Hey everyone! This week we are talking about budgeting, which is arguably one of my most frequently discussed topics with my parents.
This is one of the hardest parts of being an adult and one of the most important. If you aren’t keeping track of your money, or if you don’t know how to keep track of it, hopefully these posts help.
You all should know by now I love writing stuff down, so that’s what I’m going to suggest you do with your budget. I have an Excel sheet with formulas and categories so I know how and where I’m spending the most money. It also helps seeing it all laid out in categories because I can see where to cut back. I’m also a CHEAP person, ask my mom. There are some things I just won’t pay for, even if I should. I enjoy having money and being comfortable in my finances so I sacrifice treating myself some months because I like having money in my bank account. It helps build my account too.
Another important part of budgeting is saving. I cannot stress enough how vital this is to financial independence. I get paid once a month (yes, it’s horrible) and the day my direct deposit hits, I take money off of the top and put it in multiple savings accounts. For me, spreading my money out helps me be frugal with the money I have to “play with”. So I have savings accounts with PNC and then another one with Navy Federal. My PNC account is the main one I use, so keeping some money in my Navy Federal savings account is money for a rainy day - all while building my PNC savings accounts. Also with this, I use automatic transfers. Sometimes you can get hesitant in transferring money manually, so this way you don’t even see it get moved.
The other trick to having savings is NOT USING IT UNLESS IT IS A LAST RESORT. I’ll say all the time that I’m broke, but I’m not really thatttt broke. I always have money in my savings, it’s my checking that’s broke when I say that. If you don’t think about your money like that, it’s harder to keep AND grow a savings account. Think of a savings as money you don’t even have because you don’t have plans to use it on everyday expenses and bills. Unless you’re saving for something and in that case I would put it in a completely separate account with another bank so you don’t look at that money at all. That’s how I saved for Bella. Once it left PNC, I no longer had the opportunity to use it. I never even carried my Navy Federal debit card when I started saving for my car.
I personally love PNC. They have this feature for online banking that lets you set a budget on your Virtual Wallet accounts. So let’s say you only want to spend 40% of your incomce on food. You can program that into your account and they’ll notify you when you’re close or have spent over that 40%. I use that mainly for personal shopping. I can definitely go overboard on lipstick.
The only way to budget correctly is to be disciplined about it. You have to set a goal for yourself and work on reaching it. There are so many creative ways to save money and to make some extra cash - having a second stream of incomce is great for this! I’m still working on finding a secondary way to make money myself, so any ideas are welcomed. But discipline is key. Being responsible with money is hard especially when everything is so expensive and every time you think you have some extra cash something randomly pops up that you need to throw money at, but it is possible. Take baby steps and find a way to save and budget that works for you. Try saving all your $5 bills every time you get one, saving a set amount of money every week, or doing it monthly like I do, but start somewhere. Only carry a set amount of cash on you at a time. Things like that. Take a look at your current expenses and see if you’re living comfortably or paycheck to paycheck then make a change for the better.
If anyone wants a blank copy of my excel sheet for my budget, shoot me a DM or a text! Happy budgeting hope you read something helpful.