skin off the top of my feet. Walking to the beach never hurt so much!
New work purse and wallet

$205.16

A note on this: this number would’ve scared me not that long ago (and still does, to be honest) because I very rarely buy things that are this expensive. But I wanted a quality leather purse that’ll last me a long time when my current one gives out, and my current wallet was horribly ratty; this was a conscious decision to spend more on higher quality items. Also they were both 65% off, which is the only reason I could think about affording them to begin with! I definitely took this amount out of my tip jar right away to cover this purchase
Restaurants/bars

$38.96

Since all of this included seeing people/family visiting DC, I’m totally fine with it. (Plus this got me 5x points on dining on my Chase Freedom)
Personal care

$46.20

Natural sunscreen is expensive. Also the pink tax is real and it hurts (actually quite literally when I run out of painkillers at crucial times. Hah, I’m hilarious!)
Kindle book

$4.99

Somehow I had a $3 credit for an ebook. I don’t question these things when it’s an excuse to buy a new book
Misc dues/subscriptions

$21.56

Spotify, Patreon, and YNAB
Giving

$25.00

I donated $50 to a Houston-based independent journalist who weathered the hurricane okay and is buying supplies to bring to various shelters around the city. The other half will show up in September because it was 2 payments of $25 and the second didn’t clear in August
Costco membership

$30.00

Time for that renewal, split with my roommate
Total spending:

$2219.72

Paychecks and other income

$2418.41

Side hustle income

$80.00

More Craigslisting! I did some more side hustling but that’ll show up next month when the money finally hits my account
Total income:

$2498.41

Total:

$287.69

Hey hey! And on the zero day front, August had 13. I can totally do better, but it’s probably going to require a rehaul of my current grocery shopping strategy, which is to go multiple times a week for smaller trips. Will I be able to accomplish that? Stay tuned.

And here’s another roadtrip photo just because

6 Replies to “August 2017: Fitbits and roadtrips”

  1. Ugh. I’m always jealous when I see other DC bloggers post their rent amounts. I clearly did not do my research…and am paying too much! I need to think about that when it comes time to renew my lease!

    Your photos are amazing! The canyonlands of the west have some of my favorite scenery on Earth.

    1. Oof, that’s rough. How long do you have to go on your current lease? And as much as my rent seems like a lot to me, I’m just lucky I landed here (and that it hasn’t been raised) because right out of college I had no idea what I could afford or what I should be paying!

      Thank you! That was my second trip out there and I don’t have any words for how gorgeous it all is. I’d love to go back right away for a third time!

        1. It’s really hard to argue with a good place in a good location. I’d probably make the same call in your shoes (and let me tell you about not wanting to move. It’s probably at least 40% of the reason I’ve been here so long!).

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