Friday, August 5, 2011

August Challenge--Week 1 Update

This week's update comes with both some happy and some sad.  I haven't been quite as good as I could have been this week when it came to cutting out everything but absolute necessities.  However, I committed to sharing both the successes and the failures with you all, so I'll do just that.  Plus, this first week's update looks all sorts of out of whack since I had to pay all of my monthly bills.  I just got done doing that 20 minutes ago.  Money. . .gone. . . :( 

As for regular bills, aside from my Mortgage, here is what I paid:

Electricity: $132.00--I'm on the budget plan so this is a fixed amount.  However, this month's bill would have actually been $173.47.  I'm still on a mission to lower that bill.  Guess the AC needs to get turned down another notch or two. 
Water Bill: $58.10--this is a bill that I only pay every other month.  $58.00 for two months of water and sewer isn't too shabby, I guess.
Gas Bill: $19.36--heat is the only thing that is gas in my house so the thought of paying for any gas during the summer just burns me up (no pun intended!) but I suppose that's for the hot water or something.  Going forward: cold showers!
Comcast: $104.31--this is actually double my monthly bill.  There was a big screw up at Comast last month (totally their fault, not mine!) and they billed me over $300.00 (yeah, imagine my heart palpitations when I opened that bill!).  In the midst of getting it corrected, they actually rejected my monthly payment (again, their fault, not mine) so this month's bill was double the normal bill.  Since they never actually took the money out of my account or charged me any late fees for "not" paying last month's bill, I won't harass them too bad.  Plus, I'm SOOOO tired of talking to Comcast.  Long story.  Makes me angry.  Brings out the throbbing purple vein in my forehead.  Not pretty.
Sprint: $173.99--again, another bill that is MUCH higher than normal.  I got a new cell phone in July and rather than making me pay for it upfront, they just billed me for it.  So, my August bill looks atrocious. 
USAA: $55.94--this is my car insurance.  Not too bad, I guess.
CITI: $9.26 -- paid off the last of that nasty credit card.  I made a HUGE payment to them in June (Thank You, Uncle Sam for sending me my tax return!  Finally.) and this is, I guess, the last little bit of interest or fees or whatever other ridiculous charges that credit card companies always get you for when you try to pay them off.  Burn CITI, Burn.  I hear it's hot where you belong. 

Now. . .on to the less pretty of the weekly spending (yes, apparently it does get even uglier than above!):

Gas: $25.09--I really can't complain about this.  Normally, it takes over $60 or $70 to fill up my SUV but this week I didn't really have to fill up.  Plus, I'm leaving to go out of town for work on Sunday so I don't have to use any gas (at least, none paid for out of my own pocket) for most of next week either.  SCORE!
ATM Withdrawl: $40 -- I hang my head in shame.  I went out with some friends on Wednesday night and was coerced (yes, it was their fault. . .that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!) into pulling money out of the ATM.  I guess the bright side is that I still have $32 in cash left.  So, I guess I only spent $8.  I'll probably deposit the $32 back into my account the next time I get a check or something that needs depositing. 
Eating Out: $49.55 -- go ahead.  Say it.  Whatever it is, I deserve it.  I fell off the wagon and landed hard on my. . .well, you know what.  Part of that amount is the $18.63 that I've already admitted to spending when going out with my girlfriend for dinner that had already been planned prior to taking on the challenge.  However, I went out twice, yes twice, this week with friends.  Once was for dinner Wednesday night and the other was for a birthday lunch for a work friend of mine.  I suppose the only thing I can say in my defense is that I didn't spend anything on groceries this week and don't really anticipate having any grocery bill next week either.  Does that do anything to redeem this fall from grace? 

What about you?  What unexpected bills/expenses did you have pop up this week?  Have you ever made a commitment to do something that you quickly realized was going to be very difficult to accomplish? 

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