Hi internet, busy, no-longer-broke, but still broke-ish millennial here. First thing's first; I don't spend my entire budget on avocado toast, face masks, and Uber rides. However, my spending habits could use some work. I'm finally making a decent living for myself, so I want to see how to make my money go farther than it ever has.
At this point in my life, I keep forgetting whether Monday or Wednesday is trash day, there's definitely something growing in my shower drain, and I'm behind on The Good Place. I'd love to get a professional cleaning service to make my space nicer and free up my time, so I can put more effort into my freelance photography side hustle. Enter Handy. Handy is kind of like the Uber of cleaning; it connects you to cleaning professionals in your area as quickly and efficiently as possible, so it's the best one for me.
No one I knew had a cleaning service growing up, so I thought they'd be super out of my budget. But they're less expensive than I realized! A three-hour cleaning session can go for less than a night out with dinner and drinks. With Handy, you can schedule a cleaning for as early as tomorrow, which is nice because I don't usually know my plans more than a day in advance.
Because my work uses direct deposit, I never had a strong visual of how much money I'm earning and where that money's going. All of a sudden it's the end of the month and despite my budgeting attempts, I've overdrafted again. So I thought I'd take a look and see just where my money is actually going, and if I can afford a monthly professional cleaning after all.
So I tracked all my expenses and found out where my money goes. Here's what I learned.
Okay, there's room for improvement. See that fat "other" portion of my budget? It's a hot mess. Last month, I only went to Target for toothpaste and ended up spending almost $200 in the home section, I took a $50 Uber when I could have taken the bus (especially since I buy a monthly ticket- so stupid!) and dinner with four friends plus drinks and apps ended up costing me $85 on a Tuesday. The wine was half off, so we thought we were saving, but we bought twice as much as we normally would. Whoops.
I also buy myself a $2 coffee (with tip) every weekday and although people keep telling me it's a splurge, it's only 1% of my budget, so I'm keeping it. Take that, standard financial advice.
In a magical world, here's how my budget should look: 50% of my paycheck for necessities like rent, internet, and loan payments, 20% for savings, and 30% for lifestyle expenses like food and entertainment.
Rent, utilities, and loan payments can't budge, but if I say no to the things I really don't need (no one needs more throw pillows!), I can
increase my savings, and add Handy to book a monthly cleaning.
That's better! I'm a long way off from calling myself financially savvy, and every month looks different, but there is plenty of room in my budget for an extra expense that's going to make my life easier. I'm going to sign up for the monthly cleaning option, but weekly and biweekly plans with Handy also exist. Although it seems like a luxury, a professional cleaning can easily fit into the necessity portion of your budget if you want it to, and honestly, a clean home is a necessity. Coming home to a fresh space that smells nice helps me feel more motivated to dive into my passion projects after a long day. My mom is also really proud. Go to handy.com to book a cleaning on your schedule.
Update: The folks at Handy are extending a Limited Time Offer to our readers. For a limited time follow this link to get a special offer on a cleaning plan!