Welcome to another edition of MBT Talks, a new segment where the team at MyBankTracker discusses a different issue every week, either something ripped from the headlines or a personal dilemma we’re experiencing.
Amy: I’m not a huge budget person but this month (January) I started using an app called Saver to jot down all the purchases I make. So far I’ve been pretty good at recording all my outgoing expense, and it got me curious: what do you guys spend the most money on every month?
Simon: Food. At least $40 a week, maybe even more.
Laura: The most I spend is on food too. It’s maybe about $200 this month. That counts restaurant and groceries.
Amy: If we’re counting “food” includes restaurants and groceries, then groceries definitely take the cake for me in terms of food. You guys don’t spend on entertainment?
Laura: This month I spent $2 on movies and TV. (laughs)
Amy: Really? That’s it? That’s amazing. I spent $67 on movies. I have discount movie passes, but I didn’t have them on me, so I inadvertently ended up paying full price for a lot of movies. I hate when that happens.
I also spent more money on my wardrobe this month, more than I usually do. Happily, I don’t have a regular clothes shopping habit, but because it’s sale season, I indulged.
Laura: I spent $95 so far on clothes and about $25 on personal care. So, makeup.
Amy: I spent about $150 on beauty because I had to restock all the products I’ve finished using. A lot of my discretionary spending this month are on items that won’t be repeat purchases the next two or three months, though.
Simon: My single biggest purchase was a $150 computer monitor. You can never have too many monitors — you techies understand me…
Laura: Is there anything you guys are planning to change? Or things that might come up in the next month or so that you have to buy?
Amy: I know for sure I won’t be spending on wardrobe and personal care as much next month.
Laura: I spent a lot of money on laundry this month, because I had a friend stay over a couple of nights this month. After she leaves, I had to wash the sheets and the blanket she used. That’s an extra $5 per load, and that’s probably going to change next month as her visits decrease or disappear altogether.
Amy: Is she that dirty? (laughs)
Laura: No, but I’m sort of anal. Going back to my original question, next month I’ll probably spend a lot on plane tickets because I’m planning for spring break.
Simon: I might be booking a vacation too. Maybe New Zealand with friends.
Laura: I’ll probably also be spending extra money for Valentine’s Day. Nothing has popped up yet, but I’m also limited with options because it has to be a gift I can send.
Amy: You’ll find something. I’ll probably spend less money next month (February) since there won’t be “accidental” spending and I have no V-Day gifts to get.
So it does seem that all of us spent the most on food. It’s probably because we’re all roughly the same age, so our solo lifestyles are similar. For the most part, we don’t have families or kids to care for.
Laura: Yeah, kids are a money suck.
Amy: Simon spent the least money out of the three of us for this month. Let’s see if that’s the case next month…
Simon: I’m not a huge spender. And I love money. Who doesn’t love money.
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Where does most of your discretionary spending go toward?