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:
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:
|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!|
|Household||$19||$19||TP and some tulips to get some spring vibes going in my apartment.|
|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.|
This covered some of my spending money in California and included a hotel stay.
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.
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.
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.
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).
$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?