The Best Money I Spent This Month

best-moneyPersonal finance is about spending. There. I said it. Of course, saving and investing matter. But so does spending. It’s all about making money work to meet our needs, fulfill our wants, and achieve our dreams.

While I could drum up a really romantic notion for this post about how the best money I’ve spent recently is the charitable giving that we do or even a thoughtful birthday present I purchased for my mother-in-law, I’m going to be a little bit more real and a lot more selfish. To help me become more comfortable spending some of my hard-earned dollars, I thought I’d take a closer look at what I bought this month that brought me joy.

$12 – Liquid Sunshine

Last weekend, my husband and I headed into the city to check out a new whiskey bar for a friend’s birthday. I had steeled myself for Chicago prices, so I bellied up to the bar knowing that the evening would cost us a pretty penny. In all truthfulness, I thought of a begging off so as not to spend the money, but then I remembered what a colossal slump I created one month when we decided to forgo going out. Plus, I didn’t want to be a crappy friend. What I didn’t expect at this bar, though, was to find one of the most inventive and refreshing cocktails that I’ve ever consumed. It was a blend of cucumber vodka, lemon soda, Cocchi Americano, lavender honey, and some other ingredients that escape my memory. The drink was garnished with rosemary, giving it a sweet and savory fizz. It didn’t hurt that the bar was lovely and the company was even better.

$1.39 – Two chocolate bars

At the start of the month, I worked a fifteen hour day. In between an after-school event and an evening event, I dashed out to Walgreens to scoop up some Reese’s and a Caramello bar. One of my coworkers was having the day of all days with technology, and I wanted to surprise Mr. P with a little treat with this lunch the next day. Now, I know I said I wasn’t going to make this post about spending on other people, so let’s just keep it real. I gave my coworker his candy bar, and I did the same for Mr. P. Thankfully, my husband’s willpower is similar to my own. He promptly devoured the chocolate and even shared a few squares with me.

$11.20 – Round-trip ticket to Vegas

I browse the Southwest website like it’s my job. (Seriously, guys, hire me. I could make your brand so cool. Wink.) A few weeks ago, I stumbled across an $88 flight to Vegas that just so happened to coincide with winter break. But I couldn’t quite pull the trigger. It’s almost like I didn’t learn my lesson the last time I ended up with a wicked case of saver’s remorse. The next day, the airfare tripped. I deleted my cookies, I used incognito mode, and I even tried accessing it from a different computer. Fine, I tried three other devices and my cell phone. No dice. Airfare was back to $234. I had just about given up hope until this past Friday. When the prices dipped again, I cashed in my points and gladly paid the government my almost $12 in fees and taxes. While I suppose this shouldn’t bring me happiness because the trip hasn’t happened yet, I assure you it does. There’s nothing quite like having a vacation to look forward to, amirite?

On one hand, I could look back at this month’s expenses and see someone who frittered away her money on booze, chocolate, and a trip to the land of booze and chocolate*. And I suppose that’s true. But if you look a little harder, you’ll also see that this spending all revolved around experiences and others. And if you mean to tell me that my priorities are my friends, my family, and traveling, then I absolutely agree.

*In my next life when I start a Las Vegas blog, I will tell you all the best spots to score sweets on the Strip.

So Tell Me…What was your best spending this month? As a side note, I’d love to turn this into a monthly series. If you’d be down to guest post whether you’re a blogger or not, let me know in the comments.


The Best Money I Spent This Month

34 thoughts on “The Best Money I Spent This Month

    1. I would love to feature you, Dollar Engineer! I’m so excited that our flights fit in our monthly spending budget rather than having to do any fancy travel budgeting. What a way to get around. I could get used to this!

  1. Can I just say, that this blog post made me very happy? That one drink, two chocolate bars, and a vacation are very similar to my month! Last night my BFF was having a bad day so I went out and bought her some pringles, a watermelon, and an ice cream sandwich (her favs). Although it doesn’t fix anything, it provides a small sense of relief and happiness for some people. It made me happy to share those things with her. And I also purchased a flight this month as well! $242 round trip to Vancouver because my other BFF is moving there. Pretty cheap (for Canada)!

    1. I’m so glad, Alyssa. I seriously love that combination of comfort food. I’m also having a great chuckle imagining you toting around a watermelon, hefting it over like, “Here ya go!” That sounds like really reasonable airfare!

  2. I love it! This month we spent $7 for kettle corn at the Celtic Highland games. And $4 for some really lovely fall flowers at the Farmers Market. 2 great weekends in the books for September. I think I am game for a best of the month spending recap! Sounds like fun. =)

    1. I’d love to feature your post, Ms. Montana. Fresh flowers are so special. I always get a little bit sad when they start to droop. I’m hoping to be better about growing flowers next year. We mostly focused on general landscaping and lots of raised beds this year.

    1. I grew up with boats. My dad always paid cash (he does for everything). Our first boat was a clunker, but I have the fondest memories of it. Most times, he and my uncles would spend equal parts driving the boat and fixing it on vacations. But we pulled it all around the Midwest, and I seriously had the best time. Now, my parents have another boat. It’s less of a clunker, and I’m so thankful for it. There’s something about water!

      1. I’m so glad to hear about your fond memories of boating with your family! That is the exact reason we bought it. We rented a boat in Minnesota when we were camping this year – the kids went tubing and had a blast. As teens, they aren’t always into spending time with the parents so much anymore (go figure), but they like boating!!! The boat isn’t a clunker, but it’s certainly not new and shiny either. The price was right and it was well cared for, so we went for it. We went out last weekend and had a great time. This weekend we plan to try learning to ski, so that should be entertaining.

  3. TJ says:

    I’ve been quite the spendypants in September. Cooking at home offsets a bit of that, but not really.

    I’m actually wondering if when I do my next monthly financial update if I might have a negative savings rate for September. The horror!

    1. As long as it’s purposeful, it’s probably worth it, right? Part of why I’m not tracking net worth right now is because we’re paying for 18 months and 22 months of grad school. And I think my husband is starting more classes. It’ll pay off in the long run, but ZOMG. Right now. My savings account is hemorrhaging.

  4. If I’m not looking up the meaning of flapdoodle I’m Googling Cocchi Americano. Oooh I’m going to have to order one!

    My best spending this month was around $50 for something called the Body Back Body and a book about trigger point therapy. OK I’m older than you and my shoulders hurt! Hopefully these will help.

    1. That sounds like a priceless investment! I have mild scoliosis, and I hesitate to even put this into the universe. But this is the first school year where my pain hasn’t been bothersome. I’d love an update!

      1. I’ve only used the Body Back Buddy a few times but it definitely helps. The lower back is one of the easiest spots to reach with it. I have mild scoliosis too which manifests in lower left back pain. There’ s an official video the BBB company puts out, and other independent videos showing how to use it. I’m also very slowly going through the book, “The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook” which fully explains myofascial pain and remedies. I recommend getting it. Hang it on a doorknob and use it for 5 minutes anytime you feel pain.

  5. I would be so down to guest post if you need contributors! I’d be all “look at the nice things I bought for my dog!” and the commenters will be all “those things were unnecessary” and I will be like “yes, but here is a cute photo of my dog.” Maybe I can even prep like, a series of reaction GIFs from him of him looking vaguely unimpressed and/or super pumped about his toys.

    Ok this might take me a while but if it’s a monthly thing, I’ve got time, right?!

  6. Sometimes my favorite thing to do is buy chocolate and give it to people. I kept a stash of condolence chocolate for when people had bad news. Also I like eating it a lot.

    I also would like Des to guest post because DOG. This is how I get through bad days: hugging Seamus and looking at other cute dogs too.

    The best thing I spent on this month had better be FinCon16 because if it wasn’t, what the hell was I doing?? 😉

  7. Awesome. Best spending was $3.25 on parking on an impromptu beach walk. We were at my great aunt’s 100th birthday party in Wilmington and decided to detour to the beach on the way home. At the same time, arranged to go back to Wilmington to spend time with greatest regular aunt the next weekend. …I guess we spent a bit more than that on gas though.

    Would totally be down for a guest post if you want.

  8. I love the monthly series idea and friends, family & traveling rank as our top 3 things to spend on too! My best spending this month was paying one of my son’s football teammates to take his senior pictures. The kid (a junior) already has great equipment and a drone (REALLY). $150 and all the pics I could have wanted. My son was happy – no mom tagging along and feeding the entrepreneurial spirit of his buddy!

  9. I’ll guest post. I’m sure everyone wants to hear about the pair of skinny jeans I found at the thrift store on my birthday trip to the twin cities (because I have NEVER found a pair of skinny jeans that don’t make me look like a chicken!), FinCon tickets, at the cost of the access road to go hike on a glacier with my two girls and my old college roomie.

  10. I broke down and finally bought a tent. An opportunity to camp with a new friend came up, and I closed my eyes and hit the order button on Amazon. I don’t want to go hog wild on gear right now, because I have a certain investment amount in mind before I start saving for a thru-hike, but just making that purchase feels like it moved the dial in the direction of my dream life. I also ordered Carrot Quinn’s “Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart.” It seems all my reading is focused on personal finance and outdoor adventures. So it seems fitting that it’s save and spend on gear. I can’t wait to see my tent. I may even camp in my backyard to get my dogs acclimated to the adventure.

    And I would gladly guest post.

  11. I took my partner out for a fancy dinner last weekend, as it’s been a challenging few months around here, and I felt like we deserved something special. The bill was painful, but it was a great evening.

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