It is the same banal question at the end of every month – how on earth is it the end of April already? This month was full of activities and adventures – we spent a long-weekend hiking, I went to an Inner Peace Party (more on that in a future post, but it was a revelation), I hosted a few events at work, began coordinating yoga classes at work, kick-started a fitness program for young lawyers, and went out (a lot).
This financial assessment is based solely on my $120/week discretionary dollars; it doesn’t consider what we cutely call our ‘team account’ spending, which encompasses rent, food, petrol, and other miscellaneous life necessities. It also doesn’t include personal health insurance, phone bills and other boring costs. The motivation between dividing it up this way was for me to focus more specifically upon my personal spending habits. As a passionate discretionary spender, I have never really faced the true cost of my love of clothes, stationery and other miscellaneous life items that I view as needs, and most view as wants. I started tracking my spending in this category only, which has thrown up some interesting habits.
So without further ado, my spending (set out as the week ending the date in the top row):
The total amount I was able to set aside for the month was $23.34. Although this number isn’t an overwhelming victory of fiscal responsibility, it certainly is a huge improvement on my spending in March. Interestingly, I didn’t convincingly track my spending this month; instead I just relied on using my credit card and doing an end of month round-up. Although I did manage to stay under budget over the course of the month, I felt generally out of control for the entirety of the month, not knowing what I’d spent and where my money was going.
The best money I spent this month was $68 on a last-minute triathlon entry. I love triathlons (despite being terrible at them), and we had so much fun at this spontaneous event.
The ‘worst’ money I spent was the $42.96 on candles / $69.90 on gifts. ‘Worst’ is not the best label for this particular spending; it involved trying to buy a gift for my very good friend. I’d already decided on one thing (the $69.90 gift), felt like it was too expensive, bought a wholly unconvincing $42.96 gift (lovely but boring candle), then realised I should have just got the $69.90 gift so I bought that and kept the candle and basically cost myself a whole lot of unnecessary money. While I’m glad I got the better gift for my friend, I’m annoyed I wasted so much time and money on the process when there was simply no need to do so.
My favourite part of this monthly round-up – my bonus money! Sourced from selling items and doing market research, my side-hustle income gives me the flexibility to buy the fun things without breaking my $120 pocket money spend. This month was the end of my eBay sales; I just completely forgot about it! So that was a shame, however, I only have a finite number of items that I don’t want anymore, but are still in the condition to be sold or even wanted by another person.
The big shift was my etsy sales for the month. My total revenue was $34.50, and once I subtracted etsy’s fees for using the platform, my total revenue was $31.05.
I heavily checked out of the market research options this month. The constant online surveys was doing my head in, and I needed a break from assessing how often I drink booze and whether I like certain advertising options. Overall, they are also not the most efficient way to turn over the dollars. However, online surveys are a good way to use time that you may accidentally use spending money making money. It is gratifying to get an extra $10 here and there for effectively wasting time. But it can be unsustainable if you get bored quickly, so I’m just going to bounce back and forth on when I do them, and try not to force myself to do surveys when I’m annoyed or frustrated.
I have some big goals for my etsy store this month. April was full of fun activities, and I had a great time, but as the weather shifts and I’m more desperate to spend time at home, I want to use those hours to create new products and develop a more comprehensive business plan. This little business has brought a real sense of well-roundedness to my life. Work can be so hard, and having something beautiful on the side to look forward to really transforms my mood when I’m feeling down.
We have some big team goals coming up, too. As I previously discussed, I met with a financial planner, which was good and bad. We’ll be forging ahead alone, and we have set some pretty steep goals to meet by the end of the financial year (30 June) – including starting to look to break in to the property market!
We rent at the moment, so we’d have some breaklease provisions to deal with, in addition to the whole buying our first home situation of you know, saying good bye to all of our savings. But the more we talk about it, the more it feels like the right, and very exciting, decision.