Welcome to the “My 2 Cents Transaction” Series, a money diary log written by contributors of all different income levels, locations, and occupations. Each contributor will be logging their weekly expenses in either food, lifestyle, or activities/entertainment. This is not meant to flaunt what other people are doing or how much they are spending but to open the eyes of individuals about money and how to take control of your future finances. Thanks so much for reading as always & if you’d like to be an anonymous contributor feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Insta/Twitter. xx Rae
Occupation: Social Services Worker Age: 26 Location: Long Island/Manhattan, NY Salary: $40Kish Total Spent This Week: $1,161.79
Sunday: Sunday I was on the way back to my Mom's house on Long Island after spending the weekend visiting my grandparents in Philly. My grandpa just got transferred to hospice care, so I was making a conscious effort to not give a fuck about spending and just worry about quality time/helping my grandparents out (I spent additional money on this earlier in the weekend, but we're starting with Sunday so here ya go). I spent $14.32 ordering prints of family pictures for my Grandma on Snapfish because she was complaining that we only ever send her digital photos, not real pictures that she can frame/hang on her fridge. Before I left Philly, I was watching the Yankee game with my grandparents and was super amped about how well the Yankees are doing this season. I've had my eye on these Yankees sneakers for like, 2 months maybe, that I wanted to buy to wear to games this season. Yankees had a great weekend, which equated to me finally caving and buying these sneakers for $76, as well as Aaron Judge tshirts for myself and my little brother to the tune of $62.74. Probably impulse purchases but I kind of dgaf. I love the Yankees. I also spent $21 on gas for the car to get back from Philly, and I have a savings app on my phone that auto-drafts $90 every Sunday to help me save money for forthcoming friends' weddings (I wish I was kidding but I'm not). Total Spent: $264.06
New month, new LIRR monthly ticket for $261. Kill me. $9.80 on multiple coffee runs to Starbucks. Spent $9.50 on lunch at Chipotle.
Total Spent: $280.30
Tuesday I met up with my friend Olivia, who is getting married next week, for a fitting for her wedding gown. We ended up going to get lunch, which cost me $24.73 (I treated her). I also was late coming back to Long Island from Manhattan because I had to pick up some paperwork from my Aunt for our jobs (we work together), and my Mom said it was too late and she wouldn't come get me from the train station. So I had to take an Uber home from the train for $9.66. Also spent $9.80 again on coffees at Starbucks. Need to cutback, have no self-control/stamina.
Total Spent: $44.19
Started off Wednesday with an $11.20 uber ride to the train station as per oversleeping, per usual. Spent $2.89 for coffee at Starbucks. Ordered greeting cards from this artist I like online for $21.60 for upcoming friend weddings. Ordered a salad on Seamless for lunch for $19.00 (the place has a delivery fee).
Total Spent: $54.69
Thursday: Thursday, I had an early meeting at the Dep't of Education, so to cheer myself up (I fucking hate early AMs), I bought myself breakfast and a couple other groceries to keep in the fridge at work at Whole Foods for $23.18. Ordered a new facial exfoliant from Amazon for $27.99. My banking app informs me that I got billed $2.16 on iTunes but I'm not sure what for. I'm assuming it's for Tinder premium, which I signed up for kind of flippantly last summer and now cannot figure out how to unenroll from. Total Spent: $53.33
Friday: As of 5:02 AM on Friday AM, I am officially an aunt!! Spent $274.05 on a baby gift for my first niece, Ginger. Bought her a subscription to a service that will send her a new picture book about a woman who changed the world every month for the first year of her life. Expensive for a baby gift, I know, but I read about this book service in NY Magazine like 6 months ago and have been planning to buy this for her since then. I got paid today, which always gives me a false sense of my own wealth that causes me to spend more money. Took $50 out of the ATM, which I subsequently used to get my nails done. Then went out for Cinco de Mayo margaritas/tacos in Hell's Kitchen to the tune of $60.89. Spent a further $14.00 on more beers later that night at a bodega on the way to my aunt's apartment. Total Spent: $398.94 (please kill me)
Saturday: Saturday I laid around all day until the evening, at which point I went to an event for my friend Gerard's German cultural society which cost $45.00 for dinner/all you can drink beers. I made money on that transaction for sure, drank a million beers. Spent $21.28 total on Ubers to/from this event. Total Spent: $66.28
Let me start this off honestly by saying I'm awful with money and don't really have an established budget. My best friend likes to tell me that I live my life "Friday to Sunday" which is true. I'm a paycheck to paycheck type of chick and I have never had any credit cards in my life because I'm afraid I'd put myself deeply into debt. I don't really save money (except for the money that I mentioned I'm saving towards other people's weddings, as I sit here single and sexless). I spent more money in this one week than I make in a biweekly paycheck, for reference on how stupid I am. As I sit here typing this, I have $170.18 to my name until the next time I get paid (which is in 8 days but who's counting). Logging spending helped me realize things I already knew rationally (i.e. that I spend too much money at Starbucks) but that I rarely consider on a concrete basis. That LIRR monthly ticket is a killer, and considering the LIRR concourse of Penn Station got flooded with literal human sewage this week, it is an outrage how expensive it is. I also try to avoid taking Ubers and taxis whenever possible, but did not plan my schedule well enough this week to do so. This was also kind of a big week for me for buying physical stuff (Yankees paraphenilia, gifts for other people), which I generally don't do. I usually joke that my money goes to transport/food/alcohol and that's about it. It was also a rare week that had me buying multiple gifts for other people, I must say. I think this does not reflect a typical week for me, but who knows? I'd say a few more weeks of logging would be necessary to prove that hypothesis. Also, something that doesn't get reflected well in this spending log -- how much I freeload. I live with my Mom rent-free and eat her groceries without contributing, generally. Also went out to dinner with her one night this week and she paid. Had dinner at my aunt's apartment two nights, which was supplied by her as well. I am pretty much a homeless begger who lives at the mercy of my relatives, constantly writing checks I can't cash (figuratively, I've only written like 3 actual checks in my whole life). Complete dirtbag status. Also not reflected this week -- any student loan payments, which is rare for me. I pay several hundred dollars/month, spread out in different intervals to lessen the burden. I think next payment is maybe next week?? My take away from this exercise is that maybe if I held myself more accountable to routinely counting how much money I spend, I wouldn't spend so much. But who knows, I'm too lazy to write all of this out more than once.