Money Management Series: Budgeting Pt. 1

I can honestly say that I haven’t always been the best at managing my money. I would just swipe my card and hope for the best. I know! That’s horrible and incredibly careless, but it’s the truth.

When I got older and started paying bills, I realized how crucial it was to save money and have some extra funds saved up in my bank account. I realized that I am not in college anymore and my mom can’t always bail me out of every situation. I had to put my big girl panties on and grow up.

I have tried to save money before, but it never worked out. I felt that every time I tried to save money, I had to pay for another expense. I was always going out and 90% of my meals were takeout. I was literally out of control. Now I am older and wiser. How I view money now has significantly changed. I have gotten smarter with my spending habits and I see the positive effects of this. You never know what will happen in life, so it’s important to have some money stored away, just in case.

In a series of posts, I will be sharing some great money habits and tips that you can implement into your routine that will change how you manage money. It not only gives you a sense of security, but a peace of mind. I am fully aware that these changes will not happen overnight. If you are bad with money, you will not automatically become Dave Ramsey.

Now a few things to keep in mind:

  1. It’s okay to say no. Budgeting means saying no to people and staying in most nights. There is nothing wrong with that and if your friends are true friends, they will understand and look for either cheaper or free alternatives. You might even find out that your friends are relieved because they might be going through the same thing, but were too afraid to say anything.
  2. Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. Trust me when I say it will cost you BIG TIME. You don’t need to impress your friends or a colleague. Be more secure in who you are and your journey. Anyone can make their life look better than it actually is, so don’t worry about other people’s opinions of you. Just do you.
  3. Stop consuming so much crap. Yeah you know what I’m talking about. The blender you bought for $100 or more because it was on sale, but you only used it for a month. The lipsticks you bought that are all red, but different shades of red. (Come on girl). That expensive toolbox you bought because you saw a DIY YouTube video and now believe you are a certified handyman. I can go on and on, but you get the point. We all have too much stuff and somehow think we need more. If you read My Favorite YouTubers (2019) post, you know that Matt D’Avella made the list. Matt discusses living your best life, the benefits of minimalism, entrepreneurship, and you guessed it…money. On one of his videos, he was discussing how the average household contains 300,000 things. That is ridiculous and incredibly shocking, but it brings things into perspective. Are you one of those households? If you are, maybe your New Years Resolution should include some spring cleaning.

 

BUDGET TIP 1: Write down all your expenses for the previous month.

Step 1: Look at your bank account history or print out a bank statement.

Step 2: Split the expenses into three categories. (Bills, Food, Miscellaneous)

*Miscellaneous includes items you didn’t really need to buy, but did*

These steps will take some time, but are absolutely crucial because it gives you the BIG PICTURE for the month.

Step 3: Once you have all the expenses listed in each category, add up the totals.

Step 4: Look at your bills section. Write down every bill you have monthly. This includes things like Spotify and Netflix.

Step 5. Split the bills into two categories. Category 1: Have to Keep, Category 2: Could Possibly Cancel

Step 6: Once the bills have been split into two categories, look at category 2 and see what bills you could possibly eliminate. There is always one you can eliminate because it is not a necessity. For example, if you cancel Netflix for a year, that can save you roughly $120 or more.

Sometimes writing out things can bring great clarity. I write out my whole budget every month and it has helped me to feel organized and to be more responsible with my money. I am able to plan better for vacations and events I want to go to. It also helps me to cut out the activities that don’t fit well in my budget.