By: Revanche

Purposeful Spending

January 7, 2009

There have been more careless spending times in my life, but the last few weeks have to be right up there with the best (worst?) of them. It looks like I’ve just been wildly swiping my credit card, always picking the one with the best rewards as applicable, of course, so I was a little spazzed about reviewing the totals. Looks like it wasn’t too bad, though, and most of the spending was really goal-oriented: work or health.

Many of the expenses were intended to draw down the remainder of my 2008 FSA account:

4 doctor’s appointments: $60
Prescriptions, new or refills: $19.90
Massage therapy for my medical condition: $55, I hate that stress costs me real money, but it sure teaches me to take better care of myself. And it was budgeted.
Actually, I managed to max out the 08 FSA before I was through. That bumped my eyeglasses replacement order to January.

2009 FSA:

New eyeglasses: $39, after my health care plan’s credit was deducted. Since I’m a novice eyeglasses wearer, and was too harried to properly measure my face, it was worth the time and money to go through my medical plan.
The optician spent a lot of time discussing the options: explaining that the polycarbonate plastic lenses are guaranteed never to break, that silicon nose pads were recommended and swapped them out for me, trimmed the length of the arms and fit them to my face. These were all services that a mail order store couldn’t have performed to my satisfaction. Heck, I didn’t even know to ask about adjusting the length of the arms in the first place! It seemed like a stupid question at the time, but it was even stupider not asking when the glasses were first scripted out.

Nyquil/Dayquil:

$12. Some virus is going around and the orange and green pills are keeping me functional.

Other OTC drugs:

$? Still need to stock up on pain relievers and probably some more cold/flu medication.

Clothing/shoes:

Suit: $11, best deal ever!
Shoes: $30, um, not the best deal ever. But it’s for a good purpose! Matching is a good purpose.
Tailoring: $?, will know the estimate once the jacket and two shirts are dropped off for nips and tucks.

Eating out:

Again, it felt like we ate out a lot. We did more frequently than I’m accustomed to, but it was a combination of eating away from home and eating out. The former was just eating meals at friends’s homes while visiting, while the latter probably consisted of 4 meals for a total of $25.
Just got another email asking if we’re up for dinner, drinks or pool tonight before the last friend straggles back home to NorCal, though.

Happily, lots of the fun stuff was free: hanging out with friends at their houses, watching shows and movies they already had, opening presents that we’d already spent on, etc.

Regardless of the intent, I don’t want to get in the habit of mindlessly spending. It’s way too easy to stop thinking about whether or not I need that item, and just buy ’cause I want it.

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