what I spend a month in chicago

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

What do I spend a month in Chicago, IL? What does it even cost 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 March 2021.

what one woman spends a month in chicago

Watch What I Spend a Month on YouTube

It’s only April 10th as I’m writing this, but March feels so far away now. The last two weeks have been busy as hell, between spending a week in Florida with my boyfriend to visit his mom, gaining 13 new clients in two weeks, cranking out content for my social channels (3-4 Tik Toks a day may be the death of me) AND still holding down a 9 to 5 job? 

Clo Bare needs a nap.

But even so, things are going great. I’m really loving the opportunity to coach so many amazing people on how to money, and it’s exciting that folks are signing up for my services! 

Which, shameless plug, if you want to sign up for financial coaching, all the info on how to sign up is here: Financial Coaching.


Anywho– March was an expensive month. Health/Medical continued to skyrocket as I try to figure out my fatigue (turns out sleep isn’t the issue) and it won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

Read my February 2021 Spending Report.

Clo Bare the Business had an expensive month, I overspent in entertainment, and Logan had her annual vet visit.

It felt like I was bleeding money for a bit.

But the good news?

Technically, I was under budget, but that’s mostly because I didn’t end up doing an in-lab sleep study so I was refunded about $600. 

Learn how to create your own budget with Clo Bare’s free budgeting templates.

But more on that later. First? Let’s talk about the categories and the fuck-ups. 

What I Spend a Month in Chicago, IL: March 2021 Categories

what I spend a month in chicago

The Fuck-Ups Explained


I got out of control with groceries last month! $280? Ok, not really that bad. I only went over by $30, and this was mostly because every time I go to my boyfriend’s house he pretty much never has any groceries, so?

We grab groceries for the weekend and split the bill. That’s totally fine in of itself, BUT, we always go to Jewel, and Jewel is expensive AF. We have to start incorporating Aldi into our grocery runs so that I can bring my bill down a bit.

Clo Bare Business Expenses

Now, Clo Bare has had some expensive months lately, but honestly? I’m okay with it because it comes out of the business account and business expenses are tax write-offs, most of the time.

These expenses mostly came from buying a microphone, a giveaway, Tailwind renewal (a program I use to automate my Pinterestreferral link here), and Facebook ads. The Facebook ads helped me bring in some new clients, so it was $50 well spent.

Binge-read all of Clo Bare’s spending reports to learn what she spends in a month in Chicago here.

what I spend a month march 2021


Is this what happens when you turn 30?

Apparently, all my money now goes to health. Again, I don’t mind spending money on my health but it is upsetting how lousy our medical system here is in the US.

Good health shouldn’t be expensive, and money shouldn’t be the determining factor on whether or not you can get the health care you need. GAH. I do recognize my privilege, though, in being able to afford the health care I need. It’s so fucked up how many people do not have access to health care because of money. 

Anyway– this month’s expenses were for the sleep study that ended up being an at-home sleep study.

I originally paid $1k for the in-lab sleep study and was refunded $600. The other costs are for the follow-up appointment. I also ordered more Vitamin B and protein.

Shit adds up!  

Read about my struggles with sleep and what I’m doing about it.


Entertainment was high too! I usually like to keep this around $150 or less for a month, but I had a few dinners with friends I hadn’t seen in a while that started to add up. I also had my neighbor watch Logan while I was gone, so I wanted to buy her and her husband drinks. And then a few other costs were just me being lazy and ordering or buying food out. 

Definitely want to get this number back down in April!

Logan (My Dog)

Little lady logan had an expensive month too! This is mostly from her vet visit- annual shots and check up– and her food.

what one woman spends a month in chicago

Gah. Kind of expensive month when you look at it all, but I’m really trying to make April a cheaper month. We’ll see if I succeed. Let’s head on to the spending report, shall we?

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


  • $74 lunch date, split between Dating and Entertainment
  • $22 dinner, Groceries
  • $22 knife, Personal
  • $6, movie, Dating


  • $19, gym membership, Health
  • $73, Instacart, Groceries
  • $12, G Suite, Clo Bare
  • $50, Flight to FLL, Travel
  • $672, Student Loans, Debt
  • $1,419, Rent, Home


  • $43 microphone, Clo Bare
  • $17, cone for Logan’s spay, Logan


  • $86, Aldi, Groceries
  • $120, Tailwind, Clo Bare


  • $195, rental car, Travel
  • $7, parking, Transportation
  • $28, dinner, Entertainment
  • $400, sleep study, Health
  • $4, paypal fees, Clo Bare


  • $14, ice cream, Personal


  • $40, dinner with friend, Entertainment
  • $2,000, Transfer to Home Fund
  • $6, moisturizer, Personal
  • $18, seltzer and tofu, Groceries
  • $20, stuff for potluck, Entertainment


  • $27, Aldi, Groceries
  • $20.62, book for giveaway, Clo Bare
  • $2.55, cookie, Groceries
  • $144, Comcast and cell phone, Utilities/Cell Phone


  • $280, vet, Logan
  • $30, candy and beer, Personal
  • $8, Renter’s Insurance


  • $45, drinks, Entertainment
  • $1.95, paypal fee, Clo Bare
  • $11, shipping, Clo Bare


  • $30, dinner, Dating
  • $13, breakfast, Dating
  • $13, Jewel, Groceries


  • $5.96, Paypal fee, Clo Bare
  • $37.53, Vitamin B, Health/Medical


  • $28, Jewel, Groceries
  • $50, Facebook Ads, Clo Bare
  • $11, Aldi, Groceries
  • $13, Roti, Entertainment


  • $45, dog food, Logan
  • $30, protein, Health/Medical


How I inreased my net worth by $8k in one month

Total Spent: $6,208

  • Total Spent on Living Expenses: $3,268 (subtract business expenses, savings and debt)
  • Total Post-Tax and Deductions Income: $6,801
  • % Spent on Living Expenses: 53%
  • % on Savings: 29%

Total Debt, Savings, and Net Worth Update

Total Savings:

  • Emergency Fund: $10k
  • Home Fund: $5k
  • Real Estate Investment: $58k
  • General Savings: $1.8k
  • 401(k): $85k
  • Total Savings: $159,800

Total Debt

  • Student Loans: $27.5k

Updated Net Worth

  • $132.3k

My Net Worth Increased by $8k in a Month!

Woo! That’s a net worth climb of over $8k! In one month! Not bad, eh? This is in part to the market doing quite a bit better than last month, so I can’t take all the credit. And of course, it’ll go down again. But hey– I can enjoy it in this moment, right?

how I increased my net worth by $8k in one month

Goals Check-In

Now, let’s take a look at what my goals were last month and if I achieved them or not.

  1. Do my taxes– I didn’t accomplish this in March, but I’ll definitely do it in April. I haven’t received my payout yet from my real estate investment, but I’m going to go ahead and do my taxes anyway. Fingers crossed that I get paid out soon.
  2. Only spend $150 on entertainment and $100 on dating again. I went over budgets in my entertainment category by $30! But I did succeed in only spending $100 on dating, so that’s good.
  3. Save $1k for my home fund! I saved $2k! 

April 2021 Goals

My April 2021 goals will be pretty similar:

  1. DO MY TAXES. Non Negotiable. 
  2. Only spend $150 on entertainment and $100 on dating. Even lower if I can.
  3. Keep groceries at $250. 
  4. Only spend $500 on our trip to Florida.

That’s about it! I don’t have any major savings goals for April because of our trip to Florida, because I will also have to pay quarterly taxes AND because my sister and I are booking a trip to Mexico. By the time we leave, we’ll both be vaccinated, and I am SO excited to finally start traveling again. 

What are your goals for April 2021?

Connect and tell me your April 2021 goals! Are you starting to travel again with vaccinations becoming more available? What are your financial goals for this month? 

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how I increased my net worth by $8k in one month
How I Increased my net worth by $8k in one month
how I increased my net worth by $8k in one month

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