April was an expensive month with many expected and a few unexpected expenses. Let’s break it down into categories.
The first large expense that I knew was coming was the registration of my new car. I had estimated about $500, which I planned to take out of my “car fund” that I have saved thus far in 2014. I grossly miscalculated my registration (which includes excise tax, plates, and town fees) for my new car. It only cost me $386 to register the car. Yay!
Junior League Dues
I had calculated this into my budget. Technically I had until May 31st to pay dues since I’m a “new member,” but I just decided to pay then $165 by the April 15th deadline. Funny how the deadline was on tax day. 🙂
This is where some purchases were expected and a few unexpected. I knew I wanted an underwater camera for my vacation, which I could also use for my business as well. I decided to buy a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5 because it had good reviews. I’m excited to try it out on vacation! I’m only taking carry-on baggage for my vacation and thus had to buy travel-sized toiletries, bug spray, and sunscreen. Since I’m traveling to Central America in a couple of weeks and most likely Panama in November, I needed to update a few of my travel vaccinations. I originally thought I would be all set in that department and only need Malaria pills, but I was wrong. I never finished my Hep A shot series and my Typhoid shot was no longer effective. I received the Hep A booster, which will last me for about 20 years now and I decided to take the Typhoid pills instead of the vaccine since the pills give you 5 years instead of 2 years of effectiveness. The doctor visit turned out to be quite expensive, to the tune of about $300 including the medication. I was a bit annoyed that I had to see the travel doctor because I already knew everything that he told me. I really hope that I don’t have to repeat that visit for my Panama vacation in the Fall to obtain my Malaria meds. Health insurance normally doesn’t pay travel med costs and thus I will have to pay out-of-pocket for these. Martin’s Point did bill my insurance company first, so I haven’t received a bill yet, but I’m sure it will be waiting for me when I return from Belize later this month!
My business expenses were very high in April. I did not expect this at all. I included my new underwater camera as a business expense because I can use it to film underwater swim strokes and for my freelance writing side-business as well. Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) is offering a run coach clinic in Portsmouth, NH in June. I got the email in early April and jumped on it since registration sells out in 24 hours and it is a certification that I have wanted to get for a while. That $360+ expenses was not predicted at all, but I’m glad that I jumped on it because not only will it benefit my coaching athletes, but I also need CEUs for my other certifications this year. I attended the Maine State NSCA clinic last weekend at UNE to obtain CEUs for my personal training certification.
I paid an extra $150 on one of my SallieMae loans this month. I wrote a nice letter explicitly telling them to apply the check to the principal balance of loan number XX. What do they do? Apply the extra payment as a monthly payment! I was pissed and called customer service to fix it. Tony in India didn’t help. My friend Jen gave me the American customer service number, which I called the next day and my problem was fixed in 2 minutes. Urgh, what a pain in the butt. I will be applying an additional $150 each month to my SallieMae loans until the loans are completely paid off. I should have my two smaller loans paid off by November. I’m hoping I don’t have to call SallieMae each month to fix their mistakes!
With my April Challenge I stayed way under my food budget, but I was quite hungry throughout the month. I will recap my final week next week along with some conclusions.
I LOVE my new car! I average about 35 miles per gallon just commuting to and from work. Way more than my old car. I’m looking forward to riding my bike to work at least once a week this summer to further save on gas and keep miles off my new car. Did you know May is National Bike to Work month?
I spent way more than I should have in this category. I went up to LL Bean one Saturday to look at car racks for my new car. It’s going to cost me about $300 to put my bike rack on top on my new car! Yikes. While I was there, Vineyard Vines was having a huge sale and I got sucked in and spent about $150 on a few items that I can wear to both work and vacation. Of course, I can’t leave Freeport without stopping at J. Crew and succeed on spending another $140 on clothes. I only brought clothes that I could wear to both work and play to, at least, internally validate my purchases in my head.
Everything else was per the norm. I brought in about $256 in side income from my business. My business has been growing, which is exciting. I’m always looking to grow both my coaching and training business as well as my freelance writing business. May is looking to be another good month.
- Enjoy vacation in Belize and Guatemala! Most of the big expenses have been prepaid, but I know this is going to be an expensive month due to this trip. I’m trying to not worry about it since I have budgeted for it.
- Continue to grow my freelance clients. I currently write for OneSmartDollar, which you should totally check out! I’m hoping to submit some travel articles to some travel blogs/website when I return from vacation.
- Begin to grow a small vegetable garden. I had a small garden about 4 years ago, and I’m hoping to have another one this summer. That is if spring and summer ever decide to happen in Maine!
- Strength train more. You can read more about my triathlon and fitness journey on Big Sky Multisport Coaching & Personal Training, but I want to focus most of May and June on strength training. I miss it and my hip needs a little TLC so I can hopefully have a Fall running season this year!