It’s nearing the end-of-the month, which means…BUDGET PARTY! (Insert crazy party music here)
I’ve shared a bit about my obsession regarding attempting to live a debt-free lifestyle here, and the key to reaching that is our monthly budget. Now, what is a mid-20 girl to do not keeping all of the money she earns from her job?! Well, tons, of course! (You saw that coming, didn’t you?)
I plan to provide many blog posts informing you of all of the free things that are out there, specializing in the San Antonio area.
But first comes the boring part. Wa-waahh. The budget is a spreadsheet template you can use each month in order to remain disciplined in the money that you’re making and rotating. Why budget? It is an organized way of figuring out where your money goes, down to the last penny even (if you’re that organized).
Below is an example of the basic budget we started off with a couple of years ago. I cut out our detailed income and loan information; in the future, I will only include income from the blog but will not do it with our full-time current job positions for security purposes.
Ask yourself: what do I typically buy that I NEED every month?
- Home supplies
- Toys (not every month)
- Category not necessary, but we needed to buy outfits for a wedding this month
Charity and or Tithing
- Pay-it-forward anonymous gifts
- Fun money you can spend however you want each month
- Oil Change (I drive over 200 miles a week sometimes so my car needs this each month)
- Doctor co-pays
- OTC or prescription medicine
Once you know your baseline of what you NEED to spend, you will start seeing how much you have leftover. You can either roll the rest of it over to a debt snowball, like Dave Ramsey suggests, or you can put it in your savings account. Our savings account has become our emergency fund; we have at least $1,000 in it at all times for rainy days. No ladies, this does not mean fashion emergency! Next time you have a flat and need a new tire? Emergency fund. You get the picture.
I know. This part is so boring and it sounds silly, but it’s detrimental to your success in starting your debt-free life. Think of all of the green you will be saving! And it is a bit strict, but that’s why you can give yourself a small “fun” fund each month so you’re not going crazy. However, this should never surpass a car payment or anything of the sort! Remember when you were a child and your parents would give you allowance and you were so excited you could pee your pants?? I would put it in my piggy bank and leave it in there FOREVER. Oh how I wish I had transferred those basic skills into my young-adult life! Just stare at your allowance and ask yourself, “do I REALLY need this polka-dot crop top?” You might be surprised when you leave the cashola in your wallet. Your wallet looks better thick anyways 😉
Your turn! On Google drive (as shown above), Excel, or a blank journal, start writing down all of your monthly expenses and see what you can get rid of that is not necessary. Start doing that this week for the month of September so that you’re prepared. How do you budget? Do you use an application of some sort that you have found efficient?
P.S. Do you really want to end up like this guy?? 😉 xoxo, Brissa