As I mentioned in my No Spend post, I recently took a microscope to my finances. Below is a summary of my spending from April and subdivided in to categories with help from (No that’s not and ad for Mint, I just like them!)

Let the public shaming begin!

Category Spending
Rent & Home $975.00
Food & Dining $873.26
Auto & Transport $425.91
Financial $350.00
Shopping $347.99
Bills & Utilities $192.15
Pets $138.72
Travel $130.99
Business Services $91.21
Health & Fitness $57.08
Entertainment $64.42
Total $3,646.73


Are you cringing? Cause I am. Let’s dissect this.

Rent & Home My share of the rent. Nothing more

Food & Dining Inclusive of groceries and eating out (further split out below.) Important caveat to know: I do the grocery shopping for 2 people and am reimbursed by my cohabitant so that figure for me alone is approximately half. We take turns paying for meals out so that’s probably an accurate figure for just me. Fast food though, that’s all me. That’s work lunches. I’d say this is a pretty typical month for me, maybe even on the low end because I typically spend more at bars.

Category Spending
Groceries $462.29
Restaurants $228.19
Fast Food $102.11
Alcohol & Bars $67.30
Food & Dining $11.99
Coffee Shops $1.38
Total $873.26

Auto and transport Inflated this month because I spent $50 to get my car thoroughly cleaned (so much dried coffee stuck in my cup holders)  had to pay for my car registration ($130 happy birthday to me from the state of Colorado) and I needed an oil change. The remainder is gas and insurance.

Financial Transferring money from my checking to my savings account, not a true expense.

Shopping $155 is towards a Fitbit (birthday present to myself). $94 is impulse shopping at Nordstrom (One skirt, one pair of shoes). $25 is a new pair of shoes from Target which I am already hating. I need to put a ban on buying flats at Target. It never ends well for me.  The remainder (  $74) is miscellaneous Target shopping for necessities like pet supplies, house supplies and some personal care supplies, but I’ve already discarded the receipts so I can’t really break it out further than that.  I’d like to say this month is not representative of my usual shopping habits, what with my birthday treat yo’self,  but I’m afraid that’d be a lie. Ugh.

Bills & Utilities: Cell phone, tax bill I’m repaying over 3 years. (Thanks City of Lakewood, Ohio)  and a credit card payment.

The Rest: I had several “special”expenses that hit this month and inflated my categories above what I think their average should be:

Pets: Multiple vet visits for street cat to get her shots. This will carry on in May.

Travel: Paid for TSA Pre-check. Expense occurs every 5 years. Also airport parking several times.

Business services: Paid to set up The Mindful Hustle, did some major dry cleaning.

Health and Fitness: Copay and some over the counter painkillers. Pretty average month

Entertainment: Netflix, HBONow, Rockies Game. Average month.

Some notes on expenses I incurred  $443 in what I’d consider special expenses  (car registration, car cleaning, vet bills, pre-check, dry cleaning, hosting fees) Only one was a real necessity (car registration.) Pre-check felt necessary because I only have but so much god-given strength to not sass TSA agents standing around yucking it up while I wait in line for an hour. I can’t end up on the no-fly list, so I decided pre-check was a worthy investment.  I didn’t HAVE to keep street cat, but she’s pretty cool and keeps Gremlin entertained. The Mindful Hustle, well I wanted to start writing! I suppose I could have gone with a free domain through Blogspot or WordPress but I wanted to “go big or go home” with this endeavor.  I’m hoping next month will see less of these “special” bills but you just never know what life is going to throw at you.

Income Not listed above but obviously an important part of this puzzle. For now, I’m not quite ready to disclose my salary from my 9-5 job. But I do want to talk about my other income sources, this is The Mindful HUSTLE after all. $234 earned dog walking/watching with Rover. $2.39 in interest earned through various accounts. No cash back from credit cards this month, unfortunately.

So that’s that. Definite room for improvement. How I’ll go about it, well, I need to let this soak in for awhile. I’m already 6 days into a No Spend Challenge but I know that’s not a sustainable answer.  Two categories that seem obvious to tackle is Shopping and Food. Other costs are fixed and there’s nothing to be done with them. Stay tuned.