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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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Emilie is a data engineer by day and lifestyle blogger by night. A Jersey girl at heart, she is currently living in her fifth home in three years, Savannah, GA with her college sweetheart. She’s learned the hard way that home is wherever the Army sends them. She enjoys eating food, cuddling with her dog, and binge watching HGTV.