Good Morning dearies! I hope everyone enjoyed their long, festive weekend!
I was watching The TODAY Show yesterday when this segment about college graduates living at home and relying on their parents for financial assistance. First and foremost, it's so nice to know that there are other individuals that are in the same boat as me! Kind of in limbo right now, scouring for work and eager to get out into the real world. But what really surprised me, was how different I am than others when it comes to finances. Because of yesterday's segment, I've created a simple and easy to use monthly budget plan and I'm ready to share it with all you.
*Be sure to watch the video above first!*
I'm not a genius when it comes to numbers. I'm lucky I can add and subtract. I can handle division for the most part, but multiplication gets tricky from time to time if I don't have pencil and paper or a calculator. The only time I can really even deal with numbers is if there's a dollar sign in front of them. Terrible, I know. I hardly ever have any money, so when I do have some, I try to budget it as best as I can.
Even though I've been living on a tight budget for the past four years, I am able to take care of most of my needs. I've been paying my cell phone bill since 2012 and have never missed a payment. I've also been putting gas in my car about 90% of the time. If I don't have money for gas, I'm just not going anywhere! Any other money I have left after gas & my cell phone bill typically end up in the tithes & offering bucket at church and buy me a bowl from Chipotle. Rarely do I get my nails done or go out shopping for clothes. I simply make do with what I have.
Unlike the family in the TODAY show segment, I'm only home temporarily. And while I'm here, I try to help out as much as I can. I typically cook 2-3 times each week, help with yard work when necessary, and try my hardest to not watch a ton of t.v. each day, raising the electricity bill. I rarely ask my parents for money because honestly, what's the point? I'll never know how to establish financial freedom if I'm always relying on my parents to pick up the tab here and there.
Here's a sample of a budget sheet I created. I used the "College Budget" template on Excel. I entered some amounts of what seemed realistic for me and my current situation. So, let's dissect, shall we?!
What's Coming In This Month?
In this area of your budget sheet, you'll document what you [will probably] bring in each month. So for me, I estimated what I would make at an entry-level position as well as my income from cupcake orders. Once you have those determined, you'll want to subtract your TOTAL AMOUNT of monthly expenses. The amount you end up with is what you should have left over at the end of the month.
Your monthly expenses are what you consistently pay for each month. Monthly expenses for most young, working adults may include rent, utilities, car note, cell phone, student loan repayment, etc. Just know, each month, these items must be paid, so go ahead and set aside the funds for them.
(Outside of Monthly Expenses) Where is my $ going?
Now, this is the area of your budget sheet you'll want to pay close attention to. It's in this area where you'll see the most fluctuation each month unless you create a zero balance budget. Each month, you'll spend money on entertainment, personal gifts, auto expenses, and miscellaneous purchases. You'll have to factor those amounts into your monthly expenses as well. Try to keep them to a minimum (in my opinion).
What else is coming in this month?
In this section, you'll record things like monetary gifts. Things like graduation gifts (cash!), birthday cards (more cash!), or a sweet gift from grandma. It's up to you what you plan to do with these funds. You can put them into savings or use them for some of your other expenses.
Your monthly budget will probably be hard to adjust to if you're not use to living on one, but it's doable. Take your time and think about where you want your money to go.
The overall message here, is to budget and spend your money wisely. So that means, try to avoid purchasing those expensive high heels this month but instead, try to add a bit more onto that car payment. Be smart about spending. Look for discounts, coupons and SALES!! Try to save more and more each month so you can get out of mom & dad's house or purchase that new car you've been eyeing.
Here are a few links to help!
http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/ (loving this calculator!!)
I hope this was helpful! Be sure to do your own research on personal finance to further your understanding! Don't forget to check out your phone's app store for personal finance apps! Be sure to stop by tomorrow as I highlight something fun I'm working on!
Hello, I'm Margo.
25 year old laid-back lady currently pursuing my MBA in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Just using my blog to share my growing faith, evolving style, favorite recipes, and exciting travels with you!
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