Best Money I Spend Each Month (Currently)

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I mentioned in my 'decisions I don't make' post that I never think about bill paying because I've automated so many things, which got me thinking about where my money is going each month.  You already know I live pretty frugally, but that doesn't mean I don't still spend on things that absolutely aren't essential.  There's still plenty of items that are costing me, but that I've deemed as worth it to keep on the budget.  For now.  Here's a couple of the ones I think are the best:

BoardBooster.  When it comes to blogging and social media, I believe in just focusing on which platforms you enjoy and which ones work for you.  Which is why I don't have Facebook.  Pinterest, however, is a solid source of traffic and income for me, so I continue to use it.  But I don't have the time or inclination to work it as efficiently as I should, so I use BoardBooster to automate everything, and it's only costing me $5 a month.  I wish there was a free service for Pinterest like there is for Twitter but I suppose $5 isn't so bad.  It wasn't difficult to set up and now that it's running, I barely even think about it.  I pin my own content as I publish it, of course, but otherwise, I'm able to take just a half hour or so each month and pin 30+ things to each of my different boards and BoardBooster does the rest of the work for me as far as publishing them at the right time and re-pinning all my old posts for new audiences to see.  Well worth the price!

Netflix.  At this point, we do have cable.  I don't ever watch it but John 'needs' sports so oh well, it is what it is!  I went without any form of cable for years and I'm so accustomed to it that I never turn the TV on if John isn't home.  I consider it to be a massive time suck and a productivity black hole.  What I do turn to, when I need to veg out, is Netflix.  It's relatively cheap each month and there's a ton of things on there that I enjoy watching.  I like that I have to be intentional about it too, as in picking what I'm spending time on instead of mindlessly channel surfing. 

Cleaning Service.  We have a cleaning lady, Bernadette, who comes in once a month on a Saturday morning for 4 hours, and I love her.  She does all the deep cleaning tasks that I don't want to do, and does them better and faster than I could.  And since I just keep up with the rest of things throughout the month, I find that I don't have to do certain cleaning tasks at all because they stay just fine until she comes back - like cleaning the baseboards and wainscotting.  I suppose that if I didn't work full time that I would consider not spending this money and tackling it all myself, but as it stands, I value both my time and a clean house more than I value the money this costs me.

Hawkeye's Grooming.  This isn't an expense every month, but it's every two or so.  And it costs me $70 each time.  But I will never take her anywhere cheaper or do it myself.  First of all, she's a difficult dog to groom because she has so much fluff and it grows so fast.  I simply can't cut all that myself.  I can't even give her a bath myself because if she's not fully dried properly, her fur gets matted.  It would take me all day to groom her myself.  NOPE.  I could also take her somewhere cheaper but Hawkeye has been going to our groomer, Annie, for years.  I drop her off at 8 am and she stays until I'm done with work at 5, or if it's a Saturday, until about 2 or 3.  Annie doesn't crate any of the dogs unless they're drying, so it's like doggie daycare - she gets to run around and play all day.  Plus Annie schedules the dogs in such a way that they're similarly sized and have similar activity levels, so there's no fighting.  It's just Annie and her assistant there all day, and I know Hawkeye loves them both because when we see them in the dog park outside of the grooming studio, she runs to them and lays at their feet to get belly rubs.  She's never shaking or scared to go in, even though I know she's not a fan of getting wet or of dryers, but she deals because she likes the people and treats, and she likes when all the fluff is cut off (seriously, she's a happier, more active dog after a fresh haircut.)  Outside of family, Annie is the only person I leave Hawkeye with for extended periods of time, so you know I trust her.  The beautiful grooming is worth the money, of course, but the peace of mind of leaving my baby with someone who loves her like I do is what's really priceless.

So, the reason I specifically added 'currently' into the title of this post is because I'm not sure how much longer I'll be spending money on any of these things (well, besides the grooming!)  Some I can see staying, but some I can still see as not being totally essential.  Starting in 2018, I have a plan to really start tracking my expenditures, just to see what I'm really spending money on.  To be clear, I don't think I'm spending too much.  I know we live well under our means and I know I'm already frugal in the places it matters most.  But I want to track what I am spending to gauge what I buy in a year.  How much am I really spending on, say, shampoo?  I know it's a low amount, I'm just sort of curious what it all adds up to.  (I'll be tracking it on the blog, so you'll know too.)  And perhaps while I'm tracking, I may decide to delete a couple of these things from the list, who knows!

What ranks on your own personal list of best money you spend each month?

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