Why We Budget

A money post…YAY!

When it comes to money, I’ve had different schools of thought. I’ve thought I should seize the day and live like there’s no tomorrow (more so in college), and I’ve thought that we must save for the future and that rainy day. Things are not bad, but they can always be better (financially, until we’re like Donald Trump!). Paying attention to spending is important and I feel like if we had paid attention since college, we would be farther ahead in our goals.

Everyone has their money story, whether good or bad…but I’m not getting that personal. There are statistics of those who live paycheck to paycheck that range from 42%-80%. I am fairly certain that most people recently out of college are in that category. I do have friends that are fortunate enough to not have the college debt, and I am thrilled for them. Most of them, however, understand that many of their classmates have debt and don’t expect them to be able to do them same as they do.

I know so many people who go out all the time, and it’s so hard to resist the temptation to go and be social. But, it’s all about priorities. Sean and I love seeing our friends. We don’t see them enough! But, we try to do smaller things with them that does not always include going out. We’ll have them over for dinner or meet up at an event. We will go out for a birthday party here and there, but we limit what we do.

So, our plan is that we set aside a certain amount each month for eat out/blow money. Blow money is more for a gift or something we weren’t expecting, but friends count too :). We use only that, and plan accordingly. We weren’t doing much in April so we bought our ValleyFest tickets. They are much cheaper than buying them later or at the door and we knew we’d be buying gifts in May. Planning!

What are our priorities? Getting out of debt is number 1. We are paying more on our loans and getting it done and out of the way. Never to be thought of again once they are paid off. We currently have a great looking plan that I am super excited about. It’s the first time that I’ve seen an approximate pay-off time. Of course, things can happen, change, or go wrong. Are we going to mess up at some point? Maybe. But there IS a plan. And it’s a better plan than the email reminders of what I must pay. I pay what I want to pay, and that’s better!

My advice is just to be mindful of what you spend money on. Every little bit saved can go to something bigger and better (like Cirque du Soleil!) rather than a coffee or donuts. I have actually thought “If we don’t buy that 5 times, that equals our anniversary dinner.” So, think before you buy!

Do you have budgeting or money advice? Leave us a comment!

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2 thoughts on “Why We Budget

  1. Budgeting isn’t always fun 😦 But I find if you leave room for a small treat once and while (A Movie Date or a New Sweater) it makes it easier to stick too. If I’m having a really hard time, I will save all my receipts for a week or two (even tiny cash purchses) and add it all up to see where my money is going!

    • You are exactly right! I learned that in a budgeting class. If you don’t leave any room for fun things, you will certainly fail. I’m not great at saving receipts, but I have been entering things into a spreadsheet as we go. I’m sure you have great experience in budgeting!

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