Budgeting Bare

Budgeting Bare: February 2020 Spending Report

Clo Bare February 2020 Spending Report

February 2020 was a decent month where I FINALLY succeeded in spending some quality time with myself! Which means I also spent a little less money than normal, helping with my yearly budget totals. In this February 2020 Spending Report, I came in under budget and finally have evened out my numbers in the yearly budget so that I am not averaging above budget each month.

But more on that later. Let’s dive in!

February 2020 Money Wins

  1. I brought in almost $6,000 in income this month (about $600 more than my average!), thanks to some commissioned art and overtime. 
  2. Entertainment was FINALLY down and I only spent $117 on entertainment in February. FINALLY. That’s about $83 less than a usual month.
  3. I didn’t totally stick to only 2 social things a week, but I finally had a few weekends to myself, which almost never happens.
  4. My savings increased by $1,700 putting my total cash on hand savings to $6,000, $3k of which will go towards my new apartment deposit.
  5. I increased my 401(k) contribution to 17% which will start to come out of my next paycheck in March. It’s going to hurt and it’s going to change my numbers a little bit, but I really want to tax-optimize my income now that I’m making good money so that I don’t have to give more than I need to Uncle Sam.
  6. My after-tax savings was 30%, and I lived off of 40% of my take-home income. Woo! That’s less than my goal of 50%, but once I move out my increases are going to spike majorly, so hopefully, these lower months will help even things out.

Money Musings

Not bad, and again, really encouraging to keep living off of half of my income after taxes. And if you count my 401(k) contributions which sat at 13% this month,  lived off of about 27% of my income. That’s pretty badass AND I don’t feel deprived. Which is an important component. Because if I did feel deprived? I’d end up having a spending binge, and spending in a way that makes you feel deprived is not sustainable. 

Anyway. On to the categories so we can also talk about the fuck-ups! Yay, Fuck-Ups!

Read where Budgeting Bare Started: I’m $67,866 in Debt

February 2020 Spending Report Categories

February 2020 Spending Categories

New Category for February 2020 Spending Report: Parking

You might’ve noticed a new category on my budget– parking for my company car. This is because I’m moving to Oak Park, Il where the PARKING IS THE ACTUAL WORST. Seriously. Google/Reddit it and you’ll get these gems:

Moving to Oak Park: Where to Park?

Apartment-dwellers of Oak Park, what is your parking situation? And, how are you surviving it? 

To Hell with Oak Park Parking

LOL. So yes, the parking situation in my new hood isn’t great but I kind of see it as an added rent cost. My rent for the type of apartment I have in Oak Park is a few hundred dollars cheaper per month than what I’d be able to rent in Logan Square for the same size and quality, so I’m willing to deal with it. But I need a new budget item for it since it is an additional quarterly payment.

Read about why I decided to sell my car in the November 2019 Spending Report.

 
 
 

February 2020 Spending Report Confession: Dating

YES, YOU CAUGHT ME. Ok, so remember how I said I wasn’t going to date AT ALL in 2020? 

First of all, you should know that when I make claims that I’m not going to do anything anymore, that usually means I’m about 3-6 weeks away from doing it again. Cause– <<insert IDK emoji>>. 

So, I went on a few dates with a cutie in February and very quickly realized I am not ready to be dating LIKE I ORIGINALLY ASSUMED IN DECEMBER. 

Why can’t I let the hopeless romantic in me DIE?

Idk. Cause I want to be LOVED like every other human out there? Sue me. 

But for real.

I realized I really, truly, do not have the time, energy, emotional availability, or desire to date right now. Like I don’t want to make time to see someone weekly. I don’t want to fit someone else’s needs into my everyday. And I don’t want to open my heart to anything other than random dogs I see on the street, my friends, strangers I hang out with at the meet ups I organize, and my family. Not in that order.

So the solution? I made a bet with my sister and I won’t date until June or I owe her $100. 

It’s like an enforced Clo Bare break, and to be honest, in the few weeks that I have been consciously not dating, it’s been pretty great. I’m re-learning that I love hanging out with myself and not having an overcrowded schedule. 

If you would like to get in on this bet, hit me up in my dm’s.

How to Handle my Money in February 2020

Fuck-ups Explained: Groceries

Not terrible, right? There aren’t a ton of fuck-ups to explain this time around. Which is exciting! I only went over $11 on groceries and that’s not horrifying considering I’ve been under budget on groceries almost every month. 

Why were my groceries more expensive this time? 

Well, I think it’s because I spent less on eating out so I spent more on groceries. I also made a few specialty item purchases like PB Fit which is a peanut butter powder I use to make protein snack balls and oatmeal. I also just needed to purchase more this time around because I was low on a lot of staples that I usually have around the house. 

Again, not a bad trade-off considering how much I usually spend on Entertainment (about $100 every two weeks) which includes eating out. This time, I only went over $11 on groceries but I spent $83 LESS on entertainment. That’s still a $72 savings. So technically my fuck-up is kind of a win. Excuse me as I pat myself on the shoulder.

On to the comparison to the yearly budget! 

February 2020 Spending Report: How am I doing with my Yearly Budget?

We are five months into my fiscal year (October 11, 2019 to October 10, 2020– yes, I know it’s weird but I just so happened to start this journey in the middle of the month in October. Next year, maybe I’ll make my fiscal year my calendar year, but what is time anyway?) so how are we doing staying on budget for the year so far? 

In this section, I compare my spending averages to date (based on pay period) to my goals. 

February 2020 Yearly Spending

SO MUCH BETTER THAN LAST MONTH! 

 

I’m under budget by $0.60! I’m RICH! I’m RICH! 

But for real, this is a HUGE change in comparison to my January 2020 Spending Report where I was averaging $112 over budget each month.

See how just spending less one month can help average things out for the rest of the year?

This is HUGELY encouraging and something I didn’t do last year. I fell into the trap of going over budget each month by small numbers, $20 here, $300 there, and $100 there. But I never re-adjusted my budget from there which meant I went way over my goal of spending 50% of my take-home income.

Doing it this way, where each month I balance my numbers and take a look at my spending in comparison to my goals, helps me make sure I’m on track to spend less than half my income.

Yeah, buddy. 

For more on the yearly budget see:

One Year of Budgeting Review

October 2019 Spending Report

 

What I Still Need to Work On: The Yearly Fuck-Ups Explained

Health/Medical

I’m still over budget on average for this category, but again, this will even out because my gym membership is quite a bit less expensive than it was in 2019. 

Transportation

I want to spend less on transportation each period so I can get under budget on this one. I hate spending money on transportation, to be totally honest. This number will definitely slowly even out because I’m spending less monthly without car insurance and gas (since I sold my car in December 2019) but I need to spend less than what I’ve budgeted in order to even this number out. It’s tough if I don’t plan accurately. 

This period I spent money on two Ubers last month, which cost $32 and then I also had to pay for parking for my company car at for an event downtown, which was an additional $12.50. That’s $45 extra dollars I probably could’ve spent less on had I planned a little better for public transportation. Although one of those Ubers is because I waited for 30 minutes for the blue line to come, and it DIDN’T COME. 

So, I tried people. I tried. I’m still getting used to using (and being disappointed by) public transportation.

Entertainment

I do NOT count that as a fuck-up anymore because I HAVE MADE IT to only $5 over! Last month I was $12 over with a higher yearly average goal. Now, I cut my goal to $96 a month AND I’m only $5 over. Had I kept my goal $100 a month, I would only be $1 over. BOOM. Making progress on entertaining myself for free. 

Travel and Special Occasions 

I’m looping this into the same section because both these will eventually even out because I don’t plan to spend much at all on either of these for the next few months. Special Occasions I am already tapped out for the most part, so there likely won’t be more spending on Special Occasions this year. Travel was front-loaded with lots of expenses planned early in the year, and now I won’t have a ton of travel expenses until I actually go on the trips I have planned. 

 

Finally moving in the right direction, and I’d really love to keep this progress going as I head into March. But before we get to March goals, first the February 2020 Spending Report! 

February 2020 Spending Report | Clo Bare

February 2020 Spending Report

Date

Amount

Description

Category

1/31

$1,000.00

Student Loans

Debt

1/31

$27.00

Donation to What the Faik

Personal

1/31

$15.00

Book Hostel

Travel

1/31

$45.00

drinks and dinner

Travel

2/1

$55.00

breakfast, lunch, tea

Travel

2/1

$20.00

ventra

Transportation

2/1

$12.00

uber

Transportation

2/2

$20.00

Cold Sore Medication

Personal

2/2

$5.00

La Croix

Groceries

2/3

$46.00

SoFar

Dating

2/1

$850.00

Rent

Home

2/3

$24.00

groceries

Groceries

2/5

$40.33

ComEd

Utilities/Cell Phone

2/5

$20.00

Groceries

Groceries

2/6

$35.00

Ring light

Clo Bare

2/5

$46.00

Comcast

Utilities/Cell Phone

2/6 $5.00

wine

Entertainment

2/6

$18.00

eye drops

Health/medical

2/7

$19.00

truly

Dating

2/8

$16.00

uber

Transportation

2/7

$36.00

Dinner

Entertainment

2/7

$6.00

IT

Entertainment

2/10

$8.00

Grapes and Bananas

Groceries

2/11

$20.00

drinks

Entertainment

2/10

$125.00

Sprint

Utilities/Cell Phone

2/11

$40.00

Groceries

Groceries

2/12

$37.00

Parking Permit– Oak Park

Parking

2/12

$120.00

Y7 Parking

Parking

2/13

$22.00

Mac n Cheese Mingler

Clo Bare

2/14

$130.00

Donation to Syd’s Bowl for Sake

Donations

2/14

$37.00

dinner and movie

Dating

2/14

$10.00

ventra

Transportation

2/15

$20.00

mingler food items

Entertainment

2/15

$45.00

groceries

Groceries

2/15

$13.00

iPhone case

Personal

2/16

$10.00

Ventra

Transportation

2/16

$21.00

brunch

CBBB

2/16

$22.00

date

Dating

2/17

$10.00

dayquil/nightquil

Health/medical

2/17

$20.00

i’m sick care package to myself

Personal

2/18

$12.50

Parking for AMA event

Transportation

2/18

$6.00

mattress bag

Home

2/19

$8.00

hand lotion

Personal

2/19

$25.00

gym

Health/medical

2/28

$805.00

student loans

Debt

2/21

$10.00

pb2

Groceries

2/21

$28.00

Fresh Market

Groceries

2/21

$10.00

air fryer

Home

2/21

$10.00

wine

Entertainment

2/21

$38.00

Aldi

Groceries

2/24

$16.00

program fee

Health/medical

2/24

$14.00

toilet paper

Personal

2/25

$20.00

choose FI

Entertainment

2/27

$106.00

People’s Gas

Utilities/Cell Phone

Total Spent: $4,178.83

Total Debt: $41,205.64

Savings:

  • 401(K): $36,557 (bad couple of weeks in the stock market but it’s FINE–this is what stock markets do.)
  • Real Estate Investment: $30,000
  • Savings Account: $6,000
  • Total: $72,557

Total Networth: $31,351.36

Goals, Goals, Goals

Now how did I compare to goals I set for myself last in the January 2020 Spending Report?

  1. Spend less on entertainment so that I can start evening out my yearly totals.– YES, DONE AND DID IT.
  2. Spend less on transportation for the same reason.–Nope. Failed. Ha. I mean technically I spent less than $50 per paycheck BUT still about the same amount as I did in January.
  3. NO MORE SPECIAL OCCASIONS.— No more special occasions! But I did spend money on donations… that I didn’t plan on but not a bad thing obviously.
  4. Do only 2 social things a week so I can focus on me, myself, and I. This includes networking events, work events, and friend/dating time.— I DID BETTER. On average, I did way less than I normally did which is a huge win so I’m going to chalk this up to a win for sure.

Goals for March 2020

  1. Keep spending less on entertainment! I read a quote in “Frugalwoods” that “If you’re spending money on entertainment, you’re not very creative.” That’s been motivating me a lot and I find it to be pretty accurate.
  2. Stick to 2-3 TOTAL social things a week. Nothing more because I realized that having less on my calendar makes me way happier. I’ve literally been sleeping better this month because my calendar hasn’t been so overpacked. It’s amazeballs.
  3. Stay within budget for the move. YESH! I’m MOVING TO MY OWN PLACE SOON—WAHOOOOO!

That’s about it for now. I’m feeling good, motivated and super excited about this month! The move is this month (THE MOVE!!!!!!!!) and I also get to see some friends I haven’t seen in a while up in Michigan! Life is going well right now and I think it’s reflected in how much fun I had writing this post. I’m feeling more complete and balanced than I have maybe ever. Is it just because I’ve taken some time to myself this last month?

Perhaps. It might be my current cure-all. Either way, I’m enjoying it while it lasts. 

Your Turn

What are your March 2020 plans? Any budgeting issues you’re navigating?

Pin this article to read later.

February 2020 Spending Report | Clo Bare
How to Handle my Money in February 2020

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Budgeting Bare: February 2020 Spending Report
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Budgeting Bare: February 2020 Spending Report
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In Clo Bare's February 2020 Spending Report, learn how to budget your money according to your yearly goals and understand how to align your spending.
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Clo Bare
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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Jo
    March 4, 2020 at 9:02 am

    Wow, you are so disciplined! I need to start budgeting so bad!

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