September has been an incredibly expensive month for me, and we’re not even halfway through. I know that everyone has those instances of overspending, or realizing that sneaky little purchases bust their budget, or fail to plan for those events in their life that suck the money out of their bank account, so I thought I’d start a series based off my unexpected expenses and where in the world my money goes.
This past weekend I had to renew my car tabs. They were already out of date, and I didn’t want to get a ticket, so I made myself go to the always cheery and oh-so-helpful Department of Licensing. I’d already made one attempt to go when I got my license changed, but the place was packed and I was in no mood to sit in another line after waiting at the DMV. The most annoying part about getting my tabs renewed (besides the sticker shock) is the fact that I need to get an emissions test for my car every year. The test takes only a few minutes, but the testing place is out in the middle of industrial Seattle, and costs $15 each time.
By the time I got around to getting my tabs changed they were already expired, so I knew I had to go get it done like normal adults do or risk a fine if one of the meter maids caught on to my rule-breaking ways. The DOL really wasn’t that bad, and I got my tabs quickly (perhaps because it was the middle of the day in the middle of the month), but dang, those suckers are expensive. I paid $90 + $15 just to have a 2015 sticker on my car, and will have to go through the whole process again next summer. If I’m smart I’ll start budgeting those things into my expenses right now, but seeing as how I barely budget in my quarterly tuition, I don’t foresee that happening any time soon.
A few other unexpected expenses revolve around changing my name – the first was the copies of our marriage certificate. I chose to get four of them, just in case and so I spent $12 on four pieces of paper certifying that our marriage was legit. The other one was my trip to the DMV. I had to pay $10 to get a new license, but also $2 to use my credit card since I had forgotten/never carry my check book.
This week I finally got around to paying the deposit on our apartment – $450 to my husband’s old roommate – so September has been a big cash drain. We’re traveling down to San Francisco tomorrow for a friend’s wedding, which will be super fun since my husband is the best man and we love this couple. My Aunt has offered us her guest bedroom, which is perfect since her house is about a 10 minute drive from the venue, and I know she’ll buy us a few items for breakfasts or snacks to have while we’re there. For our trip we rented a car so that we could help shuttle everyone around and run those last-minute errands that always occur at weddings, and actually found a pretty good deal that ended up being less than $30/day. Gas will be expensive, but I’m hoping that we can limit our eating out by making snacks to bring on the plane tomorrow, taking advantage of the free food at my Aunt’s house, and getting to enjoy wedding related dinners and brunches throughout the weekend. This trip will be more expensive than I am planning for, I’m sure, but at least we’re getting to stay for free and have already paid for our plane tickets back in July.
Saturday night we all went out for a cousin’s birthday, where I spent too much money on food and drinks, and still owe my sister-in-law money from the picnic we had at the beach earlier in the day. We went out to dinner at an awesome Thai restaurant right by our house, where I spent $40.48 for the two of us, and then spent another $15 on drinks once we made our way down the hill towards the karaoke bar. It was super fun, and we really don’t spend that much money going out, but I definitely need to keep those nights in check or find cheaper options (pre-gaming, anyone?).
So in total, my unexpected expenses have resulted in $649.48. Oh, and my rent has increased from $650 to $760, making this month even more tight. All in all, I think this month is going to bust my budget no matter what I do, my only focus right now is limiting our spending as best I can. I was lucky enough to get $100 for my birthday and also returned a few items to REI, so I’ve recouped some of that money and managed to talk myself out of buying a new dress for the wedding. Hopefully our San Francisco trip wont be too expensive and we can make better choices while we’re down there. I’m also ready to get back to a normal life now that our house is in order, the deposits are paid, and soon we’ll be merging our finances and creating a budget.