The January 2019 Spending Report is complete, and the numbers are in. It’s official. Not only have I stuck to my budget, but I’ve also come in UNDER BUDGET for two months in a row!
As a matter of fact, I came in under budget by $133! That’s more than five times the amount I came in under budget last month! Not a bad way to start off the New Year, huh?
(Cue the dancing baby)
Finally I’m starting to feel really freaking encouraged and like I can actually do this whole “Debt Free by Thirty-Three” thing. In fact, I think I can even reach it sooner than expected if I keep up with this whole sticking to my budget thing.
Before I started to write about budgeting on the Bare, I tried to stick to a budget for YEARS. However, no matter what, I always failed to stick to it because I didn’t change my budget according to my schedule. Instead, I just tried to stick within the same ranges every single budget period.
Budgeting doesn’t work that way.
Life does not stick into the same template day in and day out, and if it did, that’d be incredibly boring. Life changes constantly, which means my budget has to change with it. Even if one month I have nothing going on and can stay way under budget, and the next month I could have an emergency trip to urgent care, need to pay for new vehicle registration stickers, and attend six birthday parties.
Life does not care about your budget, but you can plan ahead by anticipating what might come up and what’s already on the calendar.
By the Numbers: Spending Categories
Now, let’s take a look at the categories.
As you can see, it was one of my most expensive Clo Bare months so far. Running the Bare can get expensive, and my expenses for this month went up for a few reasons:
1. New Toys for Better Productivity
Recently I decided to buy myself a monitor, keyboard, and mouse so that I can work on a larger screen. Already it’s been an awesome investment, and I’ve been able to be WAY more productive because of it.
The monitor, keyboard and mouse were super affordable and I actually really like them all so far.
Here’s what I got:
- Acer R240HY bidx 23.8-Inch IPS HDMI DVI VGA (1920 x 1080) Widescreen Monitor ($109.99)
- Jelly Comb 2.4G Slim Wireless Mouse with Nano Receiver MS001 (Black and Gold) ($9.99)
- Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard, Jelly Comb Ultra Slim Full Size Rechargeable Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard Compatible for iPad, iPhone, Android Tablets, Windows, iOS, Mac OS – White and Silver ($42.99)
For the most part, I really like the keyboard because it has this cool feature where I can connect via bluetooth to my cellphone, which makes responding to messages on Instagram WAY easier.
2. Switched over to WordPress!
If you haven’t noticed, I switched from Weebly to WordPress and Siteground so that I can own my blog and also make it super customizable. I love Weebly, but the Bare was quickly outgrowing Weebly’s capabilities. All in all, I’m loving WordPress, and am excited to learn more on how to customize and optimize it.
The good news is, I budgeted for it. And all things considered, spending 20 hours working one the migration from Weebly to WordPress one weekend certainly helped on my spending because I was glued to my desk the entire weekend.
Plus, it’s done! And I love the new site!
Now on to the January 2019 Spending Report.
January 2019 Spending Report
|1/4/2019||$7.50||Facebook Ad||Clo Bare|
|1/10/2019||$116.32||Cell Phone||Utilities/Cell Phone|
|1/11/2019||$183.00||Monitor, keyboard, mouse||Clo Bare|
|1/15/2019||$22.00||Passport photos and snacks||Personal|
|1/15/2019||$33.00||Soap & Driving Permit for Italy||Personal|
|1/17/2019||$10.00||Facebook ads||Clo Bare|
|1/17/2019||$10.00||Fillet of Solo Festival Ticket||Entertainment|
|1/18/2019||$104.00||Donation to Big Brother’s Big Sisters||Personal|
|1/18/2019||$16.14||South of the Border Dinner||Entertainment|
|1/19/2019||$51.00||Envato Theme||Clo Bare|
|1/22/2019||$65.00||Bird’s Nest Salon Haircut||Personal|
|1/22/2019||$135.00||Car Rental Insurance: Italy||Travel|
|1/26/2019||$12.02||Water and Planner||Personal|
|1/26/2019||$20.00||Movie: The Favourite||Entertainment|
|1/27/2019||$9.00||Popcorn and Water||Entertainment|
|1/27/2019||$50.00||Reno: Lunch with Friends||Entertainment|
|1/30/2019||$46.00||Spice Room: Ordered in Dinner during Polar Vortex||Personal|
Total Spent in January 2019: $3,177
Total Debt: $65,056.33
For the most part, I feel like I’ve got this whole budgeting thing down. I’m excited and I feel prepared for Italy, and I’m less stressed and anxious because financially, I feel like I’m pretty in control right now.
February is here, and I have a few more goals:
1. Do TAXES.
Because this is the first year that I have to do taxes for multiple jobs + a side hustle, things might get interesting. In addition to that, I’m hoping I don’t have to pay any extra on taxes this year, but I feel confident that I have enough in savings to cover it if that does happen.
2. Save another $1,000 for Italy and all associated expenses.
I LEAVE FOR ITALY IN LESS THAN A MONTH AND I’M SO EXCITED.
Altogether I have enough savings to cover everything in cash, but I want to save another $1,000 this month. My two weeks in Italy is going to be unpaid leave from work which means I’ll have to cover all my expenses (rent, car, student loans) with my savings. While it should be fine, that’s still about $2,000 in cash that I’ll need to take out of my savings
3. Stick to my budget. Duh.
4. Start on some affiliate marketing to help cover the costs of running the blog.
I’m still learning how to do that, and I have a LOT of work to do in order to fully understand how this all works. But I’m excited to try and even more excited to learn.
Already Thinking About March Plans
After my trip to Italy, I’m going to start back on the paying down all the money on my debt! While I’ve still been making payments on my student loans and car, I stopped putting extra payments on those loans and started dumping cash into my savings.
While I am EXTREMELY excited for Italy, I’m also excited to get back on making larger payments on my debt.
So, paying off debt excites me. Who knew.
New on the Bare: Affiliate Links
Affiliate links allow me to earn a small commission if it’s something a reader ends up purchasing. Like I said, running the Bare is getting increasingly more expensive, and this will help offset some of the costs of running this, at no extra cost to my readers. Some of the links will be affiliate links, some will just be links to other events or restaurants or things I love.
Even so, I will NEVER promote something or provide a link to a product that I haven’t personally tried and loved. This is still the Bare, and I’m going to be honest as fuck with you, no matter what.
How’s your budgeting going in 2019? What are your major financial goals? How are you reaching them? Are you focusing on paying off debt or building your savings?
Join the conversation in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by the Bare <3