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Budgeting Bare: January 2019 Spending Report

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.

Clo Bare$350.00$333.00$17.00
Utilities/Cell Phone$250.00$256.00-$6.00

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:

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$7.50Facebook AdClo Bare
1/4/2019$10.00Festival TicketEntertainment
1/4/2019$20.00Dry CleaningPersonal
1/5/2019$16.00Chicago DinerEntertainment
1/10/2019$4.00Taco BellGroceries
1/10/2019$116.32Cell PhoneUtilities/Cell Phone
1/7/2019$350.00Car PaymentDebt
1/11/2019$183.00Monitor, keyboard, mouseClo Bare
1/13/2019$9.87NamecheapClo Bare
1/13/2019$48.00SiteGroundClo Bare
1/13/2019$24.00SiteGroundClo Bare
1/15/2019$22.00Passport photos and snacksPersonal
1/15/2019$33.00Soap & Driving Permit for ItalyPersonal
1/17/2019$24.00Pho ThaiEntertainment
1/17/2019$10.00Facebook adsClo Bare
1/17/2019$10.00Fillet of Solo Festival TicketEntertainment
1/18/2019$104.00Donation to Big Brother’s Big SistersPersonal
1/18/2019$16.14South of the Border DinnerEntertainment
1/18/2019$18.00UberTransportation/Car Insurance
1/19/2019$51.00Envato ThemeClo Bare
1/20/2019$47.00Dill PickleGroceries
1/21/2019$55.00Space heaterPersonal
1/22/2019$65.00Bird’s Nest Salon HaircutPersonal
1/22/2019$135.00Car Rental Insurance: ItalyTravel
1/24/2019$20.00GasTransportation/Car Insurance
1/25/2019$140.00UtilitiesUtilities/Cell Phone
1/25/2019$27.50Thipi ThaiEntertainment
1/26/2019$12.02Water and PlannerPersonal
1/26/2019$10.00VentraTransportation/Car Insurance
1/26/2019$20.00Movie: The FavouriteEntertainment
1/27/2019$9.00Popcorn and WaterEntertainment
1/27/2019$50.00Reno: Lunch with FriendsEntertainment
1/27/2019$25.00Kinky BootsPersonal
1/30/2019$46.00Spice Room: Ordered in Dinner during Polar VortexPersonal

 Total Spent in January 2019: $3,177

 Total Debt: $65,056.33

February Goals

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.


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.

Your Turn

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

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14 thoughts on “Budgeting Bare: January 2019 Spending Report”

  1. Great post! Glad you were able to stick to your budget last month. I bought a house last year so my financial goal for 2019 is to save money and build my savings back up. So I’ve been mainly focus on buying things that I need and less of what I want.

    1. That is so exciting! Congrats on buying a house– that’s a BFD!! The whole not buying things is really key. Since starting this debt-free journey I’ve really gotten better at asking “do I REALLY need this?” And my favorite question to ask myself is “Am I willing to stay in debt for this?” Most of the time, the answer is no. Travel is really the only thing that I splurge on, but even that I’ve gotten better at saying “not right now” to.

    1. The ole’ credit card is always a pain, right! Thank you– glad it’s helpful. I had a hard time figuring out how to track using credit versus card, but I just track all of it the same and it all gets taken out of my spreadsheet of planned spending.

  2. Thanks for sharing! My husband and I are on this journey as well, and January was a big fail for us. I am definitely going to subscribe to keep tabs on your journey! Our is being posted on our blog as well. Thanks!

  3. Hi Chloe, I’m the one who asked for your blog in that Facebook group! I gotta say that I love what I’ve read so far, you’re so honest and transparent and it’s really refreshing.

    My financial goals this year are to pay off the last two grand of the student loan in my home country and finally be done with that, and when I’ve reached my emergency fund goal (probably in just another month!) I’ll keep building up my savings. It’s very basic, but I am too very excited about it! I have trackers in my bullet journal so I can track my progress and play with pretty colors. Thanks for being an inspiration! 🙂

    1. Hi! thank you so much! Very happy to be connected 🙂

      Good luck on your financial goals– that’s awesome! How do you like the bullet journal? I’ve been hearing more and more about these but have never used them.

      Thanks for your support and pumped to keep each other accountable <3

  4. It’s a really good fit for me! I used to have a monthly calendar and a weekly whiteboard calendar in the kitchen, but I prefer this. I have everything in one place, I have different trackers in the back, and I can customize my weekly spread to fit my specific needs.

    For example, along with the days I also have boxes for cleaning, exercise, blogging, and general notes. Sometimes I add a little weekly challenge as well like meditating every day. I have a very minimalistic approach to my journal cause I can’t do all of the beautiful doodles you see on Pinterest, haha, but I do find it very calming to sit down with my ruler and prepare the pages for the next few weeks.

    Overall I really recommend trying it, and make sure to have a dotted journal so it’s easy to make straigth lines! 🙂

  5. The pennies picture drew me into this article, but your stellar content made me stay! Very insightful information and makes me think a little deeper into my expenses and debt management. Thanks for the info! 🙂

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