Better late than never, I suppose. This would have come out earlier had work not sent me on a SUPERSPECIAL assignment...that turned out to be completely pointless. For an additional commute of 2 hours, I did testing that required 1 hour. Oh well, at least they covered my cab fare.
Cash and Cash Equivalent
My savings accounts continue to increase despite ever-lower interest payments. Steady saving means a lot.
The slightly higher checking balance was due to one fewer calendar day more than anything else. Of course, much of my spending went to...the trip.
For the record:
- $104 on toiletries and accessories. Yes, I already had a dress, but the bra I wanted to wear didn't go with the neckline and the shoes I had have always been cut too low in the vamp. If I was going to be standing on a ship, even in port, I wanted comfy shoes. Add in some shopping for TSA-approved health and beauty products and there you are.
- $12 on food. The rehearsal dinner and wedding were covered for all guests, and my aunts and uncles picked up the tab for some of the other meals. I really only needed to cover dinner at the airport.
- $140 on lodging. This was less than half the cost of the room, even with the wedding crowd price break, but my aunt wouldn't accept more, because we'd been booked into a suite and I took the pullout while she got the king-size bed. Of course, by doing that, I got to be in another room and away from her amazingly loud snoring, so I think I made out pretty well.
- $58 on transportation. My uncle only had me pay for the gas and tolls for the rental van; I was chaffeuring people all weekend and was able to return it to the airport for my aunt and uncle (who were going on the week-long cruise). I also needed a cab ride when I got back into Dulles.
- $22 on gifts. I picked up some souvenirs for some friends who will get a nice surprise come Christmas. And I got my aunt a giant mug for her shipboard beverage needs.
- $27 on incidentals. My aunt asked me to run some last minute errands for her as we were leaving, and I also covered her baggage fee and tip at the airport since she had not yet gotten cash. This is part of the reason that she covered some of my meals on the trip.
This came up to a grand total of: $363. In my trip account, I had a balance of: $456. So that's pretty good. I ended up realizing that I could cash flow $63 of it and just pulled out $300 for my expenses.
Finally a month of good returns! I'm quite pleased by this. And I'm glad I didn't lock in by withdrawing my mutual fund at the lower value. Whether I'll still feel that way in two months is an open question.
Just two months to go and my credit union loan (tier 1) is all PAID OFF. Whee.
This looks like a big jump, but that's entirely accounted for by the fact that I bought a plane ticket to visit my dad for my birthday in a few months. I need a real vacation (Christmas was spent taking care of my dying grandfather, and my last proper break before that was a long weekend visiting my grandparents LAST MARCH). So I looked around, saw where gas prices were going, and realized that locking in a lower fare now is almost guaranteed to be cheaper than paying for gas and lodging there and back. I'm pulling $150 out of my trip fund, and $180 from the overdraft fund to cover it. I'll just contribute the amount I'd normally put in the trip fund back to the overdraft fund until I'm back at my usual threshold. It won't take more than two or three pay periods, and it is SO, SO needed.
The Month Ahead
I already had an outing to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, which mapgirl described better than I could. Yay for local lamb and local honey, and yay for spending time with good friends without spending too much money.
Next week, however, will be different. I just found out that my aunt made reservations at a highly regarded (and expensive) restaurant. I'm meant to take this as an advance birthday present, but I'm still going to pull out a fair bit of cash to cover the tip.
On the more frugal side, free Shakespeare is coming up! I'm looking forward to it.
And I'll be working so damn much this month I probably won't get out much more than that.
Then come June, my expenses shift. Rent goes up, loan payments go down. I'll still have more wiggle room after all is said and done, but it will be a good time to evaluate how far I've come.