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Surviving on $50 a Month in San Francisco: A Detailed Breakdown of My Essential Expenses

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Alexis Howard is making serious cents with her money-saving hacks

Alexis Howard is making serious cents with her money-saving hacks

The $50 Budget

The San Francisco resident, Alexis Howard, has been able to save a small fortune by living on a budget of just $50 per month. She has gained a large following on TikTok by sharing her financial story and leaving fans amazed at how she manages to get by in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Nonessentials Only

Howard clarifies that her $50 per month budget is for “nonessentials” such as clothing, coffee dates, and Ubers. Essentials like rent, utility bills, and groceries are not included in this amount. However, she still manages to have an active social life with her thrifty $50 and sometimes doesn’t even spend the entire amount.

July Spend Recap

In a recent viral video, Howard shared her spend for the month of July with her followers. She revealed that she spent just $41 on non-essentials during that month. Despite expecting summer to be the hardest season to stick to her budget, she was pleasantly surprised to have underspent, especially considering how busy she was in July.

Spending Breakdown

Howard broke down exactly what she spent her money on in July. She splurged $14.66 on ice cream for herself and a friend, $8 on a cup of tea during a night out, $10 on a cover charge for a friend’s birthday, and another $8 for a rollercoaster ride. She emphasized that these purchases reaffirmed that having a budget doesn’t mean giving up a social life and that memories with friends can still be made without expensive meals at restaurants.

Guidelines for the $50 Budget

Howard shared the guidelines for her spending challenge on TikTok. She tracks her essential expenses, such as rent, groceries, and bills, using an Excel spreadsheet. She also sets aside an extra $25 a month for “flowers, weekend coffees, or candles,” which does not count towards her $50 limit. She believes that focusing on what you do have access to, rather than what you don’t, helps ease the challenges of budgeting.

Looking Ahead

Howard plans to continue her $50 a month budget and expects this year to consist of less traveling, dining, and shopping. Instead, she will focus on eating at home, reading, working out, and advancing her career.

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