Budgeting Bare: February 2019 Spending Report and Italy Budget Update

Well, folks. It finally happened. I had a good run of staying under budget, two whole months actually, and now… well. Shit happens right?

In February 2019, I went over budget by $89.

And you know what?

I’m still friggin’ proud of myself. I may have gone over budget, but I’ve made so much progress since starting this project back in October! In fact, let’s take a look at just how far I’ve come.

Budgeting Progress:

#1: I saved over $8,000 for my trip to Italy in less than six months and the expenses that I needed to cover (rent, car payment, student loans, etc) while I was abroad. Which came in handy when a tollbooth ate my credit card about two hours into my trip.

#2: I went over budget by $89. But in the scheme of things, that’s nothing. In October 2018 when I first started this budgeting project, you remember how much I went over by? $829 friggin’ dollars. That’s almost ten times the amount I went over this month.

#3: I’m keeping track. Of everything. Even when it’s uncomfortable. Even when I have to adjust things to make sure they are more accurate to my life and schedule, and I feel good about that.

Usually I try to post my budget and spending reports the first week of the month, but February was a little bit hectic. I had a depressive episode that lasted about two weeks and I also prepared all my freelance work and blog planning for while I was out.

Italy Budget

Since this is a Budgeting Bare post, we gotta talk about the Italy budget.

Good news, I think I stayed in and even under budget.

Bad-ish news, I’m not sure I stayed in budget. In fact I may have gone way, way… way over budget.

How the fuck does that work?

Let me explain. There’s a few reasons why I’m not entirely sure that I stayed in budget.

  1. Speeding tickets: I think it is highly likely that I got a few speeding tickets while in Italy. I was driving above speed limit in an area that has police monitoring. I was blissfully unaware of said monitoring and only discovered the monitoring as I made my way down from Florence to Rome. Ok, I lied. I wasn’t blissfully unaware. I was speeding and not worrying about it because I suck. Ultimately, I have no idea if I’ll end up getting charged for those (my inkling is yes) and if I do, do I have to pay for them? We’ll see. From what I understand, if I don’t pay my tickets, there is a slight possibility that I will run into issues traveling through the European Union in the future, and that would be shitty. Plus, ethically speaking, I would feel guilty not paying the tickets. Sort of. Either it’s my morals or my leftover Catholic guilt.
  2. Damage to my rental car: Yep. I scratched the shit out of that rental car. Not on purpose, but holy shit have you driven in Italy before????? I got stuck on so many single lane roads that were actually TWO way streets, and there were multiple occasions where the big ass car that the rental company thought I would like BARELY fit. And judging by the scratches that look like someone keyed my car, actually didn’t fit.

On that note.. My Two Cents on Getting a Rental Car in Italy

I’m kind of annoyed about the rental car situation. I was too tired after arriving in Milan to go back into the agency to request a different car when I realized the “free upgrade” they gave me was an upgrade from a tiny car to a massive station wagon-esque beast of a vehicle. Yes, that’s absolutely my fault, but I have a theory.

I think these rental companies “upgrade” you for free so that you get a car that you end up damaging and then they charge the shit out of you for fucking up their vehicle. We’ll see what happens.

The scratches weren’t that bad. I’m glad I got rental’s insurance so I should be covered no matter what but me being the anxious turd I am will always wonder ‘WHAT IF?!?!” until all what if’s have been cleared. Which at this point, they have not.

Anyway. I’m guestimating WORST CASE SCENARIO I’ll have to pay upwards of $2,000 for damages and or tickets. Fingers crossed that that doesn’t happen and fingers also crossed that if that does happen insurance will cover it.

Traveling can be stressful. Shocking, right?

Anyway, on to the spending report and category breakdowns for both February 2019 and my trip to Italy.

Category Breakdown

February 2019

Clo Bare$230$368-$138
Transportation/Car Insurance$190$177$13
Utilities/Cell Phone$252$278-$26

The Fuck-Up’s Explained

Clo Bare:

I went a little ham on Clo Bare last month. For a few reasons. First, I decided to do a giveaway to thank all the folks who were there for me when I went through my depressive episode in early February. That ran me about $100 and it was well worth it, although last minute and totally unplanned. I also spend money on getting Tailwind, and app that helps plan out Pinterest post and also helps me connect with other bloggers in my niche. Again, not planned, but I’m excited to learn a new tool and don’t regret it at all.


Personal was a little high for a few reasons. For one, I had a few birthday parties I attended but didn’t plan on. Secondly, I went on a few more dates than I normally do. Thirdly, I bought a few supplements to help me sleep that were pretty expensive. And for four, I got a little lax the closer I got to the trip because I was on vacation time in my brain.


Ditto for entertainment really. I got lazy and tired before my trip, so I ordered in food or spent more money on food than I normally would.

These are all reasonable, but now that I’m back from Italy, I want to make sure I get back on my debt-free journey because it kind of pumps me up and gets me really excited to tick the boxes towards a life without debt.

Onto the spending report!

February 2019 Spending Report

2/1/2019$100.00SEO helpClo Bare
2/1/2019$16.00GasTransportation/Car Insurance
2/1/2019$29.00The Vice and CandyPersonal
2/2/2019$10.00Facebook AdClo Bare
2/2/2019$30.00Target for GiftPersonal
2/4/2019$391.00Student LoansDebt
2/4/2019$75.00Sleeping stuffPersonal
2/4/2019$10.00CBD GummyHealth/medical
2/4/2019$88.00Farrells Health/medical
2/5/2019$12.00Boot polishGroceries
2/6/2019$20.00Polish FoodEntertainment
2/7/2019$350.00Car PaymentDebt
2/10/2019$116.40PhoneUtilities/Cell Phone
2/9/2019$10.00VentraTransportation/Car Insurance
2/12/2019$19.00GasTransportation/Car Insurance
2/13/2019$27.00Donation to What the Faik?!Personal
2/15/2019$89.00Car InsuranceTransportation/Car Insurance
2/15/2019$39.00Pizza with SisterEntertainment
2/16/2019$10.00Quarters for laundryPersonal
2/16/2019$67.00Clo Bare GiveawayClo Bare
2/17/2019$27.29groceries Groceries
2/16/2019$10.00Birthday GiftPersonal
2/16/2019$13.00Scrub for giveawayClo Bare
2/17/2019$22.00Hair stuffPersonal
2/18/2019$10.00Facebook AdClo Bare
2/19/2019$33.00Groceries Groceries
2/20/2019$35.00Tickets to the MothPersonal
2/21/2019$23.00Gas and snacksTransportation/Car Insurance
2/22/2019$15.00Groceries Groceries
2/22/2019$162.00UtilitiesUtilities/Cell Phone
2/21/2019$38.34Instagram/ Facebook Ads for GiveawayClo Bare
2/22/2019$51.00Dinner with FriendsEntertainment
2/23/2019$73.00Dinner with BrotherEntertainment
2/24/2019$12.30Adapter for ItalyTravel
2/25/2019$20.00Groceries Groceries
2/26/2019$10.00Shipping and Handling for GiveawayClo Bare
2/26/2019$120.00Tailwind for a YearClo Bare
2/28/2019$20.00Gas and snacksTransportation/Car Insurance
2/28/2019$30.00Groceries Groceries

Total Spent in February 2019: $3,556

Total Debt: $63,896

Trip to Italy

Now, I’m not going to bore you with a long spending report from Italy, because it is LONG. I don’t usually spend money as much or as often as I do when I’m on vacation. If I added it to this post, it’d be forever long.

Here’s the categorical breakdown as of now:

Rental Car$360$400-$40
Visas /Permits$100$21+$79
Parking/ Transportation$200$220-$20
Rental Car Insurance$135$135$0

Alrighty, so according to this, I stayed $158 under budget. BUT, there are still things that are left in the air as I said above. But in terms of my controlled spending, I stuck to my budget and I think that’s a huge accomplishment. Could I have spent less?


Did I have an awesome time and not really worry about money?

Fuck yes.

I’m proud of myself for not going crazy while I was abroad but still enjoying the crap out of the experience.

Finding Balance

It’s hard to find that balance, I think. A few days into my stay at Florence, I started to get really lonely because I had booked an AirBnb about forty minutes away from the city center and the commute involved a long twenty minute walk down an unlit country road so I often felt kind of stranded there for the evening, even with the car that I had rented.

After a bit, I started to get into my own head and doubt whether or not I enjoyed traveling and then I realized something really vital. I wasn’t allowing myself to enjoy time because I was worried about going over budget. I wasn’t booking experiences, I wasn’t planning touristy things, I wasn’t doing group activities– and for what reason? To stay within or under budget at the cost of not enjoying my trip?

That’s dumb.

So I that very same night that I was feeling sorry for myself and not really enjoying my trip, I decided to book a crap ton of experience including two cooking classes, rooftop yoga, rafting through Rome, horseback riding on Mt. Vesuvius and a couple of tours that I had been wanting to go on.

And you know what?

I had an awesome time after that.

And I realized some really important things about myself that I’ll be writing about in another post (hint, it’s going to be about extroversion and introversion).

Lessons Learned

So anyway. A few notes on the Italian budget.


I ended up having to add to my transportation budget because when I arrived in Rome there was a bus strike, and I had to take a few taxis in order to get to places in time. I didn’t realize the bus strike was happening so taking a taxi ended up being the path of least resistance, albeit, expensive.

Flight and Baggage:

My flight ended up going over budget because Norwegian Air is very strict on their carry-on baggage allowance. They weight every carry-on bag you bring, and have a 10 kg limit for each person, which includes any hand luggage or personal items. I made the mistake of bringing a roller bag which weighs almost 7 lbs when empty. Lessons learned.


Gas was a LOT more expensive than I anticipated even with a Diesel car. I think next time I go to Italy I’ll either opt for public transportation or go in the summer and rent a Vespa. Renting a car is expensive, and I don’t even know the total yet because I’m sure I’ll be receiving a few unexpected expenses as I mentioned above. It was definitely awesome having the freedom to go to tiny towns and not having to worry about train schedules and bus schedules, but it was also very stressful and expensive driving a massive station wagon through some of Italy’s tiny tiny streets.

In Other News

I’m tired this week. This is a half-assed post because I want to get it done and over with, and I apologize if it was painful for you to read through. Jet lag is hitting me hard this week, but I’m trying to be less of a perfectionist and more of a “get it done” -ist. I have so many things on my mind, and getting this budgeting post out will help launch me into some of the things that I really want to write about.

But for now. A nap.

2 thoughts on “Budgeting Bare: February 2019 Spending Report and Italy Budget Update”

  1. Victoria Fuller

    Chloé this post is awesome. I think you did great despite going a TINY bit over budget (sending you all the good vibes that you don’t get a huge charge for the rental lol). Traveling can be so difficult because with every trip there are so many curveballs thrown your way. I hope you had the best time in Italy!

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