Here’s where I lay it all bare, and show you, play by play, my October expenses. I’m considering October somewhat of a Month 0, since this experiment is really going from November ’17 to November ’18. Though I’ve been pretending to use Pocketbook for some time, this is the first month I’ve really taken stock of and analysed what it’s telling me.
There’s a lot of power in ruthlessly tracking your spending, especially if you really respond to self-emotional manipulation. Much in the way you might decide against eating a second slice of cake because you’ll have to track the calories, I have found myself choosing not to buy things just so I don’t have to face seeing the purchase in big, fat, black and white letters on my end-of-month expense report.
I’m reasonably happy with most of this month’s expenses. Our grocery bill was actually semi-reasonable – but that’s only because for 8 of the 31 days we were in Japan.
…yes. Japan. Look, you don’t have to tell me twice – I’m well aware this goes directly against everything I’ve said so far. We booked this close to a year ago, before I’d really woken up to how desperately I needed to change my spending. It was insanely cheap – $350.00 per person return for flights, $400.00 per person on accommodation. We ate very cheaply (110¥ onigiri for breakfast every day was my jam). Even so, it’s a grand and some that I could have put towards my debt, and despite often debating whether or not to cancel the trip, we decided to go and enjoy what would be our last trip away for at least the next 12 months.
You’ll see that October wasn’t the best month for paying off my debt, but I know freeing up cash by not going to Japan every month is going to be great over the next year.
So here we go – October expenses:
|Item||Cost||Lousy attempt at justifying expense|
|Groceries||$282.94||This is a little lower since we ate in Japan for a week.|
|Electricity||$46.88||This is a quarterly expense. I'm such a stickler for turning lights off, and we didn't use heaters at all this winter. Here's hoping we can keep summer's bill similarly low.|
|Clothes/shoes||$124.95||This is highly unusual! I found a pair of Vans at 60% off for our Japan trip and bought a summer dress. I also had Afterpay payments to make on the Birkenstocks I bought last month.|
|Blog hosting||$77.58||Again, not a regular expense. This is a one-off for the year.|
|Charitable donations||$5.00||What can I say? I am exactly $5.00 worth of a nice person.|
|Eating out||$32.75||We went out for wings once and got sushi once. I know, both totally avoidable expenses, but I can't stress enough what a reduction this is from our old ways!|
|Takeaway coffee||$11.50||Again - in months past this figure was closer to $100.00. All the same, I need to cut it out.|
|Google Play||$11.50||I bought the Harry Potter game and an e-book to read on the flight. I know, avoidable expenses. But we were flying Jetstar...|
|Entertainment||$14.00||Pre-purchased tickets to the new Star Wars movie.|
|Japan||$1,232.19||The last vestige of my former spendthrift self. This was a trip booked about 10 months ago for Old Mate's 30th and our three year anniversary. I am well aware how irresponsible a decision this was, and had it been a few months later we wouldn't have booked it. Nonetheless, we did it as frugally as possible and soaked up every drop of our last trip for some time.|
|Melbourne||$114.82||We booked a two night trip to Melbourne for my 30th. Old Mate's flights were paid by his employer; mine by frequent flyer points. Expense is for accommodation.|
|Grand total||$3,040.05||This was an especially expensive month, and one that I could have done without, especially since we only recently moved out and I only had one stream of income this month. All the same, what's done is done and all I can do is learn from this.|
|Total debt on 1st October||$43,355.00|
|Total debt on 31st October||$43,226.00|
|Net debt paid||$129.00||Not my finest moment. Believe me, I'm well aware. November will be better.|