The numbers are in for the June 2019 spending report, and there’s some good news, some sort-of wins, some surprising realizations, some changed decisions and some explanations. Although things have changed drastically since I posted the May 2019 Spending Report, they haven’t changed in a bad way. In a different way. Like deciding I don’t actually want to purchase property yet.
I know. I change my mind a lot. Bear with me.
I’ll explain towards the end of the post but let’s start with some wins, categories and the spending report for June!
- Budgeting Wins
- Budgeting Bare Categories
- Home Decorating is Hard
- Delaying to the Next Budget Period
- Furniture Shopping While Single & Anxious
- Used Vs New
- Changed Mind: Why I’m Not Buying Property
- Clo Bare’s New Financial Plan
- Your Turn
1. Record Low on Entertainment
I spent a record low of $137 on entertainment in June. That’s less than half of what I normally spend. Now, to be fair, I bumped my travel up for certain events that could have probably been considered “entertainment” like visiting a friend out of state and going down to my hometown for father’s day, but it’s cool that I spent way less on entertainment than usual and it makes me wonder if I can continue a pattern of spending less on entertainment.
2. “Sort of” Under Budget
I was under budget, sort of. The reason I say “sort of” is because yes I did spend less than I anticipated, but I also spent more than normal because I bought furniture and home supplies for my apartment after my roommate moved out.
I spent almost four times more than I would normally spend on the home category. Could I have done better? Most likely. I could have thrifted more and found more used stuff. I bought about 75% new and 25% used, which isn’t terrible but I’d like to do better.
3. Saved $1,680
Despite spending more than usual and paying for it all in cash, I still managed to put another $1,680 in savings. Not bad, eh? That means I hit my savings mark of $5k for June and actually surpassed it.
4. Refinanced My Student Loans
On a whim, I decided to see if I could get a lower interest rate on my loans. On my previous lender, I was racking up almost 7% in interest. After refinancing with SoFi, I was able to take my interest rate down to 4.75%! That’ll save me thousands over a few years on my $56,000 loan! It did make my payments go up almost double, but since I was already planning on putting more on my student loans than what was due– it made sense to commit to the higher monthly payment at a lower interest rate.
A few small wins, yeah? Nothing groundbreaking but I’m glad that I was able to make a few smart financial decisions while also making some major purchases like a couch and loveseat.
Now, onto the categories!
Budgeting Bare Categories
The Fuck-Up’s Explained
I’ve noticed now that I don’t eat out as much, I spend more money on groceries. Often instead of going out to dinner with friends now, I’ll suggest making dinner at home. I’m actually starting to prefer it to eating out because I love leftovers and it’s like meal prepping for the week. Not the worst thing but I need to plan better in order to not go over in groceries every week.
2. Home and Personal
I went over home and personal because I got a bunch of stuff for the apartment after my roommate moved out and kept realizing all the things that I didn’t realize I needed– like pizza cutters and kettles and spatulas.
ANYWAY. Not too terrible for fuck-ups, right?
On to the spending report, my friends.
June 2019 Spending Report
Note: If you’re wondering why my June spending report has dates from May and ends with almost two weeks of June left, it’s because I do my budgets based off of when I get paid. My budgets are bi-weekly so I try to do spending reports each month.
|5/24||$20.00||Groceries for Fam night||Entertainment|
|5/29||$16.00||Plant and drink||Personal|
|5/30||$18.00||Ice cream and chocolate||Groceries|
|6/2||$15.00||Pinterest Ads||Clo Bare|
|6/2||$32.00||Lunch with Emily||Travel|
|6/4||$7.00||Vending machine stress binges||Groceries|
|6/7||$65.00||Table and chairs||Home|
|6/7||$389.00||Pillows and loveseat||Home|
|6/8||$121.00||Chairs and vacuum||Home|
|6/8||$21.53||Groceries for CBBB||CBBB|
|6/14||$2.00||Instagram Promotion||Clo Bare|
|6/13||$16.00||Spatula, kettle, measuring spoons, silverware organizer||Home|
|6/14||$35.00||Aldi for BBQ||Travel|
|6/14||$30.00||Sweet Mandy B for Dad’s Day||Travel|
|6/16||$60.00||Frames, shower curtain, bathroom mat||Personal|
|6/17||$62.00||Air mattress and sheets||Personal|
Total Spent: $4,289.36
Investments (401k): $23,000
Net Worth: -$26,688
I spent a LOT of money this month. Mostly because of home purchases. This was my first experience ever really decorating a place and purchasing furniture. It was fun, but I have a few thoughts on it.
Home Decorating is Hard
Home decorating is hard. It’s not terrible, but I want to make sure I don’t get caught up into buying things again. I think with decorating it’s easy to think “I NEED THIS ALL RIGHT NOW OR PEOPLE WILL JUDGE ME FOR NOT HAVING A RUG THAT WILL TIE THE WHOLE ROOM TOGETHER.”
First of all, who will judge you? If it’s your friends, then they aren’t great friends. If it’s random strangers, they are random strangers.
Chill the fuck out.
Secondly, YOU DON’T HAVE TO GET IT ALL, ALL AT ONCE.
Let’s say that again.
You don’t have to get it all, all at once.
I almost bought two rugs during this time frame. I kept thinking… man a rug will really bring this room together. It will be so cozy. Just a cheap rug from Amazon. And maybe one for my bedroom too. I need one. Sure, I’ve lived in this apartment without rugs for a year, but just think of what it will do to the space? Cozy– cozy as fuck.
And I almost bought the rugs but it would have put me over budget so I decided to wait until next budgeting period.
Delaying to the Next Budget Period
And now it’s next budgeting period, and you know what?
I don’t really give a shit about the rugs. The rugs would make me have to vacuum more. I would have to worry about the rugs getting dirty. I would get upset when people (me) spilled stuff on it.
So, I’m not buying any rugs. Even though they would be cozy. And because of that, I saved approximately $200. And I’m proud of myself for waiting.
Furniture Shopping While Single & Anxious
This was my first time EVER purchasing furniture. It was exciting and I loved it but it was also anxiety-inducing. Despite many “adult” moves and decisions I’ve had to make in this lifetime, purchasing furniture felt SO adult.
I spent hours online looking at what was more “me” and what would make sense and what budget made the most sense, and what was more practical or long-lasting. It’s time consuming and anxiety-provoking!
Who would have thought? I was worried about picking something terrible and expensive yet poorly made.
But, I guess that’s the risk we take and also why I ended up reading a million reviews of everything I bought.
Used Vs New
I had big dreams of finding used furniture online, through Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, but the thing is, doing that as a single female?
Not so easy to do and not so safe either.
I realized I would have to find someone to go see the furniture with me, and then either find friends to help me move it (despite having no friends with trucks in the area) and that’s IF I liked the first piece of furniture I found.
Sounds like a lot of burden to put on my friends.
The other option would be going out and using a service like Dolly or another moving service but for pieces as large as couches, it can cost a few hundred dollars, especially if the piece is far away.
So to calm my mind and make my life a little easier, I decided to buy online and have the big furniture shipped to my home, and the small stuff, like some chairs and a side table, I found used at Goodwill.
Changed Mind: Why I’m Not Buying Property
Anyway, as I mentioned earlier in the post, I changed my mind in a drastic way about buying property.
The more and more I dove into the topic of real estate investing and home ownership as the first step to get there– the more I realized I DON’T WANT TO BE A HOMEOWNER.
Now, before everyone pulls out their pitchforks and “pride of ownership” arguments– let me explain why purchasing property FOR ME is not the right move, right now.
When I think about what I want out of my life, I want peace.
The more and more I looked at real estate investing not only did it seem stressful, it seemed everyone who used real estate investing as a way to build wealth made real estate their whole life.
Sure, that’s great if you’re into it, but it made me kind of depressed.
I started thinking I’d have to give up on my true passions that I run on the side of my full-time job in order to find deals and research the market and get good at knowing how to flip properties.
That’s not what I want.
Real estate investing sounds like a second full time job. I think that real estate investing is a great idea if you have the time and knowledge to dive deep into it.
I’m not putting it off the table for forever, but I’m deciding to put it off for now. Real Estate investing with a full time job does not seem to be a right fit for me, and the second I decided that that’s not the route I want to go, a HUGE wave of relief swept over me.
2. I don’t want to be responsible for a home.
I don’t want to spend time maintaining property.
No desire at all to garden or maintain a lawn.
Zero inkling to repair things and fix things and paint.
So I like the freedom of renting.
And as soon as I started thinking about all the stress and worry that comes along with home ownership– it depressed me, again. Thinking about it made me think that I’d have another hobby that I actually don’t want– home ownership.
I don’t want to spend my head space worrying about a flooding basement or broken appliance or mold or what not. Plus, I don’t want to spend time and money fixing those issues or ensuring that they never become a problem. I want more time, not less time, to do the things I love— like blogging, painting, being outdoors, spending time with friends, and napping.
Freedom and peace is what I want.
And buying a house for me seems more like a way to take away my freedom than give me more of it.
3. Buying in Chicago is expensive as hell.
I can not afford to live in the neighborhoods that I want to live in. I would rather stay in my neighborhood and in Logan Square it is nearly impossible to find anything worth buying under $200k.
Actually, in most of Chicago, it is difficult to find anything move-in ready under $200k and as a single woman, I don’t want to be on the hook for a mortgage that is much more than twice what I make.
4. Other Avenues to Build Wealth
If I am looking to build wealth, Real Estate is an option, but so is just investing in stocks and bonds. And that seems way more my speed. I’d rather let my money work for me in a way that doesn’t put me into debt and doesn’t require a lot of active management. So. I’m going to do that instead.
Again, this is why buying a home is not right for me. I am not saying that buying property is a bad thing or wrong for everyone– but after thinking about it a LOT, I’ve decided I would much rather pay my student loan debt off before I’m 33, and also start investing in stocks and bonds.
Which brings me to…
Clo Bare’s New Financial Plan
1. Get debt free.
I have about $54k in debt right now and my goal is to put an extra $1k on that every month to get it paid off in the next 2.5 years.
After refinancing, my payments crept up to $804 a month, which means I’ll be putting $1,804 on my loans each month. At that rate, I should have my student loans paid off in 30 months or 2.5 years.
If all goes well, I’ll beat my goal of “Debt Free by 33” and actually be debt free a little after my thirtieth birthday.
2. Save $10k as an emergency fund.
I want to save $10k for an emergency fund and sweep it into a high interest earnings savings account that gives 2.25% interest back each year. I’ll do this the same time I’m putting money on debt, and plan to save at least $1k a month so I should have $10k ready to put into a high yield bank account by November 2019– possibly sooner depending on freelance, my ability to be frugal, and overtime.
3. Save $2k to keep in the bank.
Once I have the emergency fund, I want to save another $2k to have liquid cash available if needed at a moment’s notice. Should take another two months so I should have that by January 2019 if all goes according to plan although I anticipate reaching our goal sooner.
4. Travel Savings
I plan on taking two trips between now and the end of the year. One should be a quick weekend trip for $1k or less, and the other is another international trip for a quick visit to see my friends in France and Germany. Since I’ll be staying with friends, I anticipate I’ll only need $1.5k-$2k for my international trip, bringing my max travel savings to $3k. Travel points will likely cover my flights for at least one of these trips, but with flight taxes and whatnot, we will see.
5. Start investing!
Once I don’t need to save $1k a month for emergency or travel, I’ll be able to start dumping that $1k a month into investments. With all the things I’m hoping to save for, I think I should be able to start investing as soon as 2020.
It’s a lot. But I’m pretty excited about it. I feel more at peace with this plan. The last plan made me anxious as hell and made me feel like I was living a more consumerist lifestyle that I’m actually trying to do less of these days. This plan feels more flexible and more in line with what I value– freedom, independence, experiences and my friends and family.
Have you ever had to make a hard right turn in the plan, realizing that what you thought you wanted might actually be a larger burden than what you wanted? What financial changes have you encountered on your journey to financial independence and freedom from debt?