what I spend a month in chicago

What I Spend in a Month: April 2021

Want to know what one millennial spends a month while living in Chicago, Illinois? Wait no further. Clo Bare shares everything she spent her money on in April 2021 by sharing her budget, her net worth and savings updates, as well as where she blew the budget last month. 

what I spend in a month in chicago

And we’re back with more “What I Spend in a Month” magic because the numbers are in for April 2021! 

It was messy.

At first glance, I spent $15k last month, which is more than any other month EVER since starting this Clo Bare project a few years ago.

But, $6k of that was to my IRA– so is that spending? Not really. It’s investing.

And then some of it went to my home fund.

And then some of it went to Bitcoin.

So actually, I spent closer to $9k which is still expensive, but a whole lot better.

Musings on What I Spent in April 2021

Before we dive in, I just gotta say– DAMN. April was expensive. Between a quick trip to Florida with my boyfriend to hang with his Mom and then purchasing my trip to Mexico for my 30th birthday– everything added up! AND I also did my taxes AND AND paid my quarterly estimated taxes last month too.

So my wallet is hurting. It’s like in a wheelchair and trying to scoot around my apartment without knocking into anything level hurting.

So let’s talk about it, shall we?

Read March 2021’s Spending Report.

What I Spend in a Month: April 2021 Spending Categories

april 2021 budget


I have SUCKED with spending more money on groceries these last couple of months, and that’s honestly because I’ve been so busy. I’ve been buying a lot of pre-packaged and frozen meals to make my life easier because honestly? My nights are filled with client work and Clo Bare work, and on Sundays, when I would usually meal prep, the last thing I want to do is meal prep after spending hours making Tik Toks, editing videos for my YouTube channel, and working on my content calendar.

So, ultimately, I think I have to surrender to the fact that for now? While I’m growing my business, my grocery bill is going to be a little bit higher. I’ll think of it as an investment in my future.


Clo Bare

Would you look at how much I spent on Clo Bare last month?!? Almost $2k. Now, even though that’s expensive, I don’t REALLY consider it a fuck-up because it’s for my business. I get joy out of spending money on my business, and again, it’s an investment. 

The reason last month was so high is because I bought a course from HerFirst100k which was about $300 and I also bought a trip to FinCon which I am SUPER stoked for.

The course, honestly, I’m not sure if it was worth it. I didn’t learn much more than I already know, but I also like supporting other creators and small businesses, so it’s still a win in my book. And I haven’t had enough time to really dive into the course material to get everything out of it– so jury is still out. I’m hoping to have time to dive in more to the course work soon.

FinCon? That will be worth it. That I am sure of and I’m excited to take the trip! For those of you who don’t know, FinCon is a finance creator’s conference and I am STOKED for all the speakers like Minority Mindset. 


*sigh* Health continues to be super expensive and WILL be because my dumbass signed up for a HSA/high-deductible account in the year that I needed the most healthcare I’ve needed since… well, forever. I decided to start seeing a holistic doc, go to. a sleep doctor, and go to some physical therapists that are OUT OF NETWORK this year. 

So yes. This will continue to be expensive, and I can’t wait til it’s not. This will probably be my most expensive category this year, behind rent.


Transportation was high this month too for a few reasons. I rented a car to go down to my hometown for my first COVID test, and there were also a few Ubers that I don’t usually have because Terrick and I went on a date night in the city. This shouldn’t be as expensive in the future.


April 2021 Spending


I need to stop entertaining myself with food. Period, end of story. This is pretty much ALL food related expenses. I suck.

IRA Confession

So, my IRA contribution actually came out of my home fund. I had been waiting to receive my payout from my real estate investment to invest in my 2020 IRA but because it’s delayed I decided I’ll use that money to replenish my home fund instead, and use the home fund money to fund my IRA. For now. Hopefully I’ll be getting paid out in the next couple of weeks, so then that will be topped off. 

Learn more about IRAs and other retirement accounts.



I started investing a small amount in Bitcoin and Ethereum. I’m pretty neutral when it comes to crypto. For the most part, I do think it’s slowly legitimizing which is why I decided I’d rather have a little skin in the game and risk losing the money rather than have no skin in the game and miss out on potentially large gains in the market. Right now I’m just investing $50 a week in Bitcoin and Ethereum.



These costs were about $1k for booking my birthday trip to Mexico with my sister (both vaccinated!) and about $500 from the trip to Florida with my boyfriend. Catching up on some travel this year! 

All in all, it was an expensive month! I’m really hoping things will slow down in May, but with a trip to Mexico– I can’t be so sure. Let’s head on to the spending report, shall we?

what I spend a month april 2021

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

FYI: For those of you who are new here, I budget based off my paycheck, not monthly, which is why the dates are a little wonky. 


  • $100, Facebook Ads– Clo Bare
  • $250, Donation
  • $5.96, Paypal fee– Clo Bare
  • $118, Rental Car– Transportation
  • $44, Groceries


  • $10, Subway and snacks– Entertainment
  • $32, Sushi– Entertainment
  • $672, Student Loans
  • $43, Gas
  • $8, Candy– Personal


  • $100, Paid to neighbor for watching Logan– Logan
  • $70, Uber to airport– Transportation
  • $17, Lunch– Travel
  • $50, Rental Car– Travel
  • $32, Groceries for week–Travel
  • $13, Lunch– Travel
  • $31, Parking– Travel


  • $95, Sapphire Credit Card Fee
  • $75, Trip– Travel
  • $119, Canva Pro– Clo Bare
  • $11, Paypal fees– Clo Bare


  • $12, GSuite– Clo Bare
  • $23, Gas– Utilities
  • $33, Beer and Soda– Travel
  • $62, Dania Beach Day– Travel
  • $19, Fitness Program– Health


  • $73, Groceries and Thai food– Travel
  • $50, checked bag– Travel
  • $1,419, Rent
  • $33, Lunch– Entertainment
  • $1,080, Trip to Mexico– Travel


  • $490, Tickets to FinCon– Clo Bare
  • $858, Airbnb for FinCon– Clo Bare
  • $297, HerFirst100k Course– Clo Bare
  • $24, Gas– Transportation
  • $49, Groceries


  • $550, Home Fund
  • $66, Groceries
  • $150, Bitcoin
  • $31, Driver’s License renewal– Transportation
  • $433, Tax payment
  • $255, TurboTax
  • $600, Quarterly Taxes (Federal and State)
  • $68, Sprint
  • $16, Vitamin D– Health


  • $21, replacement remote– Clo Bare
  • $20, quarters for laundry– Personal
  • $10, snacks– Personal
  • $6,000, Transfer to IRA for 2020
  • $30, Tripod– Clo Bare
  • $21, Snacks– Groceries
  • $70, Charcuterie Board ingredients–Entertainment
  • $70, Groceries


  • $12, Allergy medication
  • $127, sleeping aids– Health
  • $4, Paypal Fees- Clo Bare
  • $50, Bitcoin


  • $50, Lobstah rolls– Dating
  • $43, congrats dessert– Special Occasions
  • $25, Uber
  • $50, Bitcoin


  • $425, Doctor bill
  • $60, mother’s day– Special Occasions
  • $42, bulk tea order– groceries
  • $40, dinner with Sister– Entertainment

Total Debt, Savings, and Net Worth Update

Total Savings:

  • Emergency Fund: $10k
  • Home Fund: $2k
  • Real Estate Investment: $58k
  • 401(k): $87k
  • IRA: $6k
  • Total Savings: $163k

Total Debt

  • Student Loans: $27k

Updated Net Worth

  • $136k

With all the spending I did, my net worth still went up by about $4k! I’ll take it. Now let’s move on to goals.

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. Non Negotiable. – Done!
  2. Only spend $150 on entertainment and $100 on dating. Even lower if I can.- Lol, I sucked on entertainment again but I only spent $50 on dating, so that makes up for it!
  3. Keep groceries at $250. I went over by $42. *sigh*
  4. Only spend $500 on our trip to Florida.– I spent about that! A little bit less, actually, so I’ll take it.

Now, what are my goals for May 2021?

Well, I’m writing this halfway through May, but for the next two weeks I want to:

  1. Stay within budget for groceries. I recognize that groceries have been higher but I’d like to keep it closer to $250-$275 for the month. We’ll see.
  2. Entertainment and dating– I’d like to keep that at $150 and $100 again! 
  3. Survive all my medical bills. Lol. I don’t think I’m going to be able to save much in May because of my medical bills and my trip to Mexico. So we’ll see what happens. 

What are your goals for May 2021?

That’s it for me! Connect and tell me your May 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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what I spend in a month in chicago
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