January was an interesting month for my spending. I started a new job on the 1st, which gave me an entirely new lifestyle. The job is stripping at a topless club in a city not too far from where I live. My last job before this one was at a coffee shop which, if I’m being honest, was much more demeaning than working at a strip club. The customers were much ruder and I was being paid minimum wage to deal with them. At least now, I’m being paid much better rates and, if a customer is being rude, I can tell them to fuck right off.
I was curious about how my spending would increase with this new job, seeing as I had much more income than I was used to. I tried to be mindful of increased costs and keep my lifestyle inflation pretty low, so let’s see how each category stacked up! For context, I made $2,940 in January — here’s where that went:
My January Spending Diary
So this was a fairly big expense this month, as I bought new lingerie to wear to work. I didn’t buy a lot of it and tried my best to use things I already owned, but I did want to feel special and sexy so I got myself new thigh high socks, a black clutch to use at work, and a black lace lingerie set from a local shop. I feel good about both purchases and have gotten lots of use out of them. However, I hope to reduce this spending category next month.
About half of this was on my biweekly subscription to Imperfect Produce, which delivers fresh fruit and vegetables that wouldn’t have made it to supermarket shelves to my door every other week. I’m so happy to have found this subscription because it makes me eat more fresh, in-season produce, and helps the environment by reducing food waste. The other half was general groceries, which is much lower than usual because I tried to have a no-spend food month. I went through my pantry and freezer and really tried to use everything up so I could go into this new year with a lighter plate, no pun intended.
Household Goods/Health: $1.69
It’s rare for me not to spend on household goods. I normally buy some combination of candles, decor, and cleaning products throughout the month but I guess I kept my non-necessary spending low this month. All I spent my money on was a prescription for an antibiotic when I got sick.
Coming straight out of Christmas, this is a huge reduction in this spending category. I bought a lot of Christmas gifts for my family and friends last month and, lucky for me, there were no January birthdays for which to purchase gifts. I normally try to be giving and gracious with my money but I guess I went a month without doing so.
I spent 1.69 on a Steam game for my PC. I love video games for the distraction and entertainment they can provide and this one was very affordable. I spent a few hours playing which means I got my money’s worth and I know I can return to it if I ever choose to. Video games are usually a weakness of mine so I make sure to budget for them.
This is a huge expense for me! I recently moved to Southern California from a place that had amazing public transport and so I never learned to drive or bought a car. I’m definitely re-evaluating my need for a car now because those Lyfts and Ubers really added up. Luckily, I mostly used them to get to and from work so at least I was making money after spending it. My bike generally got me anywhere else I needed to go.
Personal Care/Beauty: $11.74
I’m happy to have kept this spending category low because I did need to pick up some new things for work. I’m not someone who usually wears nail polish or blush but I needed to for the job so I picked up some from the drugstore that I’m happy with. I love watching youtube reviews so I spent enough time researching that I’m very pleased with my purchases.
Another huge expense for me. I really value having a clean, safe space that I can call my own, and living in California, that can get quite expensive. I live in a gated community in a large one bedroom apartment that has amazing maintenance and landlord availability. We have lots of amenities like two pools, a hot tub, a gym with free weights and plenty of machines, and a gorgeous campus. I also have a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, and a large tub which I love taking baths in. I feel very lucky that I can afford this apartment because it’s really improved my mental health. I have a hard time living with roommates or in my past few apartments that had cockroaches, water leaks, and horrible landlords. Luckily, I love my apartment so much that I’m a real homebody. Practically everything I could need is on campus, and I’m happy to spend my time in the gym or by the pool or in my apartment itself.
I put $450 straight into my Roth IRA account in order to fill it out this year. I have been doing this every month I’ve worked since I got my first job during summer break of high school sophomore year. I was lucky to live with my parents and have them support me through college and I’ve gotten a really solid headstart on my retirement fund.
Overall, I’m pretty proud of my spending. There’s not much I truly regret, although I know I’m spending too much on rent and travel right now. I’m lucky to have a job with a high earning potential so I can afford the things that bring my comfort and health. As for next month, I’m hoping to keep non-necessary categories like Clothing and Personal Care low, as well as putting aside my savings goal for retirement and continuing to prioritize my health and wellness.
Mandy Pura is a 22-year-old who holds two Bachelors in the Arts and has no idea what to do with them. She’s a health-conscious coffee-drinker by day, and a stripper by night. She likes to spend her time doing circus acrobatics, practicing mindfulness, and eating delicious vegan foods.
Image via Unsplash