Impulsive Spending, Retirement Journey, SAVINGS, Wasteful spending

Google Pay for shopping online? Not anymore.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Google has a payment feature (Google Pay) that when you are at a shopping site online and want to purchase something, it will auto-fill the credit card number you’ve established on your Google account. It’s a quick and convenient way to pay for things since there is no need to get your card from your wallet. I thought that was so cool — until I didn’t.

Google Pay and/or Apple Pay is an impulsive shopper’s crack. With the click of a couple of memorized security numbers, you can purchase your item in less than 10 seconds. Not good for impulse purchasers like me, to say the least.

I already know how helpful it is to put space between what I think I want and making the actual purchase. Most times I give myself 24 hours and end up not buying the item. Lately, I’ve been more impulsive in my spending than usual — I’m blaming it on boredom from staying home and ‘resting’ my foot. 😦 . However, after a few expensive returns ($60) and nothing to show for it, I have finally come to the realization that Google Pay is not a tool of convenience, but more of a financial impediment to my financial goals. It is no longer an option for me, and I have since deleted my credit card information from Google Pay.

Whew. I feel better already.

Do you use Google Pay or Apple Pay for purchases online? Do you find yourself buying more?

Impulsive Spending, Retirement Journey, Spending, Weekly Spending Update

Weekly financial update.

Every Monday during 2022, I am posting an update on what I spent for the week (variable spending only) as a way of keeping myself accountable for my impulse spending. Also, to see my true savings, I am tracking items I was tempted to buy but didn’t.

Photo by Khanh Le on Pexels.com

This week I received the two wallets I ordered last week. The Fossil wallet arrived damaged, missing its’ strap. The Italian wallet came in the wrong color. I have already returned the Fossil wallet (free return), but unfortunately, Italy will charge me a return fee. I will lose $30. (Rest assured I will be taking extra caution before I purchase items from now on, especially with regard to their return policy.)

Wasting money these days actually hurts. In fact, as I evaluate this week’s spending, I’m disappointed that I ‘impulsed’ the tech purchase. I will be returning it, as I wasn’t paying attention to the details of the charger pod. My IPhone 11 is not ‘magsafe’, so the charger may not work as well. Returning items is such a hassle, as you have to wait several weeks before they credit your account. The by product of impulsivity, I suppose. 😦

Here is my spending for June 7 – June 13:

  • Eating Out: $78.09
  • Groceries: $157.00
  • Gas Fill Up: $64.60
  • Auggie: $6.00 (dog treats)
  • State inspection: $20.00
  • OTC meds: $5.00 (Vitamin D prescription)
  • Clothes: $103.89 (Replacement Tshirts, leggings)
  • Tech: $52.01 (phone case and charger pod)
  • Misc.: $59.04

Total: $545.63

RETURNS:

  • Fossil Wallet: ($79.50)
  • Italian Wallet: ($145.00)

Total Returns: ($224.50)

Total Spending: $321.13

With inflated prices everywhere, it’s more imperative now than ever to be extra vigilant in my everyday spending. I’m committed to keeping our retirement timeline, and every dollar saved is going to help. To that end, I’m giving myself a new challenge. For the month of JULY, I will be having a NO SPEND. Details to follow!

How was your week? Any wins? Losses? Please share!

Budgeting, Impulsive Spending, Spending, Weekly Update

A new month, a health update, and this past week’s spending.

Every Monday during 2022, I am posting an update on what I spent for the week (variable spending only) as a way of keeping myself accountable for my impulse spending. Also, to see my true savings, I am tracking items I was tempted to buy but didn’t.

Photo by Scott R on Pexels.com

I can hardly believe it’s June already! We will soon be halfway through 2022. Crazy.

I had such wonderful plans for the summer, but, unfortunately, they are all dissolving quickly as I anticipate the possibility of foot surgery. Since breaking my foot last November, recovery has been a slow process. The fracture did start to heal and there was some bone growth. Every month I went for an x-ray, and every month the doctor reported that “it was still cooking”. It was promising. Until it wasn’t. Two weeks ago I went and he did not give me my usual update. Because it’s been over 7 months, I have what is called a ‘non-union’. As long as there is still pain, surgery may be the next step. I will be getting a second opinion, for sure, because the thought of starting all over with crutches and a boot depresses me. But I do not want to live with the pain either. I guess we will see.

As far as spending for the first week in June, it was a mixed bag. I had two impulsive purchases, an ‘oh crap’ moment, and a few regular expenses.

June 1 – 6th Spending:

  • Groceries: $166.00 (a two-week shop)
  • Eating Out: $5.00
  • Hair Cut and Color: $120.00 (includes tip)
  • Charitable/Spontaneous giving: $200.00
  • Ticket: $97.00 (expired state inspection — good grief I deserved this one!)
  • Car Maintenance and state inspection: $694.00
  • Household: $38.04 (kitchen towels, oven mitts, and cleaners)
  • Auggie: $22.00 (shampoo, conditioner, and dog toy)
  • Clothes & Accessories: $297.69 (a new shirt and two new wallets!)
  • OTC meds: $21.00 (Tylenol/Advil)

Total weekly spending: $1,660.73!!!

Wow. $791.00 of the $1660 was my car. Because I hardly drive these days, I totally missed getting the state inspection, which was due last October. I totally deserved that ticket, and quite frankly was embarrassed that it had expired 8 months ago! I definitely dropped the ball on that one. My car was due for maintenance and ended up needing a few things, hence the $700 bill.

The other large expense category $300. Some of you who have been following me for a while know I have a weakness for purses and wallets. And, after getting the news about my foot, I was feeling sorry for myself. No excuses, just the truth. I wanted to replace a wallet that was worn out, so I purchased the same one online. I found a coupon code, so I thought I was a savvy shopper. ;). A few days later, I started thinking about a wallet my sister had given me that she purchased in Italy. I still use it, but it is smaller than what I usually use. So I started searching for Italian leather stores and found saw an absolutely gorgeous wallet on Cuoieria Fiorentina‘s website. Without a moment of hesitation, I purchased it. I guess old habits die hard. I may return the first one, but we will see once I have both in my hands. I wasn’t planning on purchasing either, so I guess this falls under the category of ‘impulsive’.

Everything else was spending as usual. I’m hoping this coming week’s spending will be a lot less.

Your turn. How was your spending this week? What are your plans for the summer?

Cash Savings, Dogs, Relocating, Retirement Journey

Have we found a new retirement destination?

As we inch closer to a retirement date, we thought it prudent to start searching for a retirement location.

Via

We first listed our wants:

  • Driveable distance to family (Most important!)
  • Lower taxes
  • Excellent Health Care
  • Lower real estate pricing
  • Low maintenance, one-level living
  • An active community with hiking trails, salt-water pools, and entertainment
  • All four seasons, but a temperate climate in the winter (i.e. very little snow, if any)
  • If possible, a coastal beach
  • Dog friendly.

It all started with an income tax rate search for the following states: VA – NC – SC – GA. (Although we were once smitten with Florida (which has NO income tax), that wained when I got totally triggered on my last flight from Florida — long story — but suffice it to say I will only fly when traveling for a vacation destination or when absolutely necessary.)

Out of the four southern states that we were considering, North Carolina had the lowest income taxes (and thankfully was the closest to Virginia!)

Once we picked the state, we started searching the coastal cities. Wilmington, NC popped up in the search and we decided to take a closer look into this beautiful coastal city.

We found that it literally checked off all the boxes we listed above.

  1. Drivable Distance to Family: Wilmington, NC is approximately 360 miles from where I am now, which would be about a 5.5 hour drive. This is about the time it takes me to get to New York to see my parents, so we know this is a very doable road trip.
  2. Lower taxes. This is amazing. Not only is there a lower income tax, the property tax is 50% LOWER in North Carolina than where we are in Northern Virginia.
  3. Excellent Health Care: Although I couldn’t find a lot of information about healthcare in Wilmington, there are plenty of hospitals and medical centers in the area. I’ll have to look further into this one.
  4. Lower Real Estate Pricing: Based on what we are looking for (and we are picky!), a home would cost us approximately $450,000 – $500,000. This would be a fairly NEW home with all the amenities. Our home in Northern Virginia has been valued at $900,000 (which is crazy, if you ask me). We have a very small mortgage, so we could literally walk away with no mortgage and at least $300,000 in cash. That is certainly not chump change. 😉
  5. Low Maintenance/One Level Living: Retiring in Wilmington is a thing, and there are many one-level homes as well as first-level master bedrooms. There are many communities to choose from!
  6. An Active Community/Entertainment: Most of the planned communities in Wilmington offer pools, recreation, hiking trails, and entertainment. There is also Historical Wilmington (the actual city) that offers a beautiful Riverwalk with many restaurants and pubs.
  7. All four seasons, but a temperate climate in winter. Although the summers get hot (they do here as well), their winters are very mild, with little or no snow. Yes. Please.
  8. Coastal Beach. There are three in the immediate area, all offering different experiences. Kure, Wrightsville and Carolina. A nice grandchildren draw….
  9. Dog Friendly: After doing a bit of research, I found this article about dog friendly places in Wilmington. It would appear that Wilmington is VERY dog friendly. I also found The Dog Play Spot for when we would vacation, or just need a weekend away. I was impressed.

We’ve already spoken to a realtor and planned a visit. I have a good feeling about this one. 😉

Budgeting, Medical Expenses, No/Low Buy Update, Prayers, Retirement Journey

MEMORIAL DAY and a May Budget Update.

Every Monday during 2022, I am posting an update on what I spent for the week (variable spending only) as a way of keeping myself accountable for my impulse spending. Also, to see my true savings, I am tracking items I was tempted to buy but didn’t. 

https://parade.com/1021399/marynliles/memorial-day-quotes/

As the weather changes and there is more sunshine, my mood tends to lighten up. And, invariably, with my happier mood comes more spending.

As we move closer to a retirement date, I find it easier to pay attention to my savings versus my spending. And, as long as I’m meeting my savings goals, I’m free to spend the rest.

And that is what I did in May.

Below are all my variable expense categories. Two of them are unusually high, and one of them was simply out of my control. Can you guess which one that was??

Hint: Auggie.

Below are my variable categories and the amount I spent in each.

  • Groceries: $491.52
  • Eating Out: $145.12
  • Household: $94.41
  • Personal Care/Hair: $332.95 (make up purchases, hair cut and color)
  • Misc.: $36.72
  • Clothes: ($15.92) a RETURN
  • Auggie: $755.96 (dogfood, dog sitting and trip to the Vet for a double ear infection.)
  • Gasoline $126.55
  • Roadtrip to NY: $165.80
  • Gifts: $392.19 (includes most of June’s birthdays)
  • Charitable/Spontaneous Giving: $158.18
  • Mom & Dad: $182.24 (Supplies for my Mom and Dad)
  • OTC Meds: $121.92 (Vitamins, pain relievers)
  • Medical Expenses: $455.27 (my foot! and some prescriptions)
  • Personal Spending: $15.96 (a pen refill)

Total Variable Spending for May: $3,458.87 (this amount must make you feel great about your budget! I aim to please…)

Wow. When you add it all up, it seems like a ridiculous amount to spend. However, when you look closer — everything but the medical expenses, gift categories and pet costs are within a decent range.

I have no problem with gifts and giving. ESPECIALLY when it involves my parents. Vet costs, however, are outrageous. One might want to think twice before getting a pet – the costs could be quite prohibitive to a budget.

Also, sadly, my foot is not healing. The X-rays show the fracture is still not fully healed. There is some bone growth, but not quite enough. Since there is still pain, a surgery may be in my future. Praying that my foot heals before the next visit because surgery is the last thing I want.

As far as our overall savings, our networth went up by $15,000 this month as the markets slightly recovered, I made a huge payment to our mortgage and put more money into our savings accounts.

I anticipate June to be about the same as far as total expenses, however, most of the spending will be in the travel category. ;). I’ll write about our travel plans in another post, as they have a lot to do with future retirement plans. Stay tuned.

Your turn. How was your May? Please share!