I use a one-number method for my flexible spending. I have $360/month for all my flexible spending. That means that across all my non-fixed spending (rent, parking, utilities, insurance, etc.), I’m allowed to spend unto $360. So, for example, if I spend a little more on groceries this month but nothing on medical, it’s okay as long as the total some is right.
Sticking to a budget can be extremely difficult, but I hope that by honestly sharing my spending I can inspire others to help conquer their financials goals. Moreover, I feel like it paints a whole picture, considering I share my debt progress and my financial accomplishments.
Spent: 59, Budgeted: 0
I was expecting to have to spend no money here, thinking that I was going to be able to just use what I had at home from when I got home from Benning through the end of April, but I had a Hungry Harvest subscription that I forgot to cancel, so that was $15. Then when my Dad came into town I spent $45 on groceries. Hopefully, that will last me.
Spent: 62, Budgeted: 3
I paid for my audible subscription ($16) and my Apple cloud storage ($1). I also had to pay for my Spread the Love Tour, which I probably shouldn’t have spent money on, but I did and it was amazing.
Spent: 38, Budgeted: 39
I used a package that I had already prepaid at the European Wax Center, but I had to leave a tip- thus, $5. Before leaving for Benning, I went and got my brows done at Ulta and had some stuff to touch up for a total of $33.
Spent: 5, Budgeted: 1
I was lucky enough to have separated specifically for this while at Benning, so that didn’t come out of my regular budget. I did, though, visit an Auntie Anne’s pretzels because I have a weakness for anything smothered in Cinnamon.
Spent: 119, Budgeted: 100
I bought my sister a nice present for her birthday for $57. I made a $25 payment on an interest free-Paypal purchase. I bought this amazing daily planner from Very Erin Designs! I designed it and she custom-made it for me. It’s amazing and has been so worthwhile. As I pick up freelance work, I needed to figure a way to Balance it all. This has made a huge difference. $18 well spent! Finally, I bought some packing supplies for $19.
Spent: 3, Budgeted: 1
I bought more packing supplies and was torn about how to categorize them.
Spent: 89, Budgeted: 104
I had to take a Lyft to and from the airport in Baltimore. Most excitingly: I got TSA Precheck! It was $85 but I got approved and now I’m going to be able to cut the security lines with Casey!
Spent: 65, Budgeted: 66
I had to pay for my AAA membership ($47 for the year) and some gas.
Spent: 66, Budgeted: 0
I worked with Fran from Free Borboleta to make some small changes to Burke Does!
Spent: 27, Budgeted: 28
I was at Atlanta 7s and somethings added up. This is more my irresponsibility than anything, to be honest.
Spent: 4, Budgeted: 9
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If you’re crunching the numbers, you’ll notice I went $185 over budget for my flex spending.
If you remember correctly, I went over $164 last month, but it was fine because I had underspent $205 in fixed expenses. Now, this month, I was under $184, so it also kind of worked out. Nonetheless, I’m disappointed that two months in a row I came over budget. I guess it’s okay that I only did this sort of damage while traveling to Atlanta and Cleveland, but still.
May is going to be crazy. Laura’s graduation, the move, paying two rents. Things are going to get expensive. My goal is to not get more debt. In other words, between my income and my savings, I hope to be able to cahflow everything. It seems doable. Fingers crossed. I have a tentative budget made.
Come June, I will have to revisit the budget question.
Emilie is an Army Wife, Data Engineer, and CrossFitter with a love for working through her thoughts in this space on the internet. She lives with her husband Casey and their pup Bo in Savannah, GA.