Analyzing My Spending Habits

I conducted a little experiment this past week to examine my spending habits, attempting to find all the indulgences that I spend my money on in an effort to curb frivolous spending.

Since I got paid on Friday, we’ll start with the expenses incurred since leaving work on Friday afternoon.

$13.25 – Happy Hour
$32 – Dinner Date. I ate an overly expensive fish sandwich and had two beers, including tip.)
$2 – Buck Hunter. No further discussion required.
Total: $47.25

Look, you get your paycheck, the first thing you do is treat yourself. Truth be told, I thought the fish sandwich was $10.99, rather than $16.99. (I won’t make that mistake twice.) Also, I made the top 5 list on Buck Hunter. Solid performance.

$4.50 – Frozen Pizza.
$7.49 – Bacon. For breakfast.
$1.50 – Redbox Movie Rental.
$1.99 – Hummus
$2.99 – Charles Shaw Cabernet
$2.99 – Eggless Mayonnaise
$13.03 – Beef Tri Trip
$3.49 – Southwest Salad
$0.78 – Lemons
$0.89 – Popcorn
$4.99 – Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
Total: $44.64

We split the groceries up, so don’t think that I just survive on bacon, hummus, and two-buck chuck. These are just my half of the items. I have no real excuse for the late night ice cream.

Total: $0.00

Grocery shopping has it’s perks, including these $0.00 days. Sure, you’re not having a freshly cooked lunch, but sometimes a reheated bowl of elbow pasta is exactly what the doctor ordered. Even more so, with a sub-par lunch, you’re gonna appreciate your dinner that much more. 

Total: $0.00

Holy shit! Salad for lunch is not so bad. Had a little hot chocolate in the afternoon for energy (instead of a Red Bull), and worked through our groceries. It feels good to end another day in the green.

$8.19 – 4 pack of Red Bull
$18.59 – Blue Moon Variety 12-pack
Total: $26.78

Okay, okay. So I caved on the Red Bulls, but more importantly, beverages. I’m always sipping on something. I talk a lot, so I need to keep my mouth properly lubricated (that sounded gross). Anyway, in the morning, it’s coffee. In the afternoon, it’s something sweet and sugary. In the evening, it’s alcohol. Rarely, if ever, is it just water. I know that’s not good for me, but I’m working on drinking more water, okay? And who do you think you, Dr. Oz?

$20.00 – Happy Hour (4 drinks, 2 grilled cheese, 1 salted pretzel)
Total: $20.00

You can’t stay cooped up inside all day, and when your buddy’s having a tough go at life, you’ve gotta hit up the local happy hour and throw back a few $2 mixed drinks. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Hit me up, I’ll take you over there.

$2.38 – Hot & Spicy Ramen
$6.99 – 1 lb. of Starbucks Coffee
$1.50 – 2 donuts
$8.00 – Snacks + 22 Ounce Coca-Cola
$5.99 – Toilet Paper
$9.78 – Tomatoes, Popcorn, Egg Dying Kit
Total: $34.64

This is one of those days that could have been cheap, but it turns out the exact opposite. I had a few small things on my list, but one thing leads to another, and suddenly, you’re completely out of toilet paper and have to waddle into the kitchen to for a stolen Taco Bell paper napkin. Yeah, Thursday was one of those days.

$12.00 – Two Hot Dogs at the Bernie Sanders Rally!
$6.25 – Greens
Total: $18.25

tumblr_o4m8wq391h1rt7qgbo1_500Some events come along once in a lifetime. I’ve been pretty active about politics lately, and when I heard that Bernie Sanders was doing a rally at the Moda Center in Portland, I had to go. As much as I wanted to save some money, I had to cave in and buy some hot dogs. We were there for 4 hours before he even took the stage so to say I was hungry is an understatement. Nevertheless, the #birdiesanders rally was amazing… and free!

Total Week Spending: $191.56, or $23.95/day

[NOTE: Oregon has no sales tax. If I conducted this experiment living in California, I would have spent an additional $19.15 in taxes, bringing the total to $210.71., or $26.33/day.]

I was surprised to see how much money I spent over the last week, and honestly, that was truthfully all of it. I purchased an airplane ticket to Cabo San Lucas, which was an extra $400. So yeah, it was a rather spendy week to be conducting this little accounting experiment. Nevertheless, I think that even if I had recorded an “average” week for me (8 days really), it probably would have come in around $150, or $18.75/day. I’m perfectly content spending less than $20/day in my life, but for some reason $25 seems too much.

What am I buying?

Home Supplies: $8.29
Entertainment: $8.38
Snacks: $14.00

Food: $76.19
“Drinks:” $87.90

There it is. Concrete evidence that I drink too much. In my own defense, I am considering “drinks” to include beer, soda, and coffee, so I’m not exactly a wagon candidate. Nevertheless, I do pay too much for drinks, sodas in the afternoon and beers at the bar. I could probably remedy this by buying in bulk (like I tried to with the Red Bulls) but I just end up giving them away (like I did with the Red Bulls). If I have it, I’m going to drink it. 

I guess I need to get used to tea. Or just water. Ugh. It’s boring just thinking about it.




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