I hate the word “budget.” I hate guidelines and limits. I like to be able to spend the money I earn any way I want, save some, and live life carefree. BUT, that is pretty irresponsible. I don’t care how much money one makes, you should always have a budget. I’ve decided to start being a little smarter with my money and turn 2016 into a conservative and slightly frugal year. I’ll never be able to cut out my extra expenses completely, but I can DEFINITELY cut some of them out. I decided to make some solutions to go along with my spending issues. I need to get out of the mindset that I can buy whatever I want, because having more money than items is the ideal situation.
I have an accountant that runs all of my business expenses and taxes, and he’s pretty pricy. Now, if I were to add my personal finances onto his workload, he’d charge me a ton. There is an App/Website called YNAB (You Need A Budget) (with companion apps for Android and iOS) that acts as your personal accountant and it’s pretty awesome. They teach “four rules” that completely change the way you think about your money.
The Four Rules: Help you stop living paycheck to paycheck, get out of debt and save more money faster.
Give Every Dollar A Job
Rule One- Give every dollar a job.
Rule Two- Embrace your true expenses.
Rule Three- Roll with the punches.
Rule Four- Age your money.
I need to remember that a “budget” is not a restriction. It’s about having control over your money and putting the important things on the top of the priority list and cutting out the not-so-imporant things.
YNAB definitely teaches you how to live differently. They will help you get out of debt and live the life you want. I love that they have guides, videos, and daily online classes to educate us on the importance of budgeting and how to get to our financial goals.
I connected my bank account with the YNAB app and plugged in my expenses. Keeping track of my expenses is something I rarely do and that is NOT ok. I was also inspired after watching their guides to create a game plan on cutting out some expenses.
Expenses I need to cut out & the solution.
Decor Splurges: I have an obsession with decor stores. I love buying chairs, rugs, pillows, throw blankets and more. I need to start doing more DIY projects for my home decor. It will cut my cost on decor and also give me more blog content!
Coffee/Juice Drinks: This is a no-brainer. I spend more money on coffees, juices, lattes, and unnecessary drinks way too much. I need to start using my at-home coffee maker, my Nespresso machine, my blender, and juicer. Now, I won’t give this up COMPLETELY as it makes me happy, but I’ll most certainly cut back on those expenses. Luckily I have six Starbucks gift cards and a Dean & Deluca gift card to use up.
The Clothing: Ever since I started my boutique, I’ve cut back on a lot of shopping. I love wearing my own collection, but every-so-often I’ll hit up the outlets and buy clothing. I can’t say no to sales! I’ve decided to start having closet sales before buying any new clothes. I will make sure to get rid of something before adding something new.
Grocery Shopping: This kills me. I’m out of town a lot or never at my own place so a lot of my groceries go to waste. This has been a recent issue. I need to start making grocery lists to stick to, shopping in bulk, and freezing any groceries I do not use. I also need to stay home more.
Brunches & Restaurants: This has been a big one. I don’t know why, but for the past year and a half, I’ve eaten out more than ever. I know I live in one of the best Cities to dine out in, but I need to keep it down to twice a week.
Some Things I’ve Been Good At:
-Every month for the past five years, I have put $500 into a savings account that I do not touch.
-I got rid of cable. I replaced it with Hulu & Netflix. I can’t watch all of my favorite shows on the internet anyways!
-I keep all my lights and electronics off before leaving. If I’m not in a room, then nothing is on in that room. I use a heated blanket and mini heater to keep my electric bill down. I also shut my blinds in the summer to keep it cool. My electric bill was only $39.00 last month. That is incredibly low!
^Now, I’d like that list to grow and I’m excited for YNAB to help me.
Making money a responsibility is hard when you’re in your twenties. All of your friends are going out on the weekends, sometimes you feel like you need to keep up with their expenses like buying new cars, new homes, or new clothing. Also, you may be making more than you were five years ago and it’s nice to be able to spend the money how you want before big responsibilities take place. It’s nice to have an app (that won’t judge you) to keep you in line. You can also customize your budget at anytime.
- Do you follow a budget?
- What are items you could cut out of your expenses?
- Are you saving for anything special?