July 2019: vacation. And moving

So I just got done with FinCon19 and in lieu of me writing a review post, here’s my ridiculously long-delayed July spending post. Hey, I may be super behind the times, but at least I’m not quitting my blog like so many other people seem to be recently!

Two words sum up the month: vacation and moving. Specifically two separate vacations back-to-back, and then a whole five days at home to pack up before moving in with my partner. That sounds like a totally great, not at all stressful timeline, right??? Yeah. Let’s dive into that.

All the vacationing

July was two (almost) weeks of back-to-back family vacations. The first was with my partner’s family. They do a weeklong summer vacation every other year and this year’s location was Park City, Utah. I’m not a skiier so I don’t know when I would’ve been up to Park City otherwise.

We did plenty of relaxing but also found plenty do to as well, including the Olympic Park. We did also do a few hikes—hiking straight up a ski hill is hard, especially when you add in a bunch of altitude!

My partner and I opted not to spend money on the expensive rides/attractions at the Olympic Park, but we did get a super nice view from a free lift down!
My only thought here: send oxygen
We opted to spend $25/each on a day ski lift pass so that we could bypass the 3 hour hike up to this lake…

I left a few days early so I could go to work for two days at the end of the week. And so that I could start getting over the jetlag and not take a Friday night redeye flight back to DC like my partner did since I was the one driving us down to NC for my family’s annual beach week!

Y’all know you can always find me here for that artsy sea oats at sunset content

And then five days later I went and ruined all that relaxing I’d done.

Moving sucks

That about sums it up.

I hadn’t moved in five years. And I’m somewhat of… what’s the opposite of a minimalist? I’m that. I’ve been slowly, slowly letting go of some things, but those were a tiny, tiny drop in the bucket. Maybe half of a drop.

Only having five days to pack everything didn’t help either. And sure, I could’ve started before I left for vacation, but honestly I needed Gwen to move out first so that I had space to start even taking stock of what I had (it had been so long since I saw my living/dining rooms without a ton of extra stuff and boxes!). Given that she moved out four days before me, that was a compressed timeline.

We were super lucky and my partner’s dad came to help us move the furniture, so we didn’t have to hire anyone or beg our friends (let’s get real, we no longer have any friends still living here outside of the PF community sooooooo y’all got super lucky we didn’t enlist any of you!) to help.

Another lucky thing? Our lease started a few days before the end of July. I did not enjoy double-paying for rent for those six days (reflected below 😭), but my lease wasn’t up until the end of the month (and my partner unfortunately had to pay for an extra three weeks of double-rent). Having time to make multiple trips back and forth is so great. Granted, it meant I could drag things out longer than they needed to be, but holy shit I cannot get over how much better it is to have overlap than to move out of the old place and into the new place on the same day. Never again.

Despite the reduced pressure thanks to not having to move out of my old place immediately, moving was still stressful. I had multiple breakdowns over how much shit I have. I am still avoiding looking at some boxes for the time being because holy shit I have so much stuff. My partner was super supportive during those times (how many times has he seen me cry now? I don’t know, but we at least doubled the count in the process of moving), which made things as least-stressful as possible.

July spending on moving included: a modem—my partner already had a router and no fucking way we were going to be paying the rental fee for a Comcast modem—an IKEA sleeper couch (lol remember this for August’s spending post), and some shelves.

What did I learn during this move? Shelves are the shit. SHELVES ARE SO GREAT. I yelled about them on my Instagram story for two weeks since it took us that long to get what we needed for our empty closets (there’s only so much stuff you can fit when you can only use the floor space instead of stacking).

Luckily this was the hardest move: we both were bringing full apartments’ worth of stuff (we both had couches, kitchen stuff, etc), and our new apartment is smaller than either of the ones we were moving from. It gets easier from here, not that I ever want to think about moving again 😅

Not all of my spending in July was vacation- or moving-related, however.

Turns out I can spend money on whatever I want?

It’s a weird thing, being an adult. I buy my own groceries and clothes and books and rugs and rug pads and everything else; I make money, I decide how I spend it/how much to spend. But for some reason I’ve never really felt that I could spend a bunch of money on electronics, beyond when I need a new laptop or phone thanks to said electronic dying or being on the verge of doing so. Like that’s always felt like a thing other people could do but I never gave myself permission to do so.

But shortly before going on two weeks of vacation, I was thinking about whether or not I’d be packing my laptop to bring with me.

Sure, I can use my phone, but for some things—like online barre workouts and writing blog posts and general entertainment on planes and otherwise—my phone doesn’t cut it. Especially because a) I deliberately bought a small iPhone so it fits in my tiny hand so I don’t have to use two hands to hold it (RIP, that option. I can’t wait to be forced to buy a bigger phone soon! 🙃 ) and b) the battery life on my phone ain’t so great anymore even though I replaced it last year. I’ve historically brought my laptop with me for those things.

But my laptop is HEAVY. It’s an older generation MacBook Pro with a CD/DVD drive in it, which adds a ton of weight. And having to lug that weight around affects my ability to pack light/changes which bags I pack in (aka I have to bring a backpack instead of a tote or large purse so that the weight gets distributed to both shoulders. I frequently carry heavy purses but my laptop is where I draw the line).

My laptop is also old and slow and kinda frustrating. And having to literally lug it around adds to the frustration.

I have never in my life wanted an iPad. I thought they were pretty redundant since between my phone and my laptop I’ve got everything covered. But when considering the effort of packing my laptop on trips, all of a sudden an iPad started looking extremely promising for travel (plus I can use it with my recipe app in the kitchen while cooking, which I currently use the small screen on my phone for).

I could either buy a new, much lighter, much more portable laptop soon before my old one goes, and to the tune of about $2,000. Or I could buy an iPad for a few hundred dollars now, figuring I’d be less frustrated with my laptop if I were only using it at home, thereby delaying the date at which I’ll shell over the inevitable $2,000 for a new one (do not @ me about buying a Mac instead of a PC. I grew up on Macs. The switch is not happening).

So I bought an iPad (and case and bluetooth keyboard because I refuse to do any significant amount of typing on the keyboard on the screen). I told my partner I was doing it (as a courtesy, only in the interest of transparency since we don’t share finances), and I did it. And soon I had a brand new iPad, easy as that. What a weird and novel concept!

I forgot to cancel my Prime membership after the free month expired, but I noted in June that it came in handy for July. And it did—with free expedited shipping so I could get my iPad before vacation. And also later with moving stuff.

The numbers

Rent $1233.87 Ouch! My last month of $1050 rent, plus double rent for the six days my partner and I had our new place at the end of the month
Internet and utilities $68.64 My portion of utilities and internet at the old place, plus $3 for water at our new place (booooo paying for water now)
Groceries $112.03
Gas $58.53 That’s what driving down to NC for the beach will get you. But I also hit 39 mpg on the way which felt AWESOME since it’s been many months since I saw that number. I absolutely LOVE my ’06 Corolla!
Barre membership $104.94
Stupid tax $15.90 noooooooo
Moving $257.99 Modem, couch, shelves
Restaurants/bars $54.39 Including buying dinner for Gwen as a thank you for picking me up from BWI super late on my way back from Utah
Vacation $177.44 Expensive. A whole lot of this was groceries, but also some airport food and some fast food while driving. I also paid for an Airbnb for an August trip
Misc household goods $68.45 I stocked up on a bunch of cleaning supplies, mostly #movingproblems
Personal care $13.99 Lots of vacation meant I needed to buy more sunscreen
Charitable giving $25.00
Gifts -$40.00 It was the annual “give each niece/nephew a $20 bill for their birthday exchange” so I got one from two sets of aunts and uncles 😂
Misc dues/subscriptions $36.99 Patreon dues
Clothes $24.53
Other shopping $503.48 I bought an iPad! And a new case for my phone. And a tote bag
Domain name $13.16 Annual renewal for myfullname.com
Total spending: $2729.33
Paychecks and other income $1270.03
Retirement contributions $1685.86
Side hustle income $91.54 This was higher, but I had a pretty expensive bar tab at a goodbye party for a side hustle coworker, which I subtracted out of this income—it’s not restaurant spending because it wouldn’t have happened without having this job
Moving $250.00 I sold two purses and also sold furniture to Gwen
Cash back $506.46 A credit card bonus and a check from Ebates
Total income: $3803.89
Total: $1074.56
Savings rate: 28%

Ouch. And that’s even with my 3.5% COL increase kicking in. The good news is I can say with certainty—having already run the numbers (it is almost mid-September after all)—that August looks much better.

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