As I said last month, the monthly El Perro Tambien expense report now only contains my finances – not Andrew’s. See the July expense report for an explanation of why.
I took a lot of time off work in August – a weeklong backpacking trip where I was 100% off the grid plus two four-day weekends. This means that I made quite a bit less than normal. But I had a saving grace come through financially: the IRS sent me a refund for some miscalculated taxes. I got a $1300 check right when I was about to pay off my credit card! Awesome!
Let’s take a deep dive into my income and expenses for the month of August.
August Expense Report: What I Earned
Let’s start with the fun stuff. Before my surprise IRS check, I earned $2120 this month. With the check, I earned about $3420.
- Writing earned me $1993 this month
- Web Design and SEO earned me $60 – I haven’t had any new website projects for a while and this income stream is becoming less interesting to me. Really focusing on writing!
- Journey Dog Training earned about $100. I made a bit of money selling packages as well as some Amazon Affiliates revenue.
The big bonus was my surprise IRS check. I probably could have skated by with just the income above, but I would have had a lean month of September for sure!
I managed to pay off my credit card again, which is kind of a big deal for me. I’m also putting money away for taxes and am looking at hiring a bookkeeper for tax season.
August Expense Report: What I Spent
Another month in the green, another month where I’m happy. Still not one of those crazy success stories where “my blog makes thousands for me while I sleep,” but whatever. My blog made $30 this month while I slept – does that count?
Anyway, my total expenses for this month were $2789. Since I earned just shy of $3500 this month, I was able to put some money away for taxes and savings.
Let’s break it down.
- Rent: $699. We booked several Airbnbs in August that were kind of pricey. Aside from our stays in Portland, we also booked ahead for a few of our September stays. The good news is, as of September 4, we’re paid down for our housing through the end of November (except for a few days in San Diego and LA).
- Gas: $321. Gas isn’t getting cheaper in Portland and California.
- Groceries: $172. We did a pretty good job of efficient grocery shopping this month, and I’m happy with this grocery bill. So many delicious fresh fruits!
- Student Loans & Car Insurance. Spot on, no unexpected expenses here.
- Barley: $93. Barley is still getting health insurance ($23/month), plus some food and supplements this month.
- Savings: $205 in Acorns and $375 in savings acct. I am currently doing a $20/week transfer into my savings account, plus double roundups in Acorns and $35/week in recurring Acorns investments. It’s adding up nicely! I’m planning on using some of the money from Acorns to pay for a course in January, but otherwise I’m trying to treat it like a long-term savings repository.
- Taxes: $100. I really need to be putting more away for taxes. ‘Nuff said.
- Adventures and Life Experiences: $204. I purchased $140 tickets to go to my best friend Maggie’s wedding. Other items in this category include parking permits in parks, trail passes, and Lyfts to/from the airport.
- Business Expenses: $202. Journey Dog Training needed a site upgrade to keep it from slowing down, and I needed to purchase a microphone for some upcoming projects.
- Restaurants/Alcohol/Dates: $382. Drat, we’re terrible at not spending money in this category. I have nothing to say for myself. Shame. I also spent quite a bit on going out to eat while visiting friends in Colorado and family in New Hampshire, as well as eating in airports while I traveled.
- Coffee: $45.13. I would like to reduce this spending category. I drink expensive “princess drinks” that are bad for my waist and my budget. It’s a crappy habit and I’d rather purchase smoothies or sushi with my money.
- Shopping: $257. I had a fun month of purchasing headphones, some container store necessities, makeup, and some other personal items. I’m a bit surprised that it added up so quickly, but I probably shouldn’t be surprised.
- Gifts: $88. My friend Ursa lent me her car in a pinch while I was in Colorado, so I purchased a few toys for her dogs. I got Andrew some socks and a few other little gifts for people. No regret.
Overall, the only things I’d like to change next month are 1) put more in taxes and 2) do that by paying less for food/coffee. If I can do those two things, I’m happy.
Kayla is a biologist, writer, and web designer. She’s passionate about animal behavior, the science of habits, and anything outdoors.