This post marks one year of sharing how I spent my personal allowance t each month. For the most part, I find openly sharing our finances here and on Matrimoney really enjoyable. It keeps me/us accountable and I hear from readers and listeners that it's insightful.
But it's also a little bit scary sometimes! I worry about being judged for spending frivolously or that I will come across as grossly privileged and lacking perspective on how others live. Chris and I budget and save but I want to acknowledge that we have also benefited in significant ways from being born into upper middle class families, from being white, and being in positions to go to college, and to have a lot of our education paid for, to name a few. I have only ever received encouraging emails and kindly worded suggestions as a result sharing our finances but as I'm thinking about what I've learned from a year of sharing my spending being reminded of our privilege is definitely one of the lessons.
I've also learned about the power of tracking. Now that we have a solid year of financial data we were able to project spending and saving in 2018 more accurately than in previous years. It also showed us that we needed a few new budgets - like one for personal care items (skin care, hair products) and for business expenses for Chris (such as going out to lunch with his executive coach).
Overall I came in about $50 over my total personal allowance budget for the year but in most months I was under budget. Especially for the last few months I have been coming in far under budget. At the beginning of the year Chris and I each had a budget of $150 per person for personal allowance spending. We reduced that to $100 starting in February and in 2018 we're going to reduce it to $80 per person. That's almost a 50% reduction! That feels like the power of tracking at work.
I'd love to hear if you find these posts helpful or if they could be tweaked to be more helpful. I am considering sharing how we spend out joint personal allowance each month - which covers family outings and date nights. Thanks so much for reading!
What I spent in December:
$4.24 - beer at a work happy hour
$4.58 - peppermint mocha during my Christmas elfing days (geeze those things are expensive! Delicious. But expensive.)
$12.87 - lunch at The Cutting Board while running Christmas errands by myself
$37.69 - annual goals and life-planning breakfast with a dear friend at Cup Cafe, my treat
Total spent in December: $72.40 out of $100 budgeted.
Total spent in 2017: $1,339.97 out of $1,250 budgeted.