what I spend a month in chicago

What I Spend a Month in Chicago, IL: February 2021

What does it cost a month to live in Chicago, IL? Clo Bare shares what she spends in a month by sharing her budget, savings rate, what she spends a month in Chicago, and how she managed her money in February 2021.

It’s that time of the month again, and the numbers are in! How’d I do with my spending in February 2021? 

Guys, I spent a lot. But don’t worry, I have plenty of excuses to explain away why I was a little bit spendier than usual.

Read what I spend a month in Chicago in January 2021.

But first, let’s take a look at the categories, shall we?

Watch What I Spend a Month in Chicago on Youtube

What I Spend in a Month in Chicago: February 2021 Categories

Clo Bare's Budget for February 2021

The Fuck-Ups Explained

Clo Bare (Cost of Running this Platform)

At first glance, it appears Clo Bare had a very expensive month, but $1k of that was a transfer to my business banking account to avoid a $15 monthly fee for not meeting the minimum balance requirements. The other $198.94 was for Paypal fees and the Youtube Academy course I purchased from Graham Stephan. I’m extremely stoked to start his course for YouTube and learn how to really build an audience on that platform. 

Best thing about expenses in this category? They’re totally write-offs.


Health continues to be a high expense this year. I decided to get a FitBit for $52 (I had a gift card for $25) to start tracking my sleep, I joined a gym, and I cancelled another, so all these small expenses added up to be almost $200. Definitely going to be spending a LOT more on Health/Medical this year, but at the same time, I want to feel good, have energy, and be able to focus. All those things are health related and I’m willing to throw money at it to help improve my health.


Entertainment expenses were pretty high as well because a few things happened in February. First, I visited two of my girlfriends up in Milwaukee, and we spend some money going to an igloo, making dinner, drinking, and chilling. Then, I also spent money on a few meals out while I was home visiting my family in my hometown. It wasn’t a lot all at once, but those $20 here and $40 there expenses really added up. For the month of March and April I’ll really need to cut down on my entertainment expenses to catch up.

Special Occasions

Special Occasions was also a bit expensive in February 2021. It was partially because of Valentine’s day but also because a friend of mine lost their dad and I sent them a $100 gift card to Grubhub, instead of flowers. I also categorized some of the random, extra expenses for going down to my hometown as special occasion expenses, since I don’t go down there often.

All in all, not too terrible, but definitely a few areas I want to watch it on, like entertainment and special occasions. I don’t think I’ll be saving much money on health anytime soon, especially because I’m going through the sleep study process and if that ends up being inconclusive– I’m not sure what I’ll need to do next. So, we’ll see, but I’m prepared for an expensive health year. Will need to control my other expenses in entertainment to make up for it.

Learn how to create an annual budget to stay on track with your yearly goals

Now, on to the spending report, shall we?

what I spend a month

What I Spend a Month in Chicago: February 2021 Spending Report


  • $20, Quarters for Laundry– Personal
  • $60, Groceries
  • $15, Wine– Entertainment
  • $400, Transfer to Home Fund– Home Fund


  • $20, Snow Shovel– Home
  • $42, Cologne Gift– Special Occasions


  • $38, Gym membership– Health/Medical
  • $1,419, Rent– Home


  • $30, Therapy– Health/Medical
  • $23, Nicor– Utilities/Cell Phone
  • $15, Jewel– Groceries


  • $15, Hair Products– Personal
  • $20, Wine– Entertainment
  • $35, Parking
  • $100, Gift Card for Friends– Special Occasions


  • $20, Dinner– Entertainment
  • $40, Gas and Wine– Special Occasions
  • $43, Thai Food– Entertainment


  • $27, Snacks– Groceries
  • $54, Coat and Boots for Logan– Dog
  • $1.95, Paypal Fees– Clo Bare
  • $11, Book– Personal
  • $54, Aldi– Groceries


  • $22, Book club book– Personal
  • $1,200, Transfer to Home Fund– Home Fund


  • $37, Aldi– Groceries
  • $32, Beer for Sister– Special Occasions
  • $7, Ice Cream– Entertainment
  • $18, Gas– Transportation


  • $57– Valentine’s Dinner, Dating


  • $26, Dinner, Entertainment


  • $52, Fitbit– Health/Medical
  • $8, Renter’s Insurance
  • $65, Comcast– Utilities/Cell Phone
  • $45, Groceries
  • $15, key fob for gym– Health/Medical
  • $17, gas for Dad’s car– Transportation


  • $21, Sushi– Entertainment


  • $27, Donation
  • $197, Youtube Academy Course– Clo Bare
  • $40 Cancellation Fee– Health/Medical
  • $42, Protein, shaker, and ice cream– Personal
  • $27, ComEd– Utilities


  • $1,000, Capital Contribution– Clo Bare
  • $43, Sushi, split between groceries and entertainment

Total Spent: $5,509

  • Total Spent on Living Expenses: $2,909 (subtract Clo Bare capital contribution and savings)
  • Total Post-Tax and Deductions Income: $5,325 
  • % Spent on Living Expenses: 54%
  • % on Savings: 29%

Total Debt, Savings, and Net Worth Update

Total Savings:

  • Emergency Fund: $10k
  • Home Fund: $6k
  • Real Estate Investment: $58k
  • 401(k): $78k
  • Total Savings: $152,000

Total Debt

  • Student Loans: $28k

Updated Net Worth

  • $124k

My Net Worth Went Down in February 2021

My net worth went down– womp, womp. The reason for this is because I took $5k out of my real estate investment to pay taxes on it, and I also transferred $1k out of my home fund and into my Clo Bare business account in order to avoid those stupid business banking fees. I still have about $2k sitting in my business bank account, but I don’t include my business bank account in my net worth. 

Even though technically if I included my business bank account my net worth would’ve grown $1k in a month, I’m still slightly bummed to see that number go down, but it’s good motivation to stay on budget next month! 

Goals Check In

Now, last month I set a few goals for myself. Let’s see how I did, and let’s also take a look at what goals I’m setting for myself in March 2021.

  1. Save $1k for the Home Fund. Done! I saved $1.6k for my home fund but I ended up having to take $1k out of my savings and transfer it to my Clo Bare savings so technically, I really only saved $600. Womp, womp.
  2. Only spend $150 on entertainment and $100 on dating– again. Dating– done! Got it. But entertainment? I spent $175 so I went a tiny bit over budget.
  3. Do my taxes! I’m waiting on some tax forms from my real estate investment, but once I have those I plan to get those done. Nope! Still waiting on my tax forms for my real estate investment, and getting nervous about when I’m going to get them.

Learn how to create a budget.

Goals for March 2021

  1. Do my taxes– hopefully. I’m waiting to get paid out for my real estate investment to do my taxes. So hopefully I’ll get that this month. 
  2. Only spend $150 on entertainment and $100 on dating again. We’ll see how I do. My friends are starting to do things again, which costs money, so I’ll need to start flexing my “no” muscles again.
  3. Save $1k for my home fund! I have to spend $1k on my sleep study, so I’m not sure if this is going to be possible or not. But we’ll see.

That’s about it! Feeling like I have some room for improvement and that this is an expensive year so far, but we’ll see what happens. I’ll control what I can control, and not worry too much about the stuff I can’t control. At the end of the day, that’s really all we can do– right?

Your Turn: What’s next in March 2021?

How about you? What’s on the docket for you in March 2021 and beyond? Share in the comments below and if you liked this post? Be sure to share in order to support this blog.

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what I spend a month
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living on $120k a year in chicago

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