A limit on one's budget doesn't mean limiting the ability to have fun, go out and enjoy with their friends and family.
At some point in our lives, we have tried to live off a budget or rein in our extra spending. However, that is a task easier said than done for most people. But that isn't the case for Alexis Howard. Alexis Howard is the founder of the personal finance business Financially Brave LLC and a wealth advisor in the Bay Area. She is famous on TikTok for aiming to spend no more than $50 on non-essentials. In a video she posted on TikTok from her @financiallybrave account, she spoke about the things that helped her prepare to live on a $50 monthly budget in 2023.
Howard started the video by introducing herself as well as the journey she is on. She said, "My name is Alexis and I'm currently on a challenge to spend $50 each month on non-essential." She then mentioned three things she believed helped her maintain the discipline she needed for her journey. Explaining the first thing, she said, "So far, the first thing I did was clean up my closet and home a quick way to prepare yourself for a budgeting lifestyle is to take inventory of how much excess you already have to go into your closet and home. It will hopefully show you how much you have but do not need."
She added that living with a minimalistic mindset also allowed her to be more thoughtful of her purchases because once your home is junk-free, you'd most likely want it to remain so. She strongly believes that cleaning one's home is a great way to inspire one to spend less.
The next thing that she did was clean out her following list on Instagram and TikTok. She said, "What you focus on grows" and we could not agree more. She said that when people choose to consume content that aligns with where they wish to be, which, in her case, included things like successful financial journeys and videos on minimalism, they internalize their goals better. She further explains, "This will help your mind feel so full of abundance and growth as you buy."
While speaking about the last tip she implemented, she said, "And lastly, I made the decision to see failure as feedback and not as a reflection of my inability to be disciplined." Instead of beating herself up upon failing, she consciously chose to do the constructive thing and understand where she went wrong. The only way not to repeat mistakes from the past is to understand what they were in the first place.
Also, while talking about her personal experience, she says, "My first attempt at this challenge in 2022 was beyond embarrassing. I didn't even come close to spending $50 in one month, but it was great because it showed me what areas needed the most improvement in order to be successful. For me, that meant having stronger boundaries with friends and having quick and easy access to snacks and ready-to-go meals."
She saw her losses as opportunities to learn and grow and that is what inspired those who saw her videos. A lot of people also reflected on their spending. @patttriciacool said, "I spent $40 to have warm cookies delivered to my house this week," while another user, @jayneinnyc, said, "Oh god, I just spent $50 on Uber eats for dinner tonight, I really need to be better at budgeting." While introspecting and understanding their own patterns, a user @emmapragt said, "My toxic treat is saying to myself that all the extra things are also essentials."