My $25 Monthly Budget Review : December & January

February 5, 2016

Do you ever think that there is no way you could cut back your spending? That you don't really spend that much every month already? Want to know how I use a $25 monthly budget for everything I want and still live a full life? Click through to read my monthly budget reviews or pin now and read later! Either way, I can help you out! ;)

This post is long overdue! I’ve talked previously about my $25 budget that I have for myself every month, I’ve written about it in our budget under $1700 post, and I gave it it’s own post when I shared with you exactly what I spent that budgeted money on for November. I had wanted to start sharing each month what I spent that money on because I wanted to show you exactly why $25 a month for a budget is doable.

However December came with all the glorious holiday business, plus my spending slightly shifted and I actually didn’t even spend all of my $25 that month, so waiting on the post felt right.

So here we are now at the beginning of February and I’m ready to pull back the curtain again and show you exactly what having a $25 budget for all the things you want (and sometimes need) looks like.

Note: For those of you who didn’t read my previous post you can find it here. But to catch you up to speed, in order to save more for a house but still feel like we have some money to spend my husband and I budget $25 each a month to buy whatever we want. 

I used to call my fund my “clothing fund” because lets face it, that’s all I ever wanted to buy. But after writing this post I really have purged my closet to the bare bones. So I’m holding off on buying clothing unless I need the item or love the item. (Like the black pants you’ll see below!) So most of the items in the last two months have been non-clothing. 

Let’s get started.




My $25 Monthly Budget Review :: December 2015 & January 2016

Old Navy – A beautiful Black Shirt :: $2.46

In all honesty I think this was bought on Black Friday, so technically in November. Occasionally I buy a month early and take the money out of next months budget, but not often. And I can only do this because we are not actually living paycheck to paycheck, just living that way to build up our savings! I also only do this for certain “good deals” or something I know won’t be available later, like black Friday deals. ;)

Target – Pink Water Bottle :: $3.26

The Target One Spot is like a little slice of heaven for those of us on a budget. But even on a budget sometimes I still need to think about it for a little bit before I decide. It was my second time in Target when there was only one of these water bottles left in pink when I decided it was time to take it home!

Rite Aide – Wet N’ Wild Correcting Palette :: $2.40

I like Wet N’ Wild products usually, especially cause they are cheap and Rite Aid always has a sale going on. (Like the 40% off one I got this for!) But this palette didn’t really turn out how I had imagined it, although I’m kind of new to the advances in the makeup world so I could very well be using it wrong. Nevertheless it was only a couple bucks so not too much of a waste!

(That was literally all I bought in December (what is with me!?) but if we don’t spend all our money in one month Greg and I are allowed to roll it over to the next month. So the next items were technically purchased in January.)

H&M – Black Skinnies :: $10.86

I’ve been looking for the right pair of black pants for forever. Ironically enough I waited for H&M to open in a mall close by to go looking because I knew I liked their styles and prices, but couldn’t find anything so I ended up ordering online. Jokes on me because that pair didn’t fit that well either. I swear finding the right fitting in pants is a miracle in and of itself. However, I found a friend that might be able to hem them for me so, win!

Walmart – Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Concealer :: $5.45

I’ve been looking for the perfect under eye concealer and cream as I’ve inherited lovely big bags under my eyes. I read a lot of reviews about this concealer but didn’t want to spend a whole $10 of my budget on it. So when we returned my boots Greg had got me for christmas from Walmart in store and bought the right size online, they were actually $5 cheaper. So I spent the extra $5 on the card towards the concealer and only took $5.45 out of my fund! That’s what I call a loophole!

Big Lots – ELF Bronzing Brush & ELF Defining Eye Brush :: $3.00

Can you tell I’ve been getting a tiny bit more into makeup. I feel like my teenage years of not really caring are catching up with me. Luckily even with a $25 budget Elf makes it possible to build up your collection.

Target One Spot – Gold File Folder & Binder Clips :: $4.00

After seeing Haley’s post about her Target haul from the one spot I went out one afternoon specifically for just that. I actually went to two different Targets in two days (no shame!)  to check through their one spot section. I bought the last of these gold file folders for $3 and they helped organize my desk so nicely. The binder clips have cute sayings on them and for $1, I didn’t resist. I will say I think my desk looks so lovely for being so cheap in products.

P.S. Did you ever see Haley’s guest post about creating gifts from the Target one spot?

Joann & Michaels – Washi Tape, Project Life Kit, & Mason Jar Stamp :: $11

Lately I’ve been in a really crafty mood. Googling, Youtubing, and Amazon-ing, all about craft projects and more specifically project life stuff. Ironically enough I want it to use in my Smash journal that up until about a week ago I hadn’t touched in 3 years. So since this obsession started I’ve picked up a cute set of washi tape for $.50 (I had a 50% coupon), a cute mason jar stamp for $1.50, and after extensive research decided on a Project Life Kit Inspire Edition for only $9.00 (using a 40% off coupon). Who says you can’t have hobbies and still be on budget!?


So the grand total comes to $42.43! Less than $50, aka, two months worth of my budget. So I still have a little extra money to add to February. Truth is before cutting back on buying clothes this never happened. I never really went crazy with clothes, I did always thrift after all. But even in thrifting I would usually spend all of my $25 for the month. Taking that bulk-clothing-buying away and I’ve been free to buy other things! It’s been really nice!

I’d encourage you all to try and do one of two things. Either cut out that one category you are always spending money on, like clothing, coffee, house decor, etc, for one month and see what happens! See what you save, or see what other impact it has. Or two, I encourage you to set a smaller-than-you-might-think-doable limit for yourself on all your purchases for the month!

I share these little budgets with you not to just ramble around about what I bought (though I do do some of that as well) but to show you that I still get to enjoy going out and shopping a bit, or picking up something just for fun, or getting to have a hobby like crafting and trying new makeup styles, all while staying on budget.

You can have a full life on less of your paycheck! I promise. ;)



Let’s chat! What sort of tactics do you use in your budget to spend less? Do you have that one item that you always want to buy like clothes was for me for so long? What do you do to not break the bank on it? Let me know!

4 thoughts on “My $25 Monthly Budget Review : December & January

  1. JazzieJ

    I enjoyed this blog! My soul is stirred…..
    $25 is not a lot of money, yet you have done everything you have enjoyed. You must not be a Coffee connoisseur? How about time out to eat after the Good Will?. Do you take lunch to work? These questions are not cynical, but more informational for me. I read a book by Andy Stanley……The best Question Ever….. (a keepsake) and it is along this same premise of “thinking wisely”. Thank you for sharing and thank you for challenging…..

    1. Lydia Lois Post author

      I’m so glad you are enjoying the blog!

      To be honest when I first put the budget of $25 I thought it was not going to be enough, I thought I’d feel constrained. But it actually worked the opposite, I felt like I had more freedom. Before I would spend willy-nilly not knowing how much which left me feel “guilty” after every transaction because I knew we were trying to save money. With this budget I know that EVEN WITH this budgeted amount we are saving money. So I can respond more freely, within the budget of course!

      No I’m not really a coffee connoisseur, I like coffee but I don’t ever go through stands unless I have a gift card because that price tag is not just worth it. Occasionally I meet friends at coffee shops but then I usually just get drip coffee. If I’m going to go “out to eat” it’s usually more of an event than a convenience. Which I think can be a lot of people’s mistake. It’s either a double date with friends after church, or a date night with the hubby and even then we spend under twenty because we share meals. At one of my jobs there was a restaurant where you could have food from the day before for free and it was really good food so back then I would eat that. Then at my next job I would usually pack a lunch. There were days where all my coworkers would go out to eat and I would go with them but eat my lunch from home. It really didn’t bother me because again, the price tag wasn’t worth it.

      I don’t mind the questions at all! I’m happy to explain myself! :)

      I think it’s all about finding your priorities, if getting a coffee every Friday is a big excitement for you then budget other things differently in order to fit that into the budget! Do what works for yoU! :)

      I love books like that so I’m going to look it up now! :)

  2. Emily

    Hey just so you know, it is completely lawful to return make up if it is not the right shade! I learned this in law class in high school . Even if it had been opened and used. I have done it more than s few times and have never been given a hard time about it!


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