Updated: Jul 30, 2019
I am a young 20 something year old, and nothing is harder to do at that age than to budget! I keep stretching and stretching my wallet, hoping to pull a $5 dollar bill out of $1 dollar bill, but I don’t quite have that magicians touch yet. So I decided I needed to truly buckle down and get my “crap” together.
Now, this by all means does not mean that I am bad at budgeting or with money. I just want to have a better knowledge of where exactly my money is going. I
If you want to start getting your “crap” together and budget, here are a couple steps that I learned worked well for me, and could possibly help you!
Make A List
Start off by making a list of every single bill you pay monthly. (this does not include fluctuating fees like groceries/activities/gas, etc. This is specifically bills like Rent, Comcast Bill, Student Loans, Car Payment, etc.)
Define Your Ultimate Goals
Figure out what you want to achieve, and how fast you would like to achieve it!
Create A Go-To, All Bills Place
I highly suggest using Mint.com ! Mint.com helps you link all of your accounts in one place, where you can see all of your bills laid out for each month.
Mint.com offers a variety of financial planning tools. For instance: You can individually set your budget by categories; they email you when you spent over/under your budget; you can create goals and it helps you stay on target; it offers suggestions for credit cards and debit cards based on your spending habits; and a multitude of other useful things.
You certainly don’t have to use Mint.com; there are many other websites or even templates you can print out! If you have a Pinterest, there are so many budgeting tools/posts on there. Here is one template I got off Pinterest, that I believe is worth the investment: Template
You could even use a calendar and just mark what days your bills are due. I made a cheap one, printed out this template and bought a three ring binder from Target for only $5. Free Calendar Print Out
All together, I think Mint.com is awesome, and it truly has opened my eyes to what I’m actually spending. Since, ya know… when you have a plastic thing in your hand (quotes Dave Ramsey) it’s like FREE MONEY! Only, it’s not free.
Do You Need More Income?
After choosing an outlet, determine if you need or would like some more wiggle room each month.
I get it…we all want to hang out with our friends, live luxuriously, and stay cool, right? But, if you’re honest with yourself, you can’t afford it really. And if you’re like me, I’m constantly feeling guilty after I spend too much, or can’t enjoy myself because I can’t spend. It’s okay to say No, and some day you may not ever have to!
Another thing I would suggest to maybe help you out a little…would be to use your credit card like a debit card. Now, I know Dave Ramsey would hate this idea, but there are some good perks to using your card!
I have the Bank of America “Travel Rewards” card the “Cash Rewards” card. I only use the travel card when I travel, and the cash when I am back in the United States.
CAUTION: If you already have problems with credit cards, and over spending…this is not the path for you!
I get money back / rewards (whatever I chose) for spending a specific amount on my credit card. So, when I know for sure I have the money in my bank account, then I know I can transfer the money into my credit card account and still get points. I do this because, I normally make some kind of money back on my spending. For example, once I got a $118 cash reward at one point, and am saving now.
Hopefully these may be able to help you out, just as much as they have helped me! Because of these steps, I am finally meeting some of my goals and living less stressed! Follow me and feel less stressed too!