Monthly Spending Diary – April 2018

Here we go again: my wildly inconsistent monthly spending diary! In 2018, a personal goal was to break down my monthly spending and share it on the blog. I also share the amounts that I am directing to my student loan repayment, retirement savings, emergency fund, and other savings goals.

Let me preface the numbers by saying that, much like March, April is an anomaly. I received a hefty tax return and some side hustle money, so this income is nothing close to representative of a “normal” month for me. That being said, here are my numbers for savings and debt repayment this month:

Savings/Debt Repayment April March
Student Loan $500 $400
Retirement $205 $308
Emergency Fund $0 $500
Other Investments/Savings $3,500 $900
   
Total $4,205 $2,108

As I mentioned in March, I have scaled way back on debt repayment and other savings goals to dedicate pretty much all of my savings toward my moving fund. But notice the old faithful: retirement savings. Retirement savings never stop because of what is going in my life in a given month. Those contributions, however small, should be automated and should always be happening.

Now for my April spending:

Expenses April March Notes
Rent $950 $950
Food $504 $591
Car $332 $294 My parking spot, getting my winter tires off, plus lots of good ol driving.
Health $233 $154 I got a massage, had to replenish some supplements, and my final payment for my gym membership
Insurance $159 $159 Car, disability, tenant insurance
Entertainment $227 $342 2 books, ticket to a documentary, and some fun while traveling!
Vacation Fund/Travel $338 $435
Gifts $55 $35
Cell Phone $57 $57
Internet $44 $44
Toiletries $9 $21
Charity $15 $42
Household $19 $19 TP and some tulips to get some spring vibes going in my apartment.
Public Transportation $0 $0
Laundry & Dry Cleaning $10 $20
Miscellaneous $83 $420 Truly miscellaneous – most of this is an online course, Patreon contributions (and candy if we’re being honest).
Clothing $179 $6 One shirt and one pair of pants
Uber/Taxi $56 $8 2 airport transfers
Hair/Spa $60 $0 Got my seasonal haircut. Shouldn’t see much here for another few months.
Total $3,330 $3,597

Travel

This covered some of my spending money in California and included a hotel stay.

Entertainment

Entertainment was more reasonable this month. To be honest, most of this was drinks out with friends. I also bought two books, which is really unusual for me. Like I said in my last monthly update, I am going to make a conscious effort to bring these numbers down in May as more free fun summer activities start up.

Gifts

Mother’s Day and a gift for an old mentor were my gift spending this month. May will be a big month (why is everyone born in May?!) so I am trying to build that into my budget now.

Clothing

Wooo my first real clothing purchase of 2018! These were two things I have been eyeing for months, but I wanted to wait and make sure they were items that would actually fill a need in my wardrobe. I finally decided that they did. When the shirt came back in stock online, I went ahead and dropped the $60 (seriously, Luxe would be proud). The pants are a wide leg, cropped pair from Club Monaco.

Uber/Taxi

Transportation is one of those things that seems to swing up as soon as you travel. I had a 6 am flight departure and taking the bus at 3:30 am seemed not only untenable, but impossible. Spending here is pretty uncharacteristic for me and I know this category will go back down in May – especially now that we are finally through with ice storms and what not (I hope).

Food

$314 – groceries

My grocery spending is pretty consistent and usually hovers just over $300 per month. I am still working toward improving this, but as of right now, I am happy with how the last few months of close tracking have made me more thoughtful about how and when I spend on food. Of course, still always looking for practical suggestions on how a single lady can cut her grocery budget!

$191- dining out

My restaurant spending was definitely higher than this, but some of it was captured in the vacation part of my budget. I like saving ahead of time for my trips, and then I can spend that money guilt-free while I am away. But that means I don’t track it as closely while I’m on holiday; I just know that a chunk of that $338 travel spending was for restaurants and drinks.

 

I can’t believe we are one-third of the way through the year! How are you all doing with tracking your spending and/or your budget? Any areas that you are finding particularly challenging to cut down? 

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