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NY Post
New York Post
9 Sep 2023

NextImg:I live on $50 a month in San Francisco — here’s everything I buy

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

The San Francisco resident, 28, says she’s saved a small fortune by living on a budget of just $50 per month.

The TikTok user has also accumulated a legion of followers by sharing her financial story on social media, leaving fans stunned by how she manages to get by in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Howard, who uses the handle @financiallybrave, admits that the $50 per month budget is for “nonessentials” such as clothing, coffee dates and Ubers.

Essentials — ie. rent, utility bills and groceries — are not included in the scanty sum.

Still, Howard says she manages to have an active social life with her thrifty $50 and sometimes doesn’t even spend the entire amount.

The penny-pinching Californian recently went viral after she shared a video with her followers recapping her spend for the month of July.

Howard, who has been on the $50 per month budget since the beginning of the year said she spent just $41 on non-essentials in the 31 days of that month.

“When starting this challenge, I knew that summer was going to be the hardest season to trek through,’ Howard divulged. 

“So I’m a bit surprised that now is when I managed to underspend, especially given I was extremely busy in July,” she admitted.


The content creator continued: “But what’s most interesting to note was that I felt my $41 was best spent on memories with friends rather than materialistic things.”

She added that she was able to put the $9 she saved towards her August budget.

Howard went on to break down exactly what she spent her money on in July, saying she splashed out $14.66 on ice cream for her and her friend.

She also forked out $8 on a cup of tea during a “night out,” $10 on a cover charge for pal’s birthday, and another $8 for a rollercoaster ride.

“These purchases affirm two things for me,” Howard explained. “One is that you don’t have to ditch your social life when you’re on a budget.”


Alexis Howard shares her money saving hacks on TikTok.

“Laughs and memories can still happen with friends, even if you opt for ice cream instead of an expensive meal at a restaurant,” she suggested. “And two is that gratitude can take you a long way when it comes to discipline.”

Howard laid out the plan for her $50 a month ultimatum earlier this year and dished in another TikTok the guidelines for her spending challenge.

She stated that she used an Excel spreadsheet to track her essential expenses, such as rent, groceries and bills.

Howard manages to get by on $50 in San Francisco — one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Howard manages to get by on $50 in San Francisco — one of the most expensive cities in the world.
AFP via Getty Images

She then added that “fixating on what you do have access to vs the things you don’t have access to, helps ease the challenges of budgeting.”

The influencer then set aside an extra $25 a month on top of her normal expenses for “flowers, weekend coffees, or candles.” This money does not count towards her $50 limit.

“This year will consist of a lot less traveling, dining, and shopping, and a lot more of eating at home and maintaining my discipline by reading, working out, and focusing on my career,” she declared.