Spending Report for April 2016


If anyone doesn’t know or has forgotten, one of my goals for 2016 is to keep a record of every penny I spend this year. (To find out how this project came about, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2015/12/31/spending/.) At the beginning of each month I give a report on what I bought and how much I spent in the previous month.

I’m pretty sad about my spending report for April 2016. I was doing really well until I was told I needed four new tires. (Read about my tire saga here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/04/29/tires/ and here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/04/30/tires-a-cautionary-tale-continued/.)

My insurance came due in April too. I prefer to pay for six months of insurance at a time so I can save money. Because I moved my insurance to a new state when I renewed my policy, my premium for six months increased $120

As follows is my spending report for April 2016.

4-1-16  Today I spent 50 cents for hot water when I took a shower at a campground. Total spent: 50 cents

4-2-16  Today I went to town. I always seem to spend money when I go to town. Total spent: $26.54

79 cents for a brand new collapsible funnel

$20 for gas

$5.75 to the supermarket for cookies to contribute to a party and ice

4-3-16  Nothing spent

4-4-16  Nothing spent

4-5-16  I went back to town today. Total spent: $10.55

$3.50 to the post office for postcard stamps

$2 at thrift stores, for, among other things, two Rubbermaid containers for with lids for holding ice in my cooler and a Klean Kanteen water bottle in fantastic condition

$5.05 for food at the discount grocery store

I did NOT eat at the pizza buffet today. I wanted to. I really, really wanted to, but I told myself no.

4-6-16  Today I headed to the big city for a house and pet sitting job. Total spent: $51.65

$40 on gas in the van

$11.65 to Wal-Mart for double sided tape (which is crap–I should have paid for higher quality), interdental brushes, a tub to go under my bed to hold up the board under the memory foam so I don’t spend the entire night trying not to roll towards the front of the van, and two pairs of boot socks which were on sale for $1 a pair.

4-7-16  Back in the city, I hit a couple of thrift stores and bought some groceries to get me through my time house sitting. Total Spent: $23.82

$19.32 for groceries

$4.50 for art supplies for chicken project and yarn.

4-8-16  Nothing spent

4-9-16 Today I bought my four new tires (cringe) and handed a dollar to a man flying a sign. Total spent: $416.83

$415.83 to Discount Tire for tires

$1 to panhandler

4-10-16  I need boots for my summer job. I went online today and found a pair on Ebay that were still in great condition and substantially less than they cost new. I also went to Panera (where I was given a free bagel every day of the month of April) to write for a few hours. Total spent: $54.85

$46.40 for work/hiking boots

$8.45 to Panera for a drink and later a salad

4-11-16  Today I moved to the Airbnb room I rented to stay in while I worked scoring standardized tests. (If you wonder why I haven’t mentioned paying for that rental, it’s because I haven’t yet. I borrowed money to pay for the room, and haven’t repaid the money yet. That payment should show up in the May spending report.) I mailed two packages and bought some groceries before I moved in. Total spent: $50.72

$9.82 to post office

$2.98 for brown rice (There was a GREAT sale going on; two pounds of rice for $1. I should have bought ten pounds)

$37.92 to discount food store on groceries

4-12-16  Nothing spent

4-13-16  Nothing spent

4-14-16  I ran some errands after work. Total spent: $27.49

$6 to Goodwill for jars to use in making ghee, and for two shirts and a pair of jeans (The clothes were only $1 per piece!)

$1.49 to the supermarket for half a gallon of milk

$20 for gas

4-15-16  My big Friday treat was dinner at Taco Bell. Total spent: $2.37

4-16-17  Today was half-price day at Goodwill. After work, I hit a couple of stores. Total spent: $7.95

$2.49 for a birthday present book

$5.46 for two books for me, yarn for infinity scarf projects, and an sleep mask made from corduroy for a young man I know who is soon going off to collage

4-17-16  Today I made ghee, and had to buy butter and cheesecloth at the supermarket. I haven’t decided if the project was a success or a failure. Total spent: $11.69

4-18-16  Nothing spent

4-19-18  Driving to and from works uses gas. Today I had to put more in the van’s tank. Total spent: $20

4-20-18  I stopped at Dollar Tree after work to get an envelope in which to mail the chicken art. There was nothing big enough for my chicken art needs. However, I found nice adult coloring books and bought three as gifts. I also bought a stylus to use with my new phone. Total spent: $4.32

4-21-16  I could barely stay awake at work today and had to buy a cup of coffee from the machine in the break room. After work I found the box I needed to mail the chicken art. Total spent: $1.72

55 cents to coffee machine

$1.17 to Wal-Mart for box to ship chicken art

4-22-17  Today was payday. In celebration, I ate fried chicken and steak fries I picked up at the supermarket when I was buying tea to get me through the sleepies at work and a couple of other food items. Total spent: $11.73

4-23-16  Nothing spent

4-24-16  Today I went to the grand open of an international supermarket. I bought sriracha sauce, a pack of toothbrushes, and a tube of sunscreen. Total Spent: $5.48

4-25-16  Today I mailed the chicken art and paid for six months of insurance (cringe). Total spent: $380.95

$8.45 to post office to mail package

$380.95 for six months of insurance

4-26-16  Nothing spent

4-27-16  My temp job ended yesterday and I moved out of the Airbnb room today. I stocked up a the discount food store and took care of some things with my van registration and residency. Total spent: $79.46

$47.46 to discount grocery store for food

$32 MVD

4-28-16  Today I went to a junior high school play and took care of some more van registration details. Total spent: $33.95

$5 admission to play

$28.95 to MVD

4-29-16  My monthly phone payment was charged to my debit card account. (I get a discount for using autopay.) Total spent: $34.99

4-30-16 Last day of the month, and I bought supplies I’ll need for the summer.  Total spent: $36.58

Total spent in March: $1.294.14

Excuse me while I go off somewhere and feel depressed.

To read my other spending reports, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/02/01/spending-report-for-january-2016/, here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/03/01/spending-report-for-february-2016/, and here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/04/02/spending-report-for-march-2016/.






About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now I have a little travel trailer parked in a small RV park in a small desert town. I also have a minivan to travel in. When it gets too hot for me in my desert, I get in my minivan and move up in elevation to find cooler temperatures or I house sit in town in a place with air conditioning I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

8 Responses »

  1. You’re brave. I tried to account for my spending once, and after three days I was comatose with anxiety. I appreciate the “tramps” who can provide that information for us, though.

    • Duck, it was really hard to write the April expenses post because I knew how it was going to turn out. Sometimes it is much easier to stay in the dark or just pretend it’s not as bad as it is. Seeing it in print means there is nowhere to hide!

      I’m actually quite tired of this accounting for every penny project. I did not think it was going to go this way. I thought I was going to be able to gloat about how frugal I am. I thought I was going to be able to show the whole world that it is possible to live without much money. Maybe this is hubris…feel smug and the universe bites you in the ass.

      I guess if I can’t maintain the van, I’ll load what I can into my backpack and just wander the desert on foot and depend on the kindness of strangers, but I’m getting pretty old for that kind of shit.

      Seriously, if I can’t maintain the van, I may have to move to a city, stay with friends until I can get a job and save up enough for a crappy apartment. That is not the life I want…

  2. That was painful to read. Sorry 🙁 Those sort of months are not much fun financially. I am really, really tired of having almost no money. My rent just got raised to 75% of my income. Sigh…. Here’s hoping expenses quit multiplying for you. I keep track of every penny spent, too.

    • Wow! 75% of your income going to rent seems enormous, Wendy. I am sorry to hear about that increase. When rent gets that expensive, I don’t know how landlords and society at large expect people to pay it. And if folks can’t pay their rent, where are they supposed to go? Not everyone is able to live in vans or cars for a variety of reasons (health issues, local laws, lack of place to shower/clean up). Most people don’t have the extra income to go toward a big rent increase. Workers can’t just tell the boss that their rent has gone up and demand a pay increase.

      I have friends who live off disability and get just enough to pay their living expenses (while living in subsidized housing). They have nothing extra…no money to put into savings, no money to spend on a road trip.

      I feel you, Wendy, I really do. Stay strong.

  3. Blaize, perhaps you should contrast it with how much $$$ is actually coming in as well. I think you did pretty dang well, you had one of those big expense months. May is one of those at our house. Don’t cry, all is well!

    • Ruth, it would be even more depressing if I wrote about how much money is coming in. I earned nowhere near what I spend in April. In fact, I had to borrow money from three friends in order to be able to buy those new tires and pay my insurance. I wasn’t kidding when I said my life is not sustainable.

  4. Suckage. You aren’t even spending money on luxuries or going out partying. Tires are expensive, but necessary. What else can you do? You need tires. And you’ve got to have insurance. And you have to eat. I hope things get easier soon.

    • Thanks, Midge, for recognizing that I am not out living a luxurious life, then moaning when I can’t afford to buy tires. That is the most frustrating part to me. When I think about cutting corners and spending less money on things I don’t need, I have thoughts such as, “That’s it! No more used yarn from the thrift store.” and “I gotta stop spending $2.50 on bean burritos at Taco Bell.”

      I too hope things get easier soon. I’ve got a payday coming up in five days, and I’ll start my summer job in the middle of May. I just have to keep on keeping on.

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