I hate budgeting. No, hate is not a strong enough word. I LOATHE budgeting. But, fight as I may against my finance major mother, it is 100% necessary in order to be financially secure. Notice I did not say STABLE. You can live paycheck-to-paycheck and be stable. But what happens when you have a flat tire, and it’s the end of the pay month so your funds are, shall we say, shallow, and you don’t have the money to purchase a new tire? So now you have no car, and can’t get to work? My, my…
Here is what I do:
Every month, I make a list (I am a big fan of lists, it’s how I survive).
*pictures of my To-Do lists will be added soon!*
I start with the total amount that I am paid each month. Then I add up all necessary bills. To me, these include:
- Electric Bill
- TV/Internet Bill
- Cell Phone
- Car Insurance
- Washer/Dryer Rental (yes, I rent my W/D…)
- Groceries (I try to give myself a set spending limit on this every month)
- Pets (I have 2 dogs and a cat)
- Palm Beach Tan (one of my many vices…)
- LA Fitness
- Toll Tag Fees
- Renters Insurance
Now. I can obviously scrimp on some of these things, by not tanning and by not going to the gym. But these are ME things that I have worked for. I only have them now, because I have worked for them. But guess what, after paying all of the “necessary” bills – there really isn’t much left over!
I do not add in spending for entertainment, outings with friends, etc. Because, really to me, I can never live up to that expectation. I will always go over. However, I do manage that spending … I have the CHASE BANK app on my iPhone. I log in to this DAILY, sometimes more than once a day, just to check on myself and see what I’ve been spending. If I notice I’m spending too much in one area, then I stop.
I also try to set aside a tiny bit of money every month for savings. $6.50 per week, to be exact. Does not sound like a lot, and it doesn’t have to be. But at the end of the year, when I’ve got a couple hundred bucks saved up, and then next year it’s a couple hundred more, I will be thanking myself 🙂
If at FIRST you don’t succeed – make a list like Jenna.