What I spent: February 2017
Each month, Chris and I budget $100 each to spend as "personal allowance." This includes eating out/coffee/activities we do separately (we have a joint family allowance budget of $150 as well) and purchases that are that wants and not needs. To keep ourselves accountable, we use Mint to monitor our spending. As an extra layer of accountability, I am sharing what I spent my personal allowance on each month and whether I stayed within budget. Check out previous months here.
After Chris and I both did a great job in January of staying within our personal allowance budgets we decreased our budgets. Chris decreased his from $150 to $80 and we decreased mine from $150 to $100. Note that we also have a joint personal allowance budget each month of $150 which covers any date nights plus babysitting and family outings including eating out.
In February I continued my new habit of tracking every purchase in Mint and making sure it was appropriately categorized. I'm even going to far to split transactions if needed and allocate to different budgets.
I used to track things in Mint in waves. I'd be really into it for a while but fall out of the habit. Cleaning up all our Mint budgets and making sure we have the right budgets set at the right amounts has helped get me back into the tracking habit. And I'm sticking with it in a way I never have. The more Chris and I track our spending the more we are sticking to our budgets, which is so satisfying, and reinforcing the tracking behavior.
Personal allowance spending for February 2017:
$5 - one box of Thin Mints, which because I'm a moderator I will make last all year! I know this is ridiculous but I stash them in my drawer at work. I'll eat a sleeve when I finish my crazy report season in August and another sometime this fall.
$18 - two-year renewal of Sunset Magazine
$2.96 - coffee at Starbucks while I worked and killed some time before volunteering at preschool.
$3.50 - a protein shake as part of Chris's Valentine's gift
$2.96 - coffee at Liberty Market by myself when we had run out of coffee. I just sat for 10 minutes with no book or phone. Such a minor-seeming thing but I remember it being so calming.
$7.34 - breakfast with book club gals at a favorite spot
$10 - a get well gift for a friend
$11.50 - tsoynami date to treat my amazing co-worker who is moving to Boston. Sad face.
$17.31 - happy hour + snacks with my book club
Total spent: $78.57 of $100 budgeted
+ + +
In January 2017: $126.25 of $150 budgeted