Day 30- Total Spent

I have a quick story I want to share from this morning before we get to my total spent. A girl wearing a really nice blouse and skirt got on the metro carrying a Bloomingdale’s bag, and I didn’t think much of it until she pulled out the receipt with a worried expression on her face. She studied it for a few minutes, obviously concerned, and then rifled through her bag, as if searching for what had cost her so much. She then went on to mess with her iPhone but it struck me how genuinely unhappy and unsettled she seemed.

Usually, I know the feeling. This month, however, I can’t relate. And it feels like pure freedom.

I added up the amount I spent last month and compared it to this month. Wow. Although my main goal was not to save money, that just sort of… happened. Here we go:

  • Groceries
    • Last month: $191.29
    • This month: $181.75
  • Eating out
    • Last month: $157.79
    • This month: $19.18
  • Entertainment
    • Last month: $25.76
    • This month: $11
  • Transportation
    • Last month: $314.57
    • This month: $115.85
  • Personal/Clothing
    • Last month: $144.58
    • This month: $58.25

(After adding in my bills)
Total spent last month: $1063.91
Total spent this month: $605.95

Holy crap. I spent $457.96 less than I did last month. Not only did I spend less on groceries even though I wasn’t eating out, everything I bought in the “Personal” category was either medicine, necessary for my safety or a hair cut (which, sorry, but I deemed that necessary). Transportation is a bit skewed because I spent some money fixing up my bike, but even still it’s a huge difference.
I’ll be honest, I’m surprised. Even though I kept commenting on how money was adding up quickly, I was completely unaware of how much more quickly my money had gone away the previous month. It was too much to keep up with, and the combination of my checking account and credit card didn’t help.
This is great. But the greatest part about it is that I’m not special, a martyr or more disciplined than anyone else. Anyone can do this. Because one thing I’ve realized during this challenge is that while the idea of “everything in moderation” is prolific in the US, our idea of moderation is actually excess. Everyone has wants and desires, and it’s perfectly fine to fulfill them sometimes, but there’s no reason to be driven to the brink of insanity for them.
Because if we’re all insane, there wouldn’t be much pleasure in that, would there?
Next 30-Day-Challenge: Maybe I’ll stick to poetry.

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