Lately I've been getting a lot of e-mails and comments about how I budget and what software I use. First, I'm surprised that so many of you e-mail me about this (this makes me happy because I know that I'm getting everyone to think about their finances more!) but this also surprises me because you guys e-mail me about this! I never honestly thought I'd be the one for people to ask.
I only use Excel and my head. I store a lot in my brain and that's probably not a good idea. I have a horrible memory but I recently signed up for Mint and that's been helpful to see where my money is going. Mint does lag a little for me and I hate getting the constant e-mail reminders for bills that I need to pay (even though I paid them 2 weeks before I get all these annoying reminders UGH).
There are SOOO many reasons why I budget and why you should too! A lot of my friends don't have budgets and they just base everything off of how much cash they have currently in their bank account. That kills me! They have nothing saved and most of them have literally no bills, so I just don't understand! Ok well I do understand since I used to be like that. But not anymore!
- I love to travel. I have a separate travel fund that I save for within my budget.
- Buy things that I want. I hate buying stupid things that I don't want. Do I need that cheap shirt that won't last through 1 wash? No, but I will budget for something nicer.
- So that I can afford experiences. I'm not going to lie, I like materialistic things such as clothes and nice cars, but I greatly value experiences such as concerts, festivals and similar events. These are much more important to me.
- To pay off my debt and retire early. This is a given. If I don't make more than I spend, and also watch my budget, then I will never be able to pay my debt or retire.
- To be in control. I want to be in control of my life, and without a realistic budget, that's impossible.
The first step in creating your budget is to make sure it's realistic. Making your budget be only $1,000 a month for everything when you usually spend $3,500 would be pretty impossible unless you did some drastic things.
You should also re-evaluate your budget every so often. I look at mine as much as I can just because it literally takes a couple of minutes and isn't hard. Just take a look at your bills and see if there's any unnecessary spending there.
Miscellaneous expenses should be included as well. Something will most likely come up every month no matter how big or how small. You should definitely be realistic with this area in your budget because it will most likely be the area that varies the most every month.
P.S. I'm messing around with some things with the blog. What do you think so far? I changed the header (yeah I know, not a HUGE change), and I made a new button. Please let me know, anything good or critical, I want to hear it! Even post it as anonymous, I don't care as long as I'm hearing the truth.
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