Spending Report for February 2016


Folks who follow my blog know that I set a goal for 2016 of recording all of my spending. (To find out how this project came about, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2015/12/31/spending/.)  Each month I give a report on what I bought and how much I spent in the previous month. (To read January’s spending report, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/02/01/spending-report-for-january-2016/.) As follows is my spending report for February 2016.

2-1-16 Today I mailed books to folks who requested from me through BookMooch and a package to a friend. Total spent: $21.28

$19.90 to the U.S. post office to mail packages

$1.38 to Fry’s for two packages of tofu on sale for 69 cents each.

2-2-16  Today I had to pay my mailbox rental, and I bought some hemp cord . Total Spent: $27.27

$19.47 for mailbox rental

$6.39 to Wal-Mart for hemp cord

2-3-16  Today at Goodwill I bought a wooden bowl and supplies for a craft project. Total Spent: $8.80

2-4-16  Nothing spent

2-5-16  Nothing pent

2-6-15  I bought lunch, browsed in thrift stores and had the oil in my van changed today. Total Spent: $34.07

At the first thrift store, I spent $1 on a pair of pants and 50 cents on a book to give to a friend.

It was half-price day at Goodwill. I spent $5 for three books and a Scala brand raffia hat.

I spent $5.43 for a pizza from Little Caesar’s (and it was delicious!)

I gave Meineke $22.14 for an oil change. The guy doing the oil change told me transmission fluid was leaking and tried to get me to pay an additional $39 for them to figure out where the fluid was coming from. I told him I would take the van to my regular mechanic.

2-7-16  I ordered blue hemp cord for a custom necklace. Total Spent: $7.80

2-8-16  I spent the day with a friend who’d invited me to see The Lady in the Van (starring Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings) with him. Since he said he’d treat me to the movie, I treated him to lunch. Total Spent: $19.92

2-9-16  I handed a dollar to someone flying a sign. Total Spent: $1

2-10-16  Today I went to the post office, then used a coupon for free pancakes at IHOP.  Total Spent: $24.39

I gave the U.S. post office $19.36 to mail more books.

I spent $3.03 on a glass of orange juice at IHOP and left a $2 tip.

2-11-16 Today I used birthday coupons. Total Spent: $24.06

I got a free pastry (big enough for two servings) at Panera and spent $1.94 for a coffee to go with it. (Purchase of the coffee was not required to get the free pastry.)

I did have to buy something at Arby’s in order to use my coupon for a free milkshake. I spent $2.12 on curly fries.

I also spent $20 on gas for the van.

2-12-16  Nothing spent

2-13-16  Nothing spent

2-14-15  A friend and I spent the day in Jerome, AZ. Total Spent: $20.51

I spent $7 on admission to Douglas Mansion Museum.

I spent 51 cents on a souvenir penny to send to a friend.

I spent $13 on lunch, including tip.

2-15-16 I brought the van to a transmission specialist today to have the leak(s) repaired. There goes any thought I had of spending less money this month. Total Spent: $538.75

The transmission work cost $531.99.

While the work on the van was being done, I hung out at Denny’s and spent $4.27.

Later I used an about-to-expire buy-one-get-one-free coupon for shrimp tacos at Del Taco. I spent $2.49 for dinner.

2-16-16  Today the Lady of the House and I went to the Goodwill Clearance Center. I shopped with a $10 gift card that had been given to me. Later I washed and dried a comforter at the laundromat. Total Spent: $7.41

I went a little over my $10 gift card budget at the clearance center and spent $1.41 cash money.

I spent $6 at the laundromat washing and drying the German down comforter I bought with the gift card.

2-17-16  I went off to BLM land to spend a few quiet days. I had to mail a package and get supplies before I left civilization. Total Spent: $40.98

I spent $20 on gas at the Circle K.

I paid the U.S. Post Office $13.80 to mail a package to a friend.

Ice and supplies cost $7.18.

2-18-19  I was in the middle of nowhere today. Nothing spent.

2-19-16  Another day in the middle of nowhere. Nothing spent.

2-20-16  I went to Goodwill to find a cover for my comforter. Later, I unexpectedly ate dinner at a restaurant with my host family and their extended family. Total Spent: $18.50

At the first  Goodwill, I caved in to consumerism and spent $6 on four bowls I like a lot but don’t need (I may return them) and two books.

At the second Goodwill, I found a 100% cotton, Company Store brand cover for my comforter for only $2.50. (It was half-price day again.)

Dinner was at the Spaghetti Factory, and I managed to keep my dinner and tip to $10 by ordering an appetizer for my meal. The folks I was eating with didn’t want the ice cream that came with their meals, so I scored a free dessert.

2-21-16  Nothing spent

2-22-16 I had a birthday coupon for pancakes at IHOP. I had coffee to go with the flapjacks, and I left a $2 tip. Total spent: $4.59

2-23-19  Nothing spent

2-24-16  Nothing spent

2-25-16  Today I was out and about. Total spent: $5.52

I gave $1 to a lady flying a sign.

I spent $4.52 at Safeway on food for my lunch.

2-26-16  Nothing spent

2-27-16  I was out and about again today, and bought food for lunch at Trader Joe’s. Total spent: $4.05

2-28-16  I went to a potluck today. I cooked potatoes. A ten pound bag of potatoes only cost $1 more than a five pound bag, so I got the bigger bag. I only used half of the potatoes, so I know what I’ll be eating for the rest of the week. Total spent: $26.19

I spent $20 on gas for the van.

I spent $6 on ingredients for my potluck dish at Safeway.

2-29-16 I gave $1 and change to a panhandler in a grocery store parking lot. He caught me off guard while I was on the phone, so I didn’t count the change before I gave it to him. Let’s call it 50 cents. Total spent: $1.50

Also, I know at some point in February I spent $2.37 on three more packages of tofu that were on sale for 79 cents each. I forgot to write down that purchase, so I don’t know when I made it.

Total spent in February: $838.06

On the last day of February, I found out the van needs a new fuel pump. The expense will go on March’s tally. It’s always something.





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.

7 Responses »

  1. Pingback: Spending Report for January 2016 | Rubber Tramp Artist

  2. My spending is similar. Outside of the repair, your $338 for other is my $3-400 for everything beyond phone, internet, and gasoline. Less eating out for me and less shipping. I often go past the free food samples at Whole Foods 3-4 times when the workers arn’t looking. I also shop at goodwill, but look for cheaper thrift shops.

    • Thanks for reading, David, and for sharing your experience.

      I really only shop at Goodwill on the days (every other Saturday in the area where I am currently staying) when everything in the store is half price. If I am looking for something particular, I will wait until half-price day to shop. If I just want to shop for fun (which I am trying really hard not to do), then I go to the Goodwill Clearance Center. If I needed something immediately and knew of thrift stores cheaper than Goodwill, I’d certainly go to a cheaper store.

      I’ll probably have less shipping to do this month, which is good, since I have less money.

  3. Better $538 for transmission repairs, than $2500 for transmission replacement, I suppose, but vehicles repairs are frustrating, and so expensive. I feel for you! Glad you had the money saved, and otherwise, you’re really doing great on spending-control! Congratulations!

    • As always, thanks for reading and commenting, Tammi.

      I definitely thought of you when I found out I needed transmission repairs. The repair guy told me there was a chance he’d need to rebuild the transmission, but when he got in there, he said it looked good. Relief!

      I was also fortunate that these repairs happened while I was in the big city and near the mechanic I trust who was able to recommend a transmission guy.

      Today I picked up the van from the mechanic I trust. The “performance issues” the transmission guy reported were due to a dying fuel pump. That ended up costing 260 some dollars, but at least it didn’t leave me by the side of the road, which would have added towing costs to repair costs.

      Shrug. What ya gonna do?

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