Pop Quiz: How do you feel about the money you spent this week?

Are you pleased with it? Horrified? Don’t even want to know so you’re going to click away now? ;)

Let’s do an exercise today where we look back at what we spent this week and see how we feel about it all… It’s good to do a surprise check-in every now and then!

Fill in the blanks below:

  • Money I loved spending this week: _____________
  • Money I hated spending this week: _____________
  • Money I was surprised to spend this week! _____________
  • Money I knew I’d spend this week and am okay with: _____________
  • Money I spent towards my goals/dreams: _____________

Here’s how my week unfolded:

Money I loved spending this week: $147 @ TJ Maxx! For my once-a-year shopping binge where I can escape long enough to try on some clothes without a million babies in tow… I forgot how easy life was before those guys! Haha…

Money I hated spending this week: $280 for exhaust work on my wife’s car, ugh… Although I’ll gladly take $280 every now and then vs $280 every month as car payments! It would have been a double sting!

Money I was surprised to spend this week: $300. For apparently forgetting to file my business’ property tax last year – woops… My accountant used to do it for me, but then she switched her policies and either never told me about it or  I just completely forgot…. and odds are I just completely forgot ;)

Money I knew I’d spend this week and am okay with: $16 for my daily coffee/bagel (I.e. “office rent” at Panera Bread!)

Money I spent towards my goals/dreams: $28’ish on fruit! For my attempt at getting my kids and I to eat more of it every day instead of snacking all the time! Last week we tried mandarins, kiwis, grapefruit, avocados, cantaloupe, mango, pomegranate, and almonds (not a fruit, but still good for you!), and this week we tried a papaya, baby watermelon, lemons, grape tomatoes, and then more of the previous items we enjoyed more than the others.

Pics of our hoards are below, which is surprisingly going super well! My oldest is now obsessed with kiwis, and my other son can’t get enough apples… Which is strange since they weren’t even a part of our experiment, but hey – I’ll take it! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

bowl of fruit

Round I:

  • 21 mandarins
  • 5 kiwis
  • 3 grapefruit
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 1 mango
  • 1 pineapple
  • 1 pomegranate
  • Bag of raw unsalted almonds

bowl of fruit 2

Round II:

  • 22 mandarins
  • 10 grapefruit
  • 8 baby pears
  • 4 kiwis
  • 1 papaya
  • 1 baby watermelon
  • Bag of lemons (couldn’t buy just one?)
  • Box of grape tomatoes

[A trick I learned, btw, was to make healthy snacks more *ACCESSIBLE* for better odds of everyone eating them all. So we placed the fruit smack in the center of a bowl on our kitchen table and it’s been working like a charm! 👍]

So that was my week! A bunch of bigger unexpected costs, but at least mixed in with some fun smaller ones!

Definitely spent way more than we typically do in a given week ($771 in total – which doesn’t even account for the normal stuff like bills, etc!), but seeing how a chunk of this wasn’t even in our control – and we didn’t go into debt for it! – I’ll take it as a half-win ;) It was definitely more of an adventures week than normal, which is probably why this post idea even popped in my head, haha…

Your turn now! Fill in the 5 blanks up there and see how you feel about it…

If you’re not too happy about things, challenge yourself to do better next week! And maybe even put it on the calendar/journal to do *every* Friday for a while? Can never hurt spot-checking yourself every now and then! (Hubba hubba)

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  1. Sarah November 30, 2018 at 6:23 AM

    It just so happens that my husband and I spent most of the week in Prague. We booked most of it with Expedia and paid for all the advance stuff using $5 bills we stash vs. spend. :) We also bought some local currency ahead of time to bring along. The whole trip for two was about $2,500 and included flights, the nicest hotel we’ve ever stayed at, airport/hotel transfers, 2 day trips, a walking tour, museum entry, several great meals, a Czech beer spa, a bunch of random tipping, snacks, postcards & stamps, a few small but meaningful souvenirs and way more beer than we needed. It was literally cheaper than water!

    Money I loved spending this week: the tasty, tasty Czech food.
    Money I hated spending this week: tips for our tour guide & driver on a disappointing day trip. :(
    Money I was surprised to spend this week: public toilet fees.
    Money I knew I’d spend this week and am okay with: all of it.
    Money I spent towards my goals/dreams: also all of it – this is exactly how we enjoy using our money. :)

    We only used our credit card twice, for meals that needed to be paid in euros, which we hadn’t bothered to get.

    Prague was fantastic and the fact that it was relatively inexpensive was icing on the cake.

    1. Ryan November 30, 2018 at 8:49 AM

      Nice! I went to Prague in 2014! Loved it! Paid with your $5 bills you saved vs. spent – I love that idea! Way to go!

      1. J. Money November 30, 2018 at 1:54 PM

        YES!!!! My favorite country in the world outside the U.S.! Beer is SO cheap there too, right? (And also NEVER cold?? My only beef with them ;))

        Too funny this came up just now. Way to use money to advance your happiness!

  2. Kate November 30, 2018 at 6:23 AM

    *opens YNAB and sorts by date*

    • Money I loved spending this week: £7.20 on two overpriced but delicious coffees in a hipster cafe. I took a friend as a treat and the lovely waiter took a shine to us and sent over two delicious slices of cake to trail the chef’s latest recipe. It was delicious!
    • Money I hated spending this week: £250 for Ground Rent (think it’s a British thing – la bit like a tax but slightly different) on a car space that I own but don’t use as I don’t have a car! *eyeroll*
    • Money I was surprised to spend this week: £98 for a great blazer that was a billion % off. I normally don’t allow myself to get sucked into the sales but this item of clothing is beautiful and I plan to get years of use out of it.
    • Money I knew I’d spend this week and am okay with: £439 for someone to take my beloved dog for the 3 weeks I’m abroad over Christmas
    • Money I spent towards my goals/dreams: £7, a pound a day, in the pot in my local 12 Step group ;)

    1. J. Money November 30, 2018 at 1:58 PM

      I didn’t know YNAB works over there??? Our fintech companies rarely do outside the U.S. – that’s awesome!!

      1. Kate December 3, 2018 at 6:08 AM

        It works EVERYWHERE! The have the option to use it in every single currency in the world. It doesn’t connect with bank accounts but that’s fine with me. I prefer to input my spending (it takes 5 seconds) so I’m aware of every penny that goes in and out.

        1. J. Money December 3, 2018 at 11:45 AM

          That’s bad ass.

  3. Jody November 30, 2018 at 7:41 AM

    Fun exercise! Here we go:

    –Money I loved spending: $47 for wood cutting board for my parents for Christmas. It has one of their mom’s recipes laser engraved on either side. I’ve been wanting to get one of these for them for years.
    –Money I hated spending: $289 on full-price clothes. StitchFix. Sigh. But I needed sweaters and they were such good quality and fit so well….I haven’t gotten new clothes in at least 6 months, though. Thrift shops, baby! I also spent more on convenience food this week because I was running somewhere every day after work. Some weeks are like that.
    –Money I was surprised to spend: I found a used copy of Operation Deepfreeze on Amazon for $25. It’s in nearly new condition so this is a great price. This is another Christmas gift for my dad. It is about the Navy’s time in Antarctica in the late 50’s written by the admiral in charge. My dad was there ’58-59.
    –Money I knew I’d spend and was OK with: $49 oil change and a $38 space heater.
    –Money I spent towards my goals/dreams: Other than the automatic savings sweeps I have set up, I’m putting $500 into Fundrise when I get home from work tonight, to try it out. Also ordering some needed supplies for my jewelry side hustle, which I will eventually put up for sale on my Facebook shop. I currently have most of my finished stuff in a small shop nearby.

    1. J. Money November 30, 2018 at 2:00 PM


      Do you make guy’s stuff too, or no?

      (Do you need a guinea pig? :))

      Also very cool about the old book… I’m obsessed with physical ones from my hometown over the past 100 years. The more “old” they smell, the better too haha…

      1. Jody December 3, 2018 at 10:38 AM

        I do make guy’s stuff! It’s funny, I didn’t until my first shop display 3 years ago when the shop owner said that was one thing people came in asking for that they didn’t have. So I immediately went home and made some guy stuff. Supply/demand, baby.

        I’m still working on my FB shop but I’ll shoot you an email when I’ve got some more current pics up! And I do commission work, too! Guinea pigs welcome. ;)

        1. J. Money December 3, 2018 at 11:46 AM

          Beautiful :)

  4. ThomH November 30, 2018 at 8:05 AM

    Money I loved spending this week: $4 & $24: The $4 was two cheap Wednesday matinee movie tickets to see “First Man” (the Apollo moon landing movie about Neil Armstrong). The movie was pretty good, but a little more depressing than I expected. Going going to mid-week matinees is one of our favorite things now that we are early retired. The $24 was four pints from our favorite local micro brewery. We had a couple of free ones on their “Buy a beer for a friend” chalkboard, so we got a two pint discount, and we gave the difference to the bartender. We had a great time, so we love spending money on great experiences!

    Money I hated spending this week: $132: Lol, like you… We had a car expense. We had a vibration in our tires, so had our local garage take a look at it…one movie (above) later: tire rotation, two air filter changes, oil and filter change. Reasonable and within our normal auto maintenance budget!

    Money I was surprised to spend this week! $0: It was a good week! No surprises!

    Money I knew I’d spend this week and am okay with: $385: Chistmas gifts for five family members. We got really nice gifts at reasonable prices, so very happy with the purchases. We were actually about $40 under budget, but have several more to still purchase.

    Money I spent towards my goals/dreams: $157 & $760: Yes, two bigger purchases! The $157 was actually classified as a Christmas gift for me. We bought a new 300lbs. Olympic bar and weight set for our new basement gym (which was last year’s present for both of us!). The $760 was two cross country plane tickets to Seattle, WA to go see our oldest child for three weeks for the holidays. We are traveling more these days, so all expenses are budgeted and now happily paid for!

    Spent a fair amount of money this week, but all budgeted!

    1. J. Money November 30, 2018 at 2:09 PM

      You guys have figured out The Good Life :)

  5. Ryan November 30, 2018 at 8:56 AM

    Money I loved spending this week: $80 extra for my nanny to stay longer than usual so I could go see my friend’s art show. She just started design school and this was her first show and I was so happy to support her. Bonus: she won an award! yay!
    Money I hated spending this week: $492 for my electric bill! You guys, I live in a 2,000 ranch. My electric bill is insane and I was freezing last night so my heat doesn’t even work! One of my biggest priorities in 2019 is to lower that bill!!! Arrggghh!
    Money I was surprised to spend this week! $149 renewal for an online meal prep subscription. Fear not! I already contacted them and am working through getting a refund b/c I barely used the program last year. Gotta watch those subscriptions, they can really kill a budget!
    Money I knew I’d spend this week and am okay with: $100 groceries, my grocery bill is an ongoing battle but this week I was pretty satisfied with what we bought and what we spent
    Money I spent towards my goals/dreams: $6.99 Kindle book – How to Fight by Thich Nhat Hanh – reading always makes me grow and helps me think of new blog posts for my blog which I hope to make profitable one day! :)

    1. J. Money November 30, 2018 at 2:35 PM

      Wow – you are not joking about that electric bill! Would solar stuff work at all by chance? That’s pretty wild…

  6. Francis November 30, 2018 at 8:59 AM

    Had some clean up this week after a Chicago ice storm,
    A week of crisis and reactivity on the home front.

    Money I loved spending this week: $0.00
    Money I hated spending this week:$1061 for an inducer motor for the furnace. I knew it was going bad so I could have spent $331 on the part and replaced it proactively myself in the fall. (but I didn’t)
    Money I was surprised to spend this week! $100 on Global Entry that was going to expire
    Money I knew I’d spend this week and am okay with: Not sure yet (going grocery shopping today)
    Money I spent towards my goals/dreams: $0.00 (it was a week of reacting, but I did get to work out 5 days so far this week.

    1. J. Money November 30, 2018 at 2:37 PM

      Hey, it’s important to be healthy or none of that money will do you any good later! ;)

  7. Danny November 30, 2018 at 9:04 AM

    What a fun idea! I actually had to think about these a bit (surprisingly):

    –Money I loved spending: $13 on a spur the moment run to the grocery store to cook up a nice meal at home. I think it was a giant chicken cutlet wedge (or sub, hoagie, hero, grinder depending on where you’re from).
    –Money I hated spending: $588 for six months’ worth to car insurance. I would have put it in the “Money I knew I’d spend and was OK with” since I knew it was coming for over a few months, but I am never OK with it haha!
    –Money I was surprised to spend: Speaking about said car, $49 to replace the heat shield under the exhaust pipe. This one was a bit scary as we were traveling back from my in-laws with my one month old son for the first time, and started to hear a weird sound under the car. Luckily it was an easy fix, and everyone is safe and sound.
    –Money I knew I’d spend and was OK with: $160 #diapersfordays haha!
    –Money I spent towards my goals/dreams: Paycheck came in this morning and just added $2K to VTSAX in our little war chest. Hooray! My 401K is maxed out for the year, so got to put it somewhere else ;)

    1. J. Money November 30, 2018 at 2:38 PM

      $2,000!!!! Nice!!! And a maxed out 401k too! When you gonna start YOUR personal finance blog?? ;)

      (And ironically enough, the 2nd to last time I took my wife’s car in to the shop it was due to her broken heat shield!)

  8. Joe November 30, 2018 at 9:50 AM

    Love – I got a Fire HD 10 tablet. It’s pretty awesome for $100.
    Hate – I put a new battery in my 5 years old phone and now it’s not charging up. Ordered a new phone for $230. :(
    Surprise and okay with – Amazon had the Pandemic board game for sale. $20. It’ll be our Christmas present.
    Toward goal – I picked up a few shares of Apple, Smucker’s, and UPS this week! Mmmm… dividend.

    1. J. Money November 30, 2018 at 2:41 PM

      Tell me your old phone was a flip-phone???? ;)

  9. Adam November 30, 2018 at 9:52 AM

    The first four are all neatly summed up by a splurge on Sunday that I’d been waiting for the right moment to make:

    $634.94, after tax, on a Pixel 3. I’ll LOVE having a phone that isn’t four years old and starting to flake out; I HATED spending such a huge sum on a silly item, but after I posted about it on Facebook my dad decided that would make a good Christmas gift and dropped $600 into my checking account to cover it; I KNEW I’d switch from Verizon to Fi sooner or later and I’m OK with saving hundreds each year; and thanks to a SURPRISE Black Friday deal it was $200 off, in addition to a $200 service credit, so my next six months of cell coverage is in the bank. Bonus: they will accept my wife’s iPhone SE on the network now, so if it works well for me I can get her away from Verizon and our monthly bill drops from $90 to $55.

    Money I spent towards my goals/dreams: I have spent literally zero other money this week, so I guess switching to Fi is helping me out with a lower cell phone bill in the future…? Sure, let’s go with that! Normally I’d say my 401k contribution that would’ve hit on Wednesday, but I already maxed it out two weeks ago for 2018. So maybe I’ll take a page from Danny right above me and drop that $600 dad reimbursed me into VTSAX to keep myself honest. Thanks for the idea!

    1. Danny November 30, 2018 at 10:43 AM

      No problem Adam! You actually reminded me that I should get a new phone at some point. It’s four years old and is starting to peace out as well. Making the switch from Verizon to RW a few years ago has been one of the better financial decisions we’ve made. Hoping the same for you with Fi, and thanks for the idea too!

      1. J. Money November 30, 2018 at 2:44 PM

        Yes – please let us know what you think of Fi! Still very happy with Republic Wireless here too, but always gotta keep your eyes open, right? ;) And congrats on your 401k maxing too! You guys are good today!!

  10. B.C. Kowalski November 30, 2018 at 11:43 AM

    I’ll play, but I don’t think I spent much this week:

    Money I loved spending this week: Dinner with my sister for her birthday.
    Money I hated spending this week: Charter bill – because the service has been acting up!
    Money I was surprised to spend this week!: Nothing, but I was surprised NOT to spend money on a new camera body. I thought my old body was finally going, but found a fix.
    Money I knew I’d spend this week and am okay with: Um, everything else? haha
    Money I spent towards my goals/dreams: Nothing, but next paycheck I will bank a lot toward my retirement fund, especially since I don’t need to buy a new camera body after all (photography is part of my living so if I did need to, the new camera would be on the way already; I will probably still save up for the upgrade anyway, however).

  11. Stevo November 30, 2018 at 12:06 PM

    Love: $350 – Nice new desktop computer for my dad. He takes care of our kid, saves us TONS of $$$ instead of daycare!
    Hate: $39 – Cat food. Animals are so expensive! Love them to death though..
    Surprised: $27 – Christmas cards… now that we have a baby, apparently this is a requirement…
    Knew/Ok with: $50 – Christmas tree!
    Goals/Dreams: $600 – 529 for the baby (started late in the year)

    1. Stevo November 30, 2018 at 12:09 PM

      P.s. – love the fruit/healthy snacking idea.. everyone should focus more on their health. No point in having enough money to live forever if you’re not healthy enough to fully enjoy the time!

      1. J. Money November 30, 2018 at 2:46 PM

        Thanks man! Been a handful of years/decades in the making, but we’re on a roll now ;) Sometimes you just don’t care until you care, right? Not unlike personal finances!

        (And excellent job on that cheap daycare – you are fortunate!)

  12. Tainted Tiara November 30, 2018 at 12:09 PM

    Ooooo fun! I’ll play!

    • Money I loved spending this week: $17 at my favorite Chinese place with my favorite friend
    • Money I hated spending this week: $1,549 toward my Parent PLUS loans ($3,200 this month!)
    • Money I was surprised to spend this week: $13 for postage to send my 1st ex-husband some old magazines I found while cleaning my basement that he was in and I thought he would love to have (although I’m pissed that he didn’t even thank me LOL whatever)
    • Money I knew I’d spend this week and am okay with: $384 on gifts because it’s Christmas/birthday season at my house. I spent more than I thought I would on my boyfriend’s birthday present, which is tickets to the Lions/Rams game on Sunday, but it our favorite teams and I’ve never been to a Lion’s game before! (Unfortunately, he’s a Rams fan, so we might break up after the Rams lose bahahahaha!)
    • Money I spent towards my goals/dreams: $778 on laminate and supplies to remodel a room that desperately needed new flooring. I wouldn’t have spent the money to do this while I’m in debt reduction mode, but it was a crazy good Black Friday deal. I also bought enough to replace the carpet in my living room, but I’m on the fence about putting laminate in our main living area so I might return it.

    1. J. Money November 30, 2018 at 2:47 PM

      You win the award for making me laugh the most so far today ;)


      1. Tainted Tiara November 30, 2018 at 3:46 PM

        Yay! I love awards, even when they come from Redskin fans! :-D

  13. Chris @ Mindful Explorer November 30, 2018 at 12:15 PM

    Money I loved spending this week: $30 to see “Free Solo” on Imax with the wife
    Money I hated spending this week: $0 – I spend so very little and make mindful purchase
    Money I was surprised to spend this week: $0 – I’m FIRE so I don’t spend irrationally
    Money I knew I’d spend this week and am okay with: $135 for the wife for dentist checkup
    Money I spent towards my goals/dreams: $185 payment 100% EV car, no gas & green future

    1. J. Money November 30, 2018 at 3:03 PM

      Well that’s why they’re called “surprises” haha… No way you can account for everything!

  14. Jon November 30, 2018 at 12:24 PM

    The only thing I bought this week that I regretted was the dinner I had delivered last night. I COULD have walked to the taco shop to get it myself, but I was feeling lazy. The premium was an extra $8 (delivery fee and tip). Not the end of the world, but I still get annoyed when I do that to myself. ;-)

    1. J. Money November 30, 2018 at 3:00 PM

      You had me at tacos :)

  15. Deanna November 30, 2018 at 1:09 PM

    Nice job on the fruit!
    Loved: $294 on DNA ancestry kits for Christmas gifts for my family. My shopping is done :-)

    Hated/Surprised: I am lumping this into one: (I know I am a cheater!): $347 on fixing a temperature gauge on my car since my check engine light came on.

    Money I knew I’d spend: $114.50 on ski gift cards that were ordered at buy one get one 1/2 off. A local ski resort releases them every year.

    Money towards goals/dreams: $500 towards Roth IRA. Actually, this was last week but I’m cheating…again ;-)

    1. J. Money November 30, 2018 at 3:01 PM

      Good job on the DNA kit!! I wonder what y’all will find out???!

  16. JoeHx November 30, 2018 at 2:20 PM

    Money I loved spending this week: $12 in books for Christmas gifts

    Money I hated spending this week: about $300 to student loans, which is way above the minimum. I want those payments gone!

    Money I was surprised to spend this week! $700 to the emergency vet since my dog got into a pill bottle

    Money I knew I’d spend this week and am okay with: $80 in groceries. I guess that’s more than most people, but at least it’s not eating out

    Money I spent towards my goals/dreams: $70 ish for paint supplies for the bathroom remodel

    1. J. Money November 30, 2018 at 3:01 PM

      Pets get so expensive some times!!! And always when you’re not expecting it!

  17. Sharon November 30, 2018 at 2:38 PM

    Money I hated spending; $250 to repair my sink breaking away from my counter top. I had never even heard of that happening. I had to call the company that installed my granite counter top to do this work. I also need to pay the plumber who came to disconnect the pipes, they are friends and don’t want to charge me, but I will send them something and gladly because they are such kind and generous people and do a lot for the community.

    Money I enjoyed spending: About $6. I found a pair of very fun red, white and blue, stars and stripes pants at a thrift store and bought them for my friend who runs a non-profit for veterans and always dresses in camo or red,white and blue. She was over the moon in love with them. She is such a big hearted person and always doing kind things for others, not just vets, I felt a lot of joy that she loved the gift.

    Money I was surprised to spend- (see money I hated spending), I am such a penny pincher that I have had to work on giving myself permission to perform maintenance work on my house/car and not view it as a bad thing. My house is about 13 years old, so things are going to wear out and need to be fixed. I do set aside money every month for property taxes and maintenance, so it didn’t hurt quite so much.

    Money I knew I’d spend and am ok with: About $12.00. Every Thursday I eat an (in my opinion) mediocre and overpriced breakfast and tip the fabulous waitress who serves at the weekly breakfast meeting of the local civic club of which I am a member. It’s a small price to pay to get the benefit of rubbing shoulders with the local business and civic leaders in my community, and as a widow, they go out of their way to guide me when I need advice on something they can help with.

    Money towards goals and dreams: not doing so hot here except for the money I regularly set aside from my paycheck. I am a crafter on the side and have made some REALLY nice things that I end up giving away, since I don’t try to market them. But I don’t create to make money, I do it to feed my soul.

    1. J. Money November 30, 2018 at 3:07 PM

      I am loving your vibe over there :) You are surrounded by so many good hearted people, and I imagine because YOU are so good hearted too! Really enjoyed reading this, thank you!

      And what do you craft on the side btw? Jewelry? Art?

    2. Tainted Tiara November 30, 2018 at 3:49 PM

      I feel EXACTLY the same way about house/car maintenance! Not a bad thing…not a bad thing…not a bad thing…

  18. Paul November 30, 2018 at 2:50 PM

    Money I loved spending this week: Buying Christmas Presents
    Money I hated spending this week: Buying a new cell phone. Old one is 3 years and I’m tired of dealing with its temperamental nature.
    Money I was surprised to spend this week! Paid some delivery people to move some stuff to my basement. I usually never tip but I felt like they did it without asking for money, which in turn made me want to give them money.
    Money I knew I’d spend this week and am okay with: Ummm, food I guess.
    Money I spent towards my goals/dreams: Paid off a looming credit card to zero. I got plumped to almost 4 K and was making me anxious.

    1. J. Money November 30, 2018 at 3:10 PM

      It’s funny how that tipping stuff works, right? I tend to hate giving it when it’s expected of me or at least all up in my face, but I always enjoy giving it when it’s not or on my own accord. I just wish my *instinct* was to always want to tip but I’m naturally stingy/frugal!

  19. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life November 30, 2018 at 6:08 PM

    Money I loved spending this week: $480 combined with friends for the lovely people here: http://okini.net/ I bargain hunted all week long.
    Money I hated spending this week: $480 on dogsitting for next year and that’s after I spent it all last week! ($13,000 on ductwork and heating). I appreciate what we get but it was SO MUCH MONEY.
    Money I was surprised to spend this week! Nothing? Maybe $30 on sweaters that may or may not fit, we’ll see.
    Money I knew I’d spend this week and am okay with: just the regular bills.
    Money I spent towards my goals/dreams: I’m going by your example that includes delicious foods. We have been changing up our diet and it’s making such a huge difference in my chronic pain I don’t even know what to do with myself!

    1. J. Money December 3, 2018 at 11:49 AM

      Good job on the food change up! You should blog about it if you haven’t already in case it helps others in your situation too :)

  20. KL December 1, 2018 at 5:29 AM

    This week I did not really spend money on many things. I spent my time working and evenings mostly in meetings so the only thing I spent money on was lunches (no time or energy to make my own) and some groceries. And a kid’s friend’s birthday present, but that was peanuts ($7). So my biggest spending oddly covers four categories.

    Money I knew I’d spend this week and am okay with: kid’s swim trunks. Junior had a hole in his old too small hand-me-down pair from his brother for months. (We weren’t trying to save money, but first we did not notice and it seems we always get too busy to visit stores and the old ones at least still held together…) I draw the line in thriftiness at holes in garments – being dressed nicely is not that expensive. $15.

    Money I loved/hated/surprised/goals&dreams money this week:
    Opera tickets for next Friday. I’ve been working too much and spending too little time on some other important things. After attending a free concert at church last week (my fav piece, Mozart’s Requiem) and literally crying the entire concert from the first notes to the very end I realized I need more of what I love.
    I had eyed this opera entire fall and thought I’d love to see it. So this week I checked the program for the rest of the year, saw the opera only runs until the end of the year, and that there was literally one show left with any tickets at all. I clicked “Reserve tickets” to see the situation – and there were exactly TWO tickets left. For a total of $200. Now that’s about twice as much I’d normally spend in the opera, but they were also very nice seats. It was this or nothing, and I bit my lip and jumped. I will know next Friday whether it was worth it ;)
    I’m spending more time and money on these important things otherwise too – I will buy a Christmas song book for me and the kids to learn easy Christmas song on the piano, we have attended free family concerts and I’ll join some free Christmas singing events with friends and family. For as long as my savings goals are not compromised, I’m not going to worry about occasional splurges.

    1. J. Money December 3, 2018 at 11:52 AM


      What a nice treat for you!! :)

  21. Debbie December 2, 2018 at 6:24 AM

    $$ I loved spending: $63.75 on a $75 gift card for mother in law’s Xmas gift (15% off sale at Dollar General)
    $$ I hated spending: $340 for a prescription I’m fighting with Blue Cross to cover.
    $$ I was surprised to spend this week: $200 on a new Xmas tree/decorations (my Mom gave me a $200 Ebay gift card when she visited over Thanksgiving. Never would have bought this stuff otherwise despite our current 15 year old tree starting to look limp)
    $$ I knew I’d spend this week & am okay with: $75 Xmas gift card for my best friend to an out of state restaurant she loves & visits twice a year. She only mentioned it once so I know she’ll be shocked to get this. I listen carefully!
    $$ spent towards goals/dreams: the usual $150 every paycheck to pay down mortgage plus $8800 bonus went into savings (husband needs surgery–medical deductible $7500-OUCH!).
    Thanx for this fun quiz!

    1. J. Money December 3, 2018 at 11:53 AM

      I don’t know what’s better – that hefty bonus or the look that’s gonna be on your friend’s face when you pass her that gift card :)

  22. The Real Cie December 2, 2018 at 10:13 AM

    I did a write-up on my blog.
    The worst bit of unexpected spending was the damn overdraft charge. I try to be careful. I have a very limited budget and am on Medicaid. I checked that the money was there before buying yarn for my blanket project, but something ended up going through at the same time. I ended up with an overdraft charge, and it snowballed.
    I have very strong opinions about these exorbitant overdraft charges. I think they should be illegal. Banks only make them because they can. They only end up harming the poor and working classes, people who are already struggling anyway.

    1. J. Money December 3, 2018 at 11:59 AM

      Ugh yeah, they make billions a year off that :( I hope you can get them to clear it though! I find If I call and ask nicely they’ll refund ’em so long as it’s not a recurring thing… In fact, just did that the other week when I realized I was getting dinged monthly charges for not having enough in my checking? I’d never been charged before so wasn’t sure what was going on, but they cleared the last 3 fees and I had to adjust the way I was managing stuff (it was for my business accounts that I admittedly don’t monitor a closely as my personal ones).

      At any rate, sorry to hear you’re dealing with it all, but thank you for participating in this exercise today! Just read up on your answers on your blog post :)

  23. Robin December 3, 2018 at 7:16 PM

    Kind of late reading your blog but thought I’d submit my input

    Money I loved spending this week: I purchased luggage for my 14 year old nephew who’s traveling to Iceland and Sweden this Christmas – first trip abroad.
    Money I hated spending this week: I hate spending money on gas for my car. I just don’t just the whole industry. Though did most of my Thanksgiving Day dinner shopping at a grocery store that gives points toward gas – this week paid $1.93/gallon. Yeah!!!
    Money I was surprised to spend this week! No surprises.
    Money I knew I’d spend this week and am okay with: Planned to spent money for Thanksgiving Dinner – I host family every year.
    Money I spent towards my goals/dreams: Spent nothing on my goals/dreams.

    Good exercise.

    1. J. Money December 4, 2018 at 6:22 AM

      That’s a helluva first trip abroad for your nephew!

      And this week I hope you’re able to put a little aside for yourself :)

  24. Robin December 6, 2018 at 12:21 PM

    Will try. Obtw inspired by your quest to try and eat more fruits. My grandsons and I tried a persimmon – they liked it, me not so much.

    1. J. Money December 6, 2018 at 1:54 PM

      Persimmon – hah! Haven’t tried that one yet!

      We came across a “pomelo” though the other day and that was a fun one! Like a giant grapefruit, only much sweeter :)

  25. New December 17, 2018 at 6:31 AM

    Sometimes it’s easy in practice, but it’s theoretically hard stuff. This is one of them :)