Do you know what you spend in a month? Tracking your spending can reveal interesting patterns in your spending and help you find ways to spend more consciously. In this post, one woman shares the mess-ups and successes of everything she spent money on in September 2020.
September 2020 was an expensive month. Like possibly the most expensive month I’ve ever had in the history of Clo Bare. I spent $10k in one month. $10k! As a single woman living alone with no children, no mortgage, no major belongings, that’s almost impressive, right?
How did I accomplish such a feat?
Simple– goddamn quarterly taxes were due.
But we’ll talk about that in a minute. First, let’s go over the categories of my spending and where I fucked up in September 2020.
What I Spend in a Month: September 2020 on YouTube
What I Spend in a Month: September 2020 Categories
The Fuck-Ups Explained
OK, I know I only went over by $3 in groceries but I still consider it a fuck-up because I’d like to spend closer to $250 on groceries instead of $300. I understand that that’s kind of hard to do during 2020. Grocery prices have gone up and I also cook at home more which is driving my grocery bill up, while keeping my eating out budget lower.
The good thing here? I spent about $30 less than I did last month, which is good. I did order from Instacart ONCE but that’ still a huge improvement from doing it about 3-4 times last month.
Clo Bare Expenses
Clo Bare had an expensive month! That $300 of expenses came from a few things:
- Headphones to hook into my Macbook Pro for a podcast interview ($18)
- Purchasing Zoom Pro so I can up my virtual coaching calls and workshop game ($75)
- Art materials for some commissioned paintings ($47)
- Domain renewal ($11)
- Filing as an LLC ($153)– YA GIRL IS FINALLY AN LLC! Woo! We are official AF up in here.
Expensive, yeah? But it’s fun to spend money on The Bare cause I love this thing and it shows that it’s growing too! I think. Next month should be cheaper.
Personal was a little bit higher than normal because my boyfriend and I went to a wedding last month. I invited him and because of that, I decided to buy him some new slacks and dress shoes cause he needed them and because I’m a SWEETHEART, obviously. That was about $130 which is why my “personal” expenses went up last month.
Entertainment & Dating
I’m still spending significantly less money on entertainment than when I did last year (about $300+ a month) but I’d still like to get that number closer to $100. The thing is, when you combine my entertainment costs with my dating costs, I’m still spending about $300 a month on entertainment, it’s just in two different categories.
I’d like to spend $200 a month between entertainment and dating. That sounds more reasonable for entertaining myself. Where did the expenses come from? Grubhub, sushi with a friend, blowing a bunch of money at an Asian grocery store, and more Grubhub.
My whole entertainment budget went to FOOD. That’s actually kind of embarrassing.
Then if you look at my dating expenses, that $200 went to groceries for cooking together, more Asian market purchases, and dinner and drinks.
So, my ENTIRE $300 of dating/entertainment expenses was spent on food.
I need to find better ways to entertain myself. The thing is– yes, I love eating out! But it’s really not the kind of “experience” I prefer to spend $300 a month on. I’d rather we spend the money doing some fun stuff instead.
Taxes Due, Bitch
Taxes were brutal in September 2020. As many of you know, I invest in local real estate projects in the Chicagoland area. I have no equity in the properties that are purchased, I have no ownership of anything– I literally just give a contractor money, he flips the property, and I earn a profit from the loan.
That’s called interest income and it is taxed the same way your normal salary is taxed, in whatever salary bracket you’re in. ANYWAY. I didn’t realize it’s also a requirement to pay taxes quarterly on interest income and I missed the first two quarterly payments in 2020. Now, that $5k I spent on taxes was to catch up and I’ll also make another $5k contribution in January.
YAY. Taxes suck.
Which brings me to another lovely fuck-up…
Emergency Fund: I Had to Pull Money from it to Pay Taxes
Ugh. Remember how I had $11k in my savings last month?
Welp, I had to pay the government $5k in taxes so now I’m down to a little over $6k in savings.
Time to rebuild the emergency fund.
The good thing about this is even with $6k in my savings, that’s still about two and a half months of expenses saved. I’d like to get it back up to $10k ASAP so for the next couple of months I’ll be switching my tactic from paying extra on student loans to saving more money for my emergency fund cause that peace of mind is priceless!
Annnnnyway. That’s about it for the fuck ups for September 2020. What about the wins for September 2020?
Hmmmmm. Difficult to say. I’m really not sure if there were any wins to be honest. My 401(k) went down because of the market. My cash savings got cut in almost half. And I spent $10k last month.
I guess one of the good things would be that I put $2k down on debt. That’s kind of good, right?
Shall we move on to the spending report? Let’s do it.
What I Spend in a Month: September 2020 Spending Report
Domain renewal: Namecheap
car rental plus gas
dinner and drinks at friends
Gift for. elyse
headphones for interview
gift for T
Sushi with Ryan
Total Spent in September 2020: $10,257
- % After-Tax Income Spent on Debt: 38%
- % After-Tax Income Spent: 62%
- % Pre-Tax Income Spent: 37%
September 2020 Savings & Debt By the Numbers:
- Cash: $6.2k
- Real Estate Investment: $43.9k
- 401(k): $59.6k
- Total Savings: $109.7k
- Total Debt: $31k
- Net Worth: $78.7k (WAAAAH IT WENT DOWN BY ALMOST $2K)
Mehrp. I can’t say I’m too excited about the spending report this month BUT not every month is going to be filled with major progress. It’s just not possible.
Anyway, on to the goals! Let’s check in with how I did with my goals last month and what my plans are for October 2020.
Goals I Set for September 2020:
- Put down $2k on debt. DONE! Did it.
- Save $500 in cash. Lol. Nope. Instead I had to take out $5k from my savings for taxes. Ugh.
- GROCERY PLAN BETTER. I wanted to spend closer to $250 on groceries but I still ended up spending about $300. Sooooo, can’t say I achieved this but I did spend less than last month!
Goals for October 2020
- Switch tactics and save: Need to build up that emergency fund again so I’m going to focus on saving more money instead of spending it on paying off debt. Goal? Save $1k.
- Spend less on Entertainment and Dating: I’d like to spend a total of $250 in October on Entertainment and Dating. And I would like for it to not be ALL on food.
- Have an End of the Year Budget so I Can Get on a Calendar Year Fiscal Year Moving Forward: I’m going to create a budget for October to December so I can have my yearly budget align with the calendar year. The whole October to October thing is annoying.
How are you planning your money for October?
That’s pretty much it! How are you planning your money for October? Anything you’re aiming to eliminate or cut back on? Share in the comments below!