September2014 Finances

Sometime last year, I started meticulously tracking my spending. I saved all my receipts and kept all of my financials updated in an organized Excel workbook. And then sometime around May of this year, I stopped tracking everything and, consequently, my spending has gone to crap.

I’m going to try and post a monthly review of my finances to keep myself accountable. Who knows, maybe I won’t buy a shake once a week from the diner down the street knowing that I’ll have to fess up to you all. ;)

Breakdown of my spending this month:

SeptExpenditures

  • Groceries: $136. This was my weak point this month and I’m not even really sure how I spent this much. I know that part of it was the fact that I moved back this month and had to buy a lot of necessities that I don’t normally need to buy on a regular basis (salt, pepper, flour, etc.). A lot of this was also impulse spending: I went grocery shopping with Andrew and his roommate so I bought a lot of unnecessary things for them and myself that I wouldn’t normally buy. Peer pressure, y’all.
  • Gas: $80. Not terrible. There’s also not a lot that I can do to cut back on this short of taking public transportation. I have been walking to school, so maybe next month I can shave a little bit off of that.
  • Restaurants: $16. I did really well this month on eating out. I only went out on two occasions and spent a minimal amount ($8 each time).
  • Entertainment: $5. This was also a high point this month for me; I went to the movies and only bought candy for me and Andrew. Success.
  • Miscellaneous: $122. Another rough area this month – and all spent at Walmart! A lot of this was a one-time expense, though. Since my roommate moved out, I needed to buy a lot of cleaning supplies and kitchenware, including broom and dust pan, toilet plunger and brush, knives, organizational crates, and toiletries. I should be able to eliminate most of these expenses for the month of October.
  • Utilities: $110. This includes internet, gas, and electric bills. This also includes installation fees and set-up charges. This should be marginally lower next month.

Total Expenditures: $469*

Areas for improvement are definitely my groceries and miscellaneous spending. My goal is to cut each by about $50, which would still leave me with $86 for groceries and $72 for miscellaneous. I’m going to put that $100 directly into savings, which has been suffering these last few months with wedding planning. Living on your own can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be when you’re wise with your money. So here’s to better finances in October!

*Note: I haven’t included my fixed costs (such as rent and car payments) because these costs I can’t change or diminish, so are, in this case, irrelevant.

A Taste of Kansas City: Pizza 51

I really don’t talk much about Kansas City, other than that this isn’t really my home and that I go to school here, so I wanted to start a little series of posts that show the highlights of this great city and to share some of my favorite experiences. :)

One of the hot spots to go eat near our campus is a little hole-in-the-wall place called Pizza 51. They serve some great, huge, slices of pizza from a former gas station. They converted it into a cute little pizzeria that’s affordable and fun.

What makes their pizzas so much fun is the sheer size of their slices. I love taking new people to Pizza 51 just to see their reactions when the pizza comes out!

Resized Pizza 51 (2)

I’m not sure if this is a common thing to do outside of the midwest, but they serve honey with your pizza to dip your crust into. Is that common elsewhere? I have never heard of it before, and neither have most of my friends. I’m not a big fan, but Andrew is always on the lookout for honey now when we eat pizza there!

They have so many toppings for all of their pizzas that every time I go it takes me forever to decide what I want! Today I just ordered sausage because I just couldn’t decide what I wanted! They have everything from artichoke hearts to feta cheese to cream cheese to pineapple – they’ve got it all!

I love pizza – and I’ve had a lot of pizza from so many different places around the world. I wouldn’t say that this is the best pizza I’ve ever had, but it’s good pizza and I love the environment there. They have indoor and outdoor seating separated by a garage door (come one, how cool is that?) and on nice days, they lift the garage door so the indoor and outdoor seating is combined.

The location is perfect, too, because it’s situated just on the edge of campus. It’s convenient to meet friends there for lunch or to grab some on the way home. It’s also close enough that I can walk on nice days and I don’t feel so full that I might explode on the walk home, either. ;P

I went this afternoon with my old roommate and a freshman girl I had just met. She loved it! Alysha was, as always, very excited about the pizza!

Resized Pizza 51 (1)

The slices are just large enough, too, that I always have something to take home with me and have for lunch tomorrow. :)

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