Once again another week gone and getting rid of some spending habits has been quite difficult. I chose to eat out for a couple of meals and was subject to one of those nasty impulse buys. No matter how hard I try, cutting out impulse buys will probably be one of the hardest things to do for me. This week also came with some great cooked meals and two consecutive no spend days. I also opened the Chase Sapphire Preferred card to start my journey on the Chase Gauntlet, so I added my utilities to my credit card spending to get myself closer to the spending requirement. Overall, not too bad and another week I can be fairly happy with my spending even though I hit a couple of speed bumps. Here’s the break down for this week’s spending:
Total Spending: $294.35
- $8.30 – Jimmy John’s for lunch at work
- $2.45 – Tennis balls at Target
- $26.46 – Kroger
- $27.77 – Gas
- $14.62 – McDonald’s with my brother after playing tennis
- $96.49 – Train ride from Munich, Germany to Zell am See, Austria
- $69.81 – Utilities
- $8.49 – Skyline Chili
- $39.96 – Udemy courses
- Total Meal Spending: $26.46
- Cost per meal per person: $4.41
It’s summer so that means we get to fire up the grill and have a cool refreshing salad to start out the week! Pork, in my opinion, is one of the more underrated meats to cook because it’s a change from the typical chicken that most American households cook on a daily basis, while having the texture of red meat without actually being it, for all those heart healthy people out there. Peaches are now in season so I took full advantage of them and paired them with a crisp cucumber to make a simple salad. The dressing to go on top was a honey lime vinaigrette that beautifully married the two flavors together. Then later in the week I cooked an Asian inspired stir fry. The combination of the carrot, snap peas, and cabbage made a great side to the wonderfully flavorful baked chicken. The marinade and sauce was super simple and can be recreated for any other Asian inspired dish you may want.
Even with tracking my spending to find where my money goes I am a still a sucker for stupid impulse buys that ultimately don’t lead to any benefit. I was sitting at home on Saturday morning finding myself becoming a little bored and I bought 4 courses from Udemy based off a Buzzfeed article. COMPLETELY STUPID! I had plenty of other things on my check list that needed to be done for the day and I still got trapped into scrolling through my phone. But, alas, here we are and the money spent. Hopefully some of the courses I bought are helpful in some way. I picked up an online marketing course and masterclass blogging course to hopefully help me reach more of an audience with my blog. I also splurged on two potential hobbies/side hustles for me: voice acting and photography. Not sure if either of those will come to fruition or not but the courses are bought nonetheless.
The train ticket was a necessary purchase and I was reimbursed half of the money from my sister for our train ride from Munich, Germany to Zell am See, Austria. We leave for Germany this week and I am super pumped to be going on another European vacation with my sister and this time we’ll get to experience some of it with my brother and parents as well. For more info on planning a trip like this check out Planning a European Vacation with a Little Bit of Travel Hacking. Instead of renting a car for the week, we decided to pay for the round-trip ticket and use public transportation for all other traveling in the cities.
The other big expense this month was my utilities. Normally I have this expense taken right out of my checking account and don’t think anything else of it. But then I started the Chase Gauntlet and wanted to make sure that I hit the $4000 spending requirement, so I wanted to make sure all my regular monthly expenses were on the newest credit card of the bunch. This week I moved over my utilities, internet, and Hulu and now these monthly expenses will help me get closer to the goal. My biggest take away from this week was talking with my sister and brother-in-law about their utility bill and this past month they only paid $17 FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH!!! I was absolutely blown away by that number. I was happy with my $68 bill because that was about $20-25 cheaper than some of my previous months. My sister has one huge thing in her favor to help reduce this expense. She lives in a 2 bedroom apartment that is partially underground so that helps regulate the temperature better. None the less, kudos to them. Their great success this month got me thinking that I need to try and get on their level to reduce my utility bill even more. Check in next month to my Weekly Spending Update to see if I improved on the utility bill.
What are some of the ways you cut your spending this week? Let me know in the comments!
Steven | Rx for FIRE