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March 2016 Spending

April 11, 2016
AUTHOR: Emilie
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In case you missed it, 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.

Medical

Spent: 20, Budgeted: 15
I bought contact lenses that I desperately needed. I had been out for over a month. I bought a three-months supply for $70, but by wearing my glasses when working from home, I can stretch these out longer. I got a $50 boost from a thing at work that I wasn’t expecting that offset the cost of these.

Groceries

Spent: 102, Budgeted: 90
I was on a huge cereal kick this month, so that’s part of the high cost here. I spent $30 on my Hungry Harvest for all my fresh fruits and vegetables. I spent $49 on total meat for the month. I spent $24 on dry goods, eggs, and a couple of other things. Going into April, I still have 8 boxes of Banza (coupon here), a ton of chicken breasts in the freezer, about a week’s worth of crockpot soup in the freezer, and two boxes of cereal. Since I will be traveling for most of April, I should be able to come home and eat the cereal, soup, and chicken & Banza combination for dinner for the last week of the month. At the very least, my budget here should be small.

Entertainment

Spent: 68, Budgeted: 7
I had a $60 quarterly expense. I shouldn’t have this again for a couple of months. That’s the bulk of it. The other couple of bucks are buy in to a fun March Madness pool ($5), an episode of The Walking Dead that I couldn’t wait anymore to watch and I bought on Amazon Prime ($2), and my iPhone’s cloud storage ($1).

Restaurants

Spent: 77, Budgeted: 32
I splurged on a $31 on a meal for myself, that I turned into four meals and don’t feel guilty about at all (and wrote about here). I spent $13 on food while traveling. I spent $21 on meals with friends (5 outings!) and $13 on a lunch with my coworkers.

Shopping

Spent: 95, Budgeted: 100
I spent $6 at Staples mailing a package to my aunt. I spent $65 on a Wakeable Alarm Clock that some of my brilliant friends came up with. I bought an Inkwell Press fitness Planner for $20. I spent $57 on Amazon on baby books for Carol’s baby shower, new windshield wipers, and a new kit bag for rugby.

Gifts

Spent: 30, Budgeted: 2
I spent $30 on Groupons for Easter goodies for my sister and my mother.

Home

Spent: 8, Budgeted: 20
I spent $8 on new checks that should last me for the next year or so.

Travel

Spent: 22, Budgeted: 7
A couple of times I had to take a Lyft or an Uber around the city for miscellaneous things. That’s this $22.

Professional Development

Spent: 30, Budgeted: 10
I spent $20 on audiobooks #alwayslearning. I also spent $10 on the March Madness pool in the office. Gambling is fun, right?

Car

Spent: 35, Budgeted: 36
I spent $35 on gas this month. This was much higher than usual, in large part because I had to travel to New Jersey.

Rugby

Spent: 28, Budgeted: 29
Five dollars of these were spent on changing my bus details for a tournament in New York. The rest was all on Ubers around the city, while there.

Digit

Spent: 9, Budgeted: 9
Digit pulled $10 out of my spending this month.

My Thoughts

If you’re crunching the numbers, you’ll notice I went $165 over budget for my flex spending.

The food news is I was $205 under my fixed budget this month- my gym membership was suspended for March ($85), our electricity was under budget ($20), and the water bill was under ($10). I was also able to come under $90 in other places too. All in all, I saved $205 on my fixed expenses.

The result?

At the end of the month (after my debt repayment), I was able to put an extra $40 towards one of my debts! One step closer, right?

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