For the past month, I’ve been obsessing over finances. Not how to make money — but what to do with the money I make.
I get a paycheck twice a month doing contracted tutoring through a company. I have students loans I need to pay off and want to come up with a plan on how to get that taken care of so I don’t have to defer it indefinitely (bad move).
So the question was:
How do I divvy up my paycheck and still end up on top?
This is how I stumbled across this video by Jordan Page (aka Fun Cheap Or Free).
It changed. My. Life.
Before this video, I had never thought about budgeting. I never thought that I needed to budget. But now I’m convinced- EVERYONE should budget.
And here’s why.
A budget is one of the only ways to account for every single dollar coming into your cash flow. After watching this video, I realized that I wasn’t aware of my cash flow at all.
I wouldn’t have known where to even begin with budgeting or divvying up my paycheck, and this video saved me.
- Only use a max of 70% of your income for spending. The other 30% is for bills/saving. This was the direction I needed. And when I split my income 30–70, it actually left quite a bit for me to spend. So I took that residual 70% and moved on to the next step-budgeting for the month.
- Budget in two columns for the month/pay period (for me it’s two weeks at a time). The two columns make everything sooo frickin’ simple.
That’s it. She says to budget $300 a month for groceries if you’re a two-person household. So for a two week period, that’s $150, or, even more specific, $75 a week. If you end up having more money in the groceries/food category, than the other (literally everything else) category, that’s okay.
You can borrow money laterally (transfer from other to groceries or vice versa) as long as you don’t start using up the money from next week’s allowance.
It’s really doable, you guys. I didn’t think it would be possible, but I actually ended up with money at the end of the week!
And then, after the 7th, my budget for the week restarted and I ended up with $75 in groceries/food again (my other got replenished, too, of course!).
Jordan tells her viewers to keep track of these expenses on an envelope. It’s also a convenient place to keep all your receipts for the month!
You don’t even have to buy envelopes to do this.
I reuse the envelopes we get in the mail.
Give it a try for a month. It really opened my mind up to think about my money in a different way. And honestly, it’s kind of fun. I even started building a spreadsheet to keep track of all my expenses/additional income/big-ticket purchases for the month.
I know- I’m a big nerd. This video actually threw me into a month-long black hole of reading about finance, investing, index funds, etc., which I think is really important because I don’t think enough women are caring about things like this (people my age in general, really). So basically, now I’m really hellbent on learning as much as I can about finances.
Watch the video. Thank me later.
How do you budget??
Any money/frugal/personal finance tips are welcome and I’d love to hear them!