When it comes to being financially independent, there’s no easy way to get started. It’s tricky, especially when there are so many ways to spend our money — bills, incidentals, + of course, our entertainment expenses. Things start to pile up — the daily trips to the juice bar + our athleisure addiction may need to be rethought if we want to keep our gym membership. ; )
Budgeting our money is the most important aspect of goin’ it alone when it comes to money — it’s our safety net + our rulebook, catered to our specific needs. Here are our tips for getting started + budgeting your money right —
BREAK IT DOWN
View your money in *months.* This is the easiest way to know what’s going where + when. Also, knowing how much money you spend every 3-4 weeks isn’t too overwhelming. Most bills will come each month, therefore you can compare your fixed monthly costs to your overall monthly income + go from there.
BILLS, BILLS, BILLS
Fixed costs like bills are often our biggest bills, but they can also be the easiest things to budget around. Knowing exactly what you have to spend at the very least gives you a foundation for what the rest of your month can look like. Rent, utilities, cable + wifi are all costs that you know are coming. Set aside the amount each month — as if it’s never even there — to make sure you don’t overspend!
FOLLOW A PLAN
Find a guideline that works for your lifestyle + stick to it. A popular budget plan is 50/20/30 — 50% of your monthly budget is *fixed costs* like rent + utilities, 20% is *savings* for your future goals, + 30% is *flexible spending* for when you get an awesome deal on concert tickets. Some of us may not need to devote so much to one thing, or maybe you really need to save more right now — write your own contract. Define your financial goals + get started!
SAVE FOR WHAT *YOU* WANT
Consider having a few savings accounts [or just one with detailed mental note of what it’s all for, depending on what works best for you] for specific *big ticket* items — such as that trip abroad, school fees like books, or even emergencies — in order to be fully in control of your own money. You know what’s most important to you — allow yourself to prioritize your future specifically. This will give you comfort knowing that you’re always working toward your next big *CHAARG.*
WANTS + SPLURGES
The easiest way to view these kinds of expenses [we’re talkin’ anything from expensive dinners out to those new workout tights] is with their own specific budget. Account for them before they happen. It’s easier than it sounds. View your statement for a month that’s passed + figure out about how much you spent on your *wants*. Account for maybe one or two *splurges* + thereafter set aside that much money in your account for future fun spending. This allows for guilt-free purchases when the time comes — that new workout class you’ve been dying to try? Why not — you’ve already put it aside, right? ; )
You can’t miss these amazing resources that are available for *all things $* — you name it, there’s an app for it, + we’ve done our research for the best + safest. We love Venmo for splitting dinner + drinks [or bills with your roommates] + Digit for literally effortlessly saving money for you. Use Unsplurge for saving for those *big ticket* items mentioned above + you’re on your way to that dream fitcation!
+Abigail [@abigail.inchaarg] // UK CHAARG