Budgeting isn’t really something that’s touched on in school unless you take a class dedicated to just that. I took a personal finance class in high school and lets be real they didn’t teach me anything that was actually relevant to life outside the walls of the school. My parents didn’t teach me about money either, let alone how to make a budget, because “it’s rude to talk about how much you make” though they did tell me to go and get my own money. When you’re an adult this just doesn’t fly, you can’t get away with poor financial planning when you’re on your own.
Lets talk money.
I mean you have to make money somehow right? There isn’t much in the way of making money on the internet if you don’t have the right equipment or degrees which you can’t get without money. Point being, you can’t have a budget without a job.
- Babysit– Ask around to see if your parents or friends know anybody who needs a babysitter. I’m sure there are plenty of exhausted parents who could use your assistance. I once had an older lady ask me if I’d babysit her grandchildren for 25 cents an hour because that’s what she charged when she was babysitting. Don’t over charge but don’t sell yourself short either, I’d say minimum wage wherever you live. It IS still a job after all.
- Online surveys– I mean these take FOREVER and there’s typically a minimum cash out but its possible to make money from these if you qualify. I still haven’t made enough on any of these to actually cash out so do this one at your own risk. It’s not impossible, but it will probably make you less than a real job.
- Etsy– If you are the crafty sort then this is for you! It’s possible to make this into a full time job, I’ve seen a lot of shops like that. Make sure you take advantage of social media and make your product known. If you don’t take the time to advertise, people will have to stumble onto your page and you won’t get many sales.
- Fiverr– This one is good for various skills! Voice acting, writing, web development, design. The list goes on and on! Sell your skill set and be your own boss! There is a lot of competition but don’t let that get you down, you have your own style and someone may like the way you do something more than how someone else does. Always make sure to respond quickly and have good communication with your customers.
It’s hard to cook at home all the time if you’re busy with long hours at work or school. Eating out is probably just easier sometimes, even if your wallet cries about it later. Its okay, you’re not the only one.
- Food Budget- Set an amount per check that you’ll be using for food. Now split that into groceries and ordering food. We personally set aside about 1/3 of whatever budget we have for food, say $50. If we go over that set amount then that comes out of what we call our play money, the stuff we can use on anything that check.
- Meal prep– Use spare time or days off to prepare meals for yourself and freeze them so they last longer. Make time to cook and you will save money. Unless you’re eating lobster and caviar everyday. You might need to rethink your life path.
- Coupons– This one is amazing, its almost like they’re giving you free stuff. We shop mostly at Target so Cartwheel is my go to and it almost makes me teary eyed seeing how much money I can spend on other stuff.
Alright, here’s everyone’s favorite part. Giving your hard earned money away for stuff you use! Ah the joys of being an adult.
- Cell phone– My first choice for this will be prepaid because I don’t use my phone much. For those of you who are, shop around for different plans.
- Housing– For the love of all that is holy live with your parents as long as you can stand each other. Build your savings there, do not waste your money just because you don’t have to pay rent because it WILL come back to bite you. If you do end up renting try your best to get roommates to split the cost, it will just be a lot easier to save money this way.
- Food– Try not to buy things you won’t actually eat. If you don’t like canned vegetables don’t buy them. Don’t buy something because it’s cheaper and then leave it in the pantry for 6 years.
- Credit cards– At the very least pay the minimum, make a conscious effort to save your credit. I’ve heard people say they can get by without credit but it all depends on what you want out of life I guess. Loans are really hard to come by if you have 3 maxed out credit cards, just saying.
- Savings– I add this as a bill because to me it is mandatory. Choose an amount you’ll put into your savings account per check for emergencies. Do what you can afford because you’ll just dip into your savings otherwise, which defeats the purpose of putting anything in there in the first place. How much you make and what actual bills you have will be the outline for how much you can put away. Do what you can.
Budget: Wants vs. Needs
Surprisingly these are not the same thing. As much as it sucks you have to decide what you actually NEED before you buy anything that you WANT. Once you take care of your basic necessities then please by all means buy the things you want, within your means.
- Video Games
- Make up
- That super sweet looking anime merchandise
I don’t want to beat a dead horse here. I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times before so I’ll leave it at that.
Budgeting becomes second nature once you do it long enough, but it’s one of those things that can make or break you if you put it off because its stressful or annoying. Don’t pretend that you don’t need to do it just because you’re well off now either. There may come a time where you wish you had been more prepared for the future. Life happens. Things won’t always go the way you thought they would, be safe and think ahead.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a financial adviser of any kind. Just another broke girl trying to get by. Hopefully this can help someone who’s having some trouble figuring things out on their own though.
Did you find any of these tips useful? What are your tips for a good budget? Let me know in the comments below! ❣See you soon!❣