January 2017 and this year’s spending fast is wrapped up. It was the tiniest budget I’ve ever created for myself and when I put it all on paper, I wondered how it was ever going to work.
As with every month, there were unforeseen circumstances. It was time to renew my car insurance and transition from a Tennessee plate and license to a Michigan one. Apparently I was unrealistic in my estimate of what that would cost! There was also a big discount if I paid up front for a full year of insurance so I did that. There was also more travel than I anticipated, but I was able to shuffle dollars between categories and make it work.
Cars are expensive to own and maintain, regardless of whether they are paid in full. Although I’ve investigated alternatives, I haven’t found anything that works with my current life situation. Hiring an Uber driver to take me to Tecumseh Bread & Pastry just isn’t practical or economical and I’m not quite ready to give that up! Nor do I think one would be willing to drive me to various cities around the state at a rate I could afford. Still, I sometimes wonder if there is a way to get around easily and affordably without owning a car.
In December I made some changes to my cell phone plan that saved me about twenty dollars a month in January, which is good, but I’ve been questioning my need for a smart phone. It’s rare that I use an app on my phone (it’s too hard to see or do anything on the tiny screen) and I have a GPS for navigation and mainly use my phone for talking and texting. My current phone (an iPhone 5S) has an issue with the battery and barely holds a charge. It’s super annoying but I’m living with it until I make a decision about what to do. Because even though I know I don’t need a smart phone, it’s really, really hard to give up. It would be like taking a step backwards somehow, I would just be so uncool if I were the only one in the world without one. Obviously I need to get over myself and give up the smart phone, but not today.
The month ended with forty-six dollars and five cents leftover, which I’ve moved to the February budget and will probably just get crazy with. Thank you to Ben and Ariel for buying me lunch and some late night ice cream when I desperately needed it and thanks, Mom, for buying me dinner last night!