Happy Monday! We’re back at it. How’s your Monday been so far?
As you all know, I’ve really gotten into budgeting recently and trying to knock down our debts quickly. With that, I wanted to chat with you today about the 5 saves + 5 splurges we currently have in our budget. Now everyone is different, but this is just our best breakdown as of right now!
- Eat at home & don’t go out drinking (for the most part)
Now this one might not be super easy for everyone but for us? A no-brainer. Ben is much better at this than me (I still like ordering in food and going out with friends sometimes for dinner) but since starting this budget, we’ve drastically changed up our eating habits to eating almost entirely at home. And honestly – I rarely drink alcohol unless I’m at someplace for work and they pay for it. 😉 Alcohol (particularly in Chicago) is HELLA expensive.
- We don’t buy things until we’re out of them
Now this is something Ben’s still struggling with. 😉 But for me, if we’re not out of toilet paper, we don’t buy it. Now, a lot of you may say “but Jessie, if you buy in bulk it’s actually better for your budget” and I’ll say… yes, you’re right. BUT for us, living in a small-ish apartment in Chicago … we don’t have room for it. Plus, particularly with food, Ben will “over-buy” and then we end up throwing things out or not using them. Sticking to our list and not budging from it is really important with our budget right now.
- We rarely purchase clothing
I’m sure you remember me doing a lot of Trunk Club and Stitch Fix hauls. I used to love getting those – and I still would – but not right now. Particularly in winter, I’m lucky if I get out of leggings and sweaters anyway, so I’ve stuck to my very small wardrobe for now. It means I can’t be a fashion blogger, BUT I am saving money.
- Live close to work
It’s no secret we pay for where we live, but actually in Chicago, it doesn’t get much better wherever you go. We looked into moving to the suburbs and while some of the places were less expensive, by the time you pay for the $200/month (one person…) train ride to get into the city, it takes some of that away! For us, Ben can walk to work and I take the bus to work every day which is about $2.25/way … which ends up being between $80-$100/day. That’s the only thing I miss about my old job – free transportation!
- Utilize family and friends spaces instead of vacation
Ben and I love to travel, but it’s not in the cards both financially and physically (Ben is still recovering) so instead we take small trips for free! We go to the suburbs every few weekends to let Cora run in his parents’ yard. We go to Ben’s grandparents or my parents in Wisconsin during the summer to get some nature. And we recently starting staying at Ben’s friend’s extra (I know… lol) weekend home in Michigan. We love all of these places and really, besides food and gas, we don’t have to pay for anything yet still get some time out of the city.
- We buy organic food
This was something that actually took me some time to get me on board, BUT once we started eating organic and drinking filtered water, my thyroid antibodies (basically my autoimmune markers) dropped by 50 points in 3 months. So to me, that’s worth it.
- We live in a nice place
It’s no secret that Chicago is a scary place to be in sometimes. From shitty apartments (like my first landlord here…) to unsafe neighborhoods, you have to be careful where you go. Plus, we have a dog and want to be sure we’re in a safe space to walk her at night. Plus, close commute! We pay a lot for our apartment (seriously, too much) but we feel safe, secure and happy. The lighting in this space and the kind front desk people are just a few of the perks of living here. We won’t be staying here once our lease is up because we want to spend less money, but it will be pretty difficult to find a safe space + less expensive + easy commute here in the city.
- We purchase a lot of supplements
For Ben’s health and mine, we take a lot of supplements to keep our bodies healthy. We also use things like collagen, special oils, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, etc. things. All of those things come at a price, but we do it for our health, which is our number 1 priority.
- We use non-toxic, organic products whenever possible
And guess what? Healthy shit is expensive (which is backwards, but whatever #America – *eyeroll*) but it’s important. We use non-toxic beauty from Beautycounter, soaps, appliances, cleaning supplies – you name it, we’ve got it… or we’re working on getting it! This has been a slow process for us switching things over, but it’s super important.
- We have coaches and therapists
Now, I will say I’ve cut back on my coaching as compared to last year, but I see a therapist every two weeks plus have a coach working along side my naturopathic doctor (because my coach is much more well-versed in Hashimoto’s.) Thankfully my therapy is covered by insurance so I only pay a co-pay, but coaching is not. I pay a pretty good amount toward it every month and Ben also has paid for some coaching programs and goes to therapy regularly.
I think that’s it for now! Let me know in the comments: What’s one splurge and one save you do for your budget every month?