Spending Diary: New Month, New Expenses

Another installment of Project Beach Life’s Spending Diary!


For dinner I had a take out mystery shop. Mr. Beach Life and I only eat at chain restaurants for mystery shops or when we’re on the road, but this is one we both actually really enjoy. The mystery shop was easy, but I didn’t read the directions carefully enough and didn’t take the appropriate pictures. For reasons unknown to me, they gave me a 9/10 and will pay me. Truthfully, I expected the report to be rejected and to be out $33.

After dinner I went into the basement to try to figure out a game plan for all my stuff. I have a lot of it and I am not sure how much I want to give away, sell, throw out or keep. I’ve slowly been accumulating plastic storage bins to combine half full boxes and make storing them easier. I get them from mystery shopping and from Menards on 11% rebate weeks when my budget allows.

While going through boxes I found a box of rolled change. It was $69 worth that my mom and I rolled probably 12 years ago. I have moved it to FOUR different houses. It was time to do something with it.

I made good progress the 45 minutes I spent in the basement, though none of it was noticeable. I need to get better at scheduling time to work down there otherwise it will never get done.



The only money I spent was at the many mystery shops I did in the morning. I was paid to buy a cup of coffee and a book, but I overspent on the books. My friend from high school is expecting a baby any day so I am taking it upon myself to start building her library.

Then I had lunch, fully reimbursed, and did grocery shopping. By then I was exhausted so I took the most epic nap. It was wonderful.


I completed two more grocery mystery shops as well as a take out pizza shop. That was the good spending.

We bought some of the final things needed to complete our renovation at Menards. I spent $80.08 that I hadn’t planned to. The good thing about this is that it is 11% rebate days (and I made sure to already send in my rebate so I didn’t forget!) and that what we bought was way less than what we saw at Target.

Mr. Beach Life also needed clothes hangers. Instead of heading to Target, I looked first at the Dollar Store. I am trying to shop there for items first. I bought two sets of hangers (8 each, 16 total) and a box of aluminum foil for $3.21.


Only spending was for $8.55 at a mystery shop. I got another plastic storage bin.


I have a confession. I spent money eating out that I didn’t account for in my last post. Mr. Beach Life and I went to BJs for happy hour. It was cheaper than when we normally eat out, and we got an appetizer which we don’t normally do. Also, I reallllllly like the food at BJs! We aren’t chain type of people but we both get excited to go to BJs.

We walked our meal off at the mall next door. Both of us had forgotten it was Halloween, so we were super excited to see all the little kids dressed in costumes! I felt like a creeper only a little bit, but all the kids were adorable.

I signed up for 5 phone shops for a total of $20!

And, for the first time in the history of our relationship, Mr. Beach Life had to remind me to pay a bill. Our mortgage. It’s not technically later until the 15 or some absurd date, but sheesh. I usually can’t wait to pay it and pay it a couple days early!



Mr Beach Life’s step dad will be coming this weekend to help finish the renovation. Mr. Beach Life wanted to know how much they had to spend on the cabinets for the bathroom. I will be honest, I did not leave room in the budget for more renovation expenses. So I got down to business. I thought there was a change I had gift cards to Lowe’s from Swagbucks. And I did! Now, these weren’t free. I paid for them during some SWAGO promotion or another, knowing that we were going to need them for the renovation. I found $100 worth of cards.

As far as income goes, I signed up for 6 grocery shops! I am concerned with all the extra expenses this month and I am trying to keep my out of pocket expenses for regular things down. This will certainly help!



Mr. Beach Life’s step dad arrived! We take him out to his favorite restaurant every time he visits as a thanks for helping. This time he pulled a fast one on us! He paid for our meal! I tried (kind of) to argue but you know how useless that can be. I feel bad because I wouldn’t have suggested we order so much food if I knew I wasn’t going to be paying.

Mr. BL and Step Dad spent $240.80 at Lowe’s, after the gift card. Yikes. That hurts. But, spoiler: the cabinets are already installed and I feel like my bathroom is straight out of HGTV!


Weekly Spending: $605.87

Mystery Shopping spending that will be reimbursed: $160.3

Renovation expenses: $321

  1. luxuriouslythrifty

    So many mystery shops! I have to say that I was inspired a few months ago to sign up to one of the mystery shopping sites that you recommended but I’ve applied for a couple of jobs and got rejected for some reason. The rest of the time the reimbursement is for about £7-15. Doesn’t seem worth the effort particularly as I’d never go to those places otherwise. Well done for making it work for you!

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