Best budget advice I ever received….

What is the best budget advice you ever received?

That advice will now be second best to this one….

Live on last month’s paycheck.

Yes, the idea is radical. Paycheck to paycheck living is the way most people live. 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. It is the norm; it’s supposed to be that way right?

Wrong.

Paycheck to paycheck living is stressful. Knowing that after every paycheck, (or shift for all my servers out there), the money in your account will either go to your electric bill, or that week’s groceries, and then you are back to zero is stressful. There is no cushion. What happens if you lose your job? The pressure to find a new one is on. What happens if an emergency happens? Your bank account will sit at negative until you find a way out of the debt.

Again, paycheck to paycheck living is stressful. There is even a whole forum for people who do not enjoy it.

My plan to stop living paycheck to paycheck is put yourself one month ahead of schedule. Live off last month’s income, and this month’s income will be next month’s budget. Simple enough right?

Let me explain further.

I started with a monthly budget. One that included all my set expenses, and it included a savings category. This savings category would was to eventually save enough money for one month worth of living. My biggest tip for this period of time that you are saving is to be patient. Your savings will not grow over night, but don’t take your eye off the prize. Putting yourself one month ahead of schedule will ultimately be the best decision you ever made. As my mom said, slow and steady wins the race, so slow and steady continue to save your money. 

Eventually you will reach your goal. Say this goal is $2000. Once you reach your $2000, you can begin to use that money for the new month’s bills and expenses. Begin on the first of a month, it makes it easier to keep track. 

The $2000 is your budget for this new month. Everything you make this month will be your budget for next month. 

Here are more detailed tips on how to get yourself living on last month’s income by KEVIN.

Once you get this system down, a weight will come off your shoulders. I promise. Not living paycheck to paycheck takes the fear out of bills. It takes the fear out of going out and spending money. It takes the fear out of life!

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In honor of PEACE DAY…

Happy Tuesday everyone.

I was looking through my calendar today, writing in a few bills here and there, adding what I made over the weekend at work, and I notice that yesterday was peace day.

Naturally, I immediately think of peace on earth, peace in my home, peace in my relationship with my oh so forgetful boyfriend, so and so forth. But then I think…what does peace with money look like? Peace with your budget, peace with your wallet?

It is so important to make peace with your personal financial situation.

“The truth is, we don’t just see money as a neutral object that gets us what we need. In money – or lack of money – we see our inadequacies, our fears, our desires unfulfilled. It’s our way of dividing the haves from the have nots and creating a benchmark for success.

So when our financial picture isn’t what we want or what we want to portray to the world, that itch of dissatisfaction starts to grow. From there frustration can fester and infect the way we see ourselves, our lives, and the world around us.” – Ready for Zero

If you don’t know if you fall under the category of people who need to make peace with money, here is a handy list by The Soul Agent to guide you.

I personally have two golden rules when it comes to making peace with your money. I believe that making peace with your money should be the first step before we can move forward to analyze the relationship, and how to begin to changing it. It is much like any relationship. For example, I always have to make peace with Austin (my boyfriend) before moving forward to analyze what the problem was, and changing it, right?

So here are my two golden rules:

(I try to embody them in my everyday thinking, but I won’t lie, IT IS HARD.)

  1. With no negative emotions, GIVE IT AWAY:

I am aware that it is September, nowhere near holiday season (well, kind of close) and there is no reason why you should be giving your money away. But it is that stingy, hoarding mentality that we need to do away with. Sometimes, it’s okay to give your money away to your friend at the coffee shop because it never broke someone’s bank to buy a friend a cup of coffee. It is okay to get the extra-large cappuccino, because you want it. Indulge some desires now and then. It is okay to let your money find its way into a bottle of wine because you had a rough day at school. It won’t break the bank, and being joyful about giving your money away will surely not harm anyone, while making that bottle of wine that much more enjoyable. On a more serious level, don’t be afraid of spending too much money, especially when its necessary.

  1. Be okay with ACCEPTING MONEY sometimes:

I find that it is just as hard to accept money, as it is to spend it. Every few weeks, my boyfriend and I go grab dinner with his parents. Every time, without fail, they take the bill and insist on paying even when my boyfriend and I have only drank a few mojitos and beers. And every time, I cringe inside. I don’t know why, but ever since I can remember, I hate people paying for me. I squirm on the inside when it happens.  But I am learning in some moments, we just have to accept it. Let them get the tab; thank them from the depths of your heart, because you know deep inside you are so relieved.

I hope you can think of these today as you go through your day. Don’t cringe at the store when you realize what you have to spend today, don’t cringe when your friend tries to pick up the tab, you’ll get it next time.

Sincerely,

Your Budget Gal.

Welcome.

Hi world,

I am your budget gal. Your typical college girl trying to make it on a part-time serving job, a few other side gigs, a full list of bills, all while saving for the numerous adventures I dream of.

Let me tell you, it isn’t easy. Somewhere between starting college, and seeing the finish line, it hit me: I have to develop a good relationship with money. I can’t live the rest of my life irresponsibly blowing it, or frugally saving for no reason at all.

I had to develop, (or at least start to develop) a loving relationship with budgets, spending, and living stress-free (at least in the money aspect). Now, as a 21-year- old, I can’t claim to have all the answers. But I am more than happy to share my experiences, finding and tips for making finances a “happy” aspect of life.

I believe that money shouldn’t be a weight on our shoulders. Money shouldn’t be the objective. Money shouldn’t be the equivalent to “happy”. Still, money is money, and we need it to survive and achieve a certain level of “happy”.

I am working on finding the balance.

Sincerely,

Your Budget Gal