Budgeting Bare

Budgeting Bare: November 2019 Spending Report

How is November almost over? Wasn’t it August yesterday? I’m pretty sure I’m still stuck in 2015, but somehow it’s almost December and the numbers are in for my November 2019 spending report!

Annnnnnnnnnd?

I was under budget by $13.

Not bad, eh? Still have some work to do on those yearly budget numbers, but we’ll get into that later on in this post. What I will say is, I’m getting better and that friggin’ excites me.

So let’s just dive in, yeah?

November 2019 Money Wins

  1. I was under budget by $13!
  2. I’m under $50k in debt!
  3. I lived off of 48% of my income, not including debt repayment!
  4. In November, I put down $3,656 on debt!!!! Scientifically speaking, that is one shit ton. To be exact.
  5. I decided to sell my personal car! More on that in a moment.
  6. I finished therapy so I won’t have a $30-$60 a month payment on that.
  7. I cancelled my fancy gym membership which costs about $88 and has super strict class times, so come January, my health costs will go down to just $25 a month for Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Health On Target wellness program that allows me to go to Planet Fitness, LA Fitness, Anytime Fitness, and several other places for that one price! WOO!
  8. I NOW HAVE A POSITIVE NET WORTH– WHAT IS THIS?!

Woo! Not bad, right? Thassa lotta wins.

The Decision to Sell My Car

I’m very excited to be selling my car. I’m taking it down to Peoria for Thanksgiving, and taking the train back up without it on Sunday. And I’m pumped. My car, which is fully paid off, is just a liability even though it can be convenient sometimes. I debated on what I should do with my personal car after I was promoted in the Spring– sell? Store? Keep on the street and use on occasion?

It seemed silly to sell it after paying it off only a few months ago, but at the same time, it seemed silly to store it or keep it and rarely use it.

So for a while, I decided to keep it. I’d move it around on the streets of Logan Square, making sure to avoid those almost guaranteed parking tickets in Chicago, and I even upgraded my parking sticker so I could park on permitted parts of the streets surrounding my building.

But the costs of keeping a car I don’t use often kept bugging me.

At minimum, I’d spend $1,800 a year on insurance alone on that car because of a recent accident I was at fault for. That’s minimum– meaning parking it and barely using it.

But things never cost the minimum.

Instead of costing the minimum, the car also costs:

  • City Stickers: $130 a year
  • Registration: $100 a year
  • Gas: ~$30/month (Prius, baby)
  • Tickets: ~$200 a year (for every year I’ve lived in Chicago I’ve managed to get at least two red light or camera speed tickets. I suck)
  • Car Washes: ~$2 a month
  • Oil Changes: ~$200 a year

Add that up? We’ve got an additional $814 a year, not including if anything happened to my car. Which it has, twice since I’ve lived in Chicago. One year the back windshield was shattered while my car sat parked on the street outside my house: $250. Another year (ie, this year), I got into a fender bender: $500. If we average out $750 of mishaps over the four years I’ve had the car, that’s about another $187 a year.

Which means, I spend about $2,801 a year on owning a car that I rarely use.

Fuck. That.

So I’m selling it! And hopefully I’ll get a few thousand dollars out of it. My hope is this will cut my transportation bill drastically. I’ll have to order more Ubers from time to time, but ultimately I think that cost will end up being quite a bit less than almost $233 a month. Even if I Uber’d everywhere, which I won’t, I think I’ll spend less than what I’m currently spending on transportation.

Last year, I spent $3,700 on transportation alone, which includes Ubers, public transportation, etc. With selling my car, I definitely think I’ll be able to beat that.

Plus! Selling the car feels oddly more aligned with my values. I don’t value cars and having two felt so wasteful and ridiculous to me, even though one of the cars is a company car that I will only have while I work at my current place of employment. I’m okay with knowing I might someday have to buy a car again because if I ever do have to buy a car, I’ll be smarter about it. My secret hope is that I’ll never have to buy a car again, and if I leave this job someday, I’ll find another one in the city instead of the burbs so I can rely 100% on public transportation.

Cancelling the Fancy Gym Membership

I also decided to cancel the fancy gym membership so that in January I can start fresh with a Health On Target plan with my insurance. I’ve been wanting to do this for about six months for a few reasons.

  1. My gym only offers five classes a day. Period. No open gym time. No time to go in and work out on my own. Just classes, which was great for a while, but getting to a class in time has been really stressful, especially when I have a heavy work load. If I missed a class due to traffic or a work event or having to stay late, it’d throw off my whole evening. So often, I’d only make it to this gym 2-3 times a week, which also isn’t ideal.
  2. I spend $88 a month on the gym and only go 2-3 times a week. That doesn’t seem worth it to me.
  3. I don’t like how competitive my gym is. Some of the instructors like to use partner work to help motivate people but I LOATHE partner work because it makes people focus less on good form and more on getting things done quickly so they don’t leave their partner hanging.
  4. I’ve seriously injured my back twice and my knee once since starting at this gym, and I think that is in part to being pressured to do bur-pees faster than my body wants to.
  5. For some reason all of the above makes me angry, and I don’t like going anymore. I want to work out on my own time, in my own way, and I don’t want a coach yelling at me telling me to do something harder or faster.

November 2019 Spending Categories: Budget vs. Actuals

Now let’s take a look at the spending categories, talk about where I fucked up and what I’m doing to mitigate.

CategoryBudgetedActualDifference
Groceries$170$167$3
Clo Bare$35$33$2
Health/medical$138$138$0
Home$850$850$0
Transportation/Car Insurance$192$191$1
Personal$136$135$1
Entertainment$235$246-$11
Utilities/Cell Phone$300$292$8
Travel$375$372$3
Debt$3,656$3,655$1
CBBB$30$25$5
Dating$87$87$0
Special Occasions$50$50$0
Totals:$6,254$6,241$13

The Fuck-Up’s Explained

There’s only one fuck-up this time– $11 over in entertainment. That’s not bad considering I used to budget $150 per pay period to entertainment but it’s not great for a month when I said I was going to hermit and do a “no spend November.”

So much for that.

Why Did I Still Spend So Much on Entertainment?

I can explain. Sort of.

My original goal was to spend $50 on Entertainment for the second half of the month since I had decided, mid-month, to try and spend less on all things since I’d gone over in October.

Which, to be fair, in my second pay period in November, I only spent $57 on Entertainment… however the first pay period of November? Weeeeeeelllllll, I sort of spent $180 on entertainment.

My excuse?

Part of it was for my mom’s birthday so BACK OFF.

And part of it was a “fuck-it-pity-party” I threw for myself after my breakup.

You need those too.

So I ate out a little bit more. I drank a lot more. And I drank a little bit more. Did I say drank twice? I allowed myself one week to have a pity party, and then I snapped back into action, practicing real-self care and getting shit done.

And in that spirit, moving on. To the spending report!

November 2019 Spending Report

DateAmountDescriptionCategory
10/25/2019$1,850.00Extra Payment Student LoansDebt
10/25/2019$18.86Vitamin DPersonal
10/25/2019$23.00sandwich and wineGroceries
10/27/2019$805.00studen loansDebt
10/27/2019$47.00mom’s birthdayEntertainment
10/27$34.00break up feastEntertainment
10/27/2019$19.00gasTransportation/Car Insurance
10/27/2019$10.00ear plugsPersonal
10/27/2019$25.00makeup and hairPersonal
10/27$17.00la croix and snackGroceries
10/29/2019$12.00WineEntertainment
10/31$32.00dress alterationPersonal
10/31/2019$67.98Dinner and drinksEntertainment
11/1/2019$72.00Airbnb ParisTravel
10/31/2019$8.00Logan TheaterEntertainment
11/1/2019$850.00RentHome
11/1/2019$66.88ComEdUtilities/Cell Phone
11/3/2019$3.50CoffeeCBBB
11/3$20.00GroceriesGroceries
11/3/2019$88.00FarrellsHealth/medical
11/4/2019$300.00Flight to AustinTravel
11/6/2019$45.00comcastUtilities/Cell Phone
11/6/2019$20.00proseccoEntertainment
11/8/2019$1,000.00Student Loan PaymentDebt
11/9/2019$42.00GroceriesGroceries
11/9/2019$5.99tooth brushPersonal
11/10/2019$50.00tickets to sofar for when wally is hereSpecial Occasions
11/10/2019$10.00snacksGroceries
11/10$7.00drinkDating
11/12/2019$23.00wool socksPersonal
11/12/2019$124.00cell phone Utilities/Cell Phone
11/13/2019$10.00drinksEntertainment
11/15$150.00car insuranceTransportation
11/15/2019$10.00Facebook boostClo Bare
11/15$12.00Uber Transportation
11/15/2019$20.00dateDating
11/15$10.00ventraTransportation
11/16/2019$50.00HealthonTarget– Therapy Graduation Present!Health/medical
11/16/2019$10.00smoothie lunch Entertainment
11/16/2019$20.00HaircutPersonal
11/17/2019$55.00Aldi and Joong BooGroceries
11/17$21.00BrunchCBBB
11/18/2019$60.00Botanic Gardens DateDating
11/19/2019$9.00dinner after workEntertainment
11/20/2019$56.00peoples gasUtilities/Cell Phone
11/20/2019$28.00Choose FI and FoodEntertainment
11/20/2019$23.00Clo BareClo Bare

Total Spent: $6,241

Total Debt: $46,866.26 (UNDER $50k MOFO’S!!!!!!!)

No-Spend November– LOL

So much for a No-Spend November, eh?

To be fair, I did hermit a little bit and look at the start of the post! So many wins!

In other news, you’ll notice I added a category for Special Occasions and Dating. The reason I decided to do this is because as I mentioned previously, the “Personal” category is so vague it can often blow out of control.

This way, I can budget for Dating without it coming out of my budget for personal items– like makeup, clothes or hygiene products. I also added Special Occasions because things that feel in-categorical come up often. Like paying for Thanksgiving. Or buying tickets to an event because a friend is going to be in town. Or Christmas presents or wedding presents or whatever!

December Goals

Anyway, in December, I have a few goals.

  1. Stick to spending less on entertainment. I’d like to say $100 for the whole month, but I know December will be tricky because I’m heading to Europe for ten days, plus it’s the holidays. So I’d like to say stick to $200 for the whole month. That seems do-able.
  2. Take a break from dating. I don’t have the heart or emotional capacity to date right now because of everything I’ve got going on. The holidays are a lot especially with a Europe trip squeezed in and I’m really just trying to enjoy Me, Myself and I lately. Selfish AF, sue me.
  3. Spend less than $1k on my trip to Europe– should be easy since I’m staying with friends.
  4. Put another $1.8k on my debt.

What are your holiday budgeting goals?

Share in the comments below!

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Allyson
    November 27, 2019 at 11:08 am

    Great details for helping others keep a budget! Good decision in paying extra towards your student debt. Those nasty interest charges add up quickly.

    • Reply
      Chloe Daniels
      December 4, 2019 at 8:08 am

      Thank you! Yep– it’ll be good once I have those debts gone!

  • Reply
    Mitchelle
    December 4, 2019 at 7:54 am

    Congrats on the wins and thanks for sharing your budget! It really helps put things into perspective when you can see what someone else is spending.

    • Reply
      Chloe Daniels
      December 4, 2019 at 8:08 am

      Yeah! I always feel like it’s interesting to see where other people’s money goes. Thanks Mitchelle!

  • Reply
    Lynnette
    December 4, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Wonderful tips on budgeting. Holdng ourselves accountable and tracking everything is key. Thanks for sharing your journey.

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