Budget – How To

I have always been very cautious with my money. I only bought what I needed…with the occasional exceptions 😉 I’m only human – sometimes you just need the shoes!! A couple years ago I started creating these budget calendars and it has helped me in so many ways!!

It is super easy and a great way to get an idea of where you could be in a month if you simply stick to your budget! The first step is to create a simple calendar document. I do mine in Publisher, but you can do it on Word, excel or even a basic pen and paper! There really are no excuses!!

First start by inputting your current checking and savings account balances. Then go through the month and start inputting your bills. (Credit cards, student loans, gym membership, mortgage/rent, utilities, etc.) Don’t forget to input gas and groceries. If you want to give yourself some spending money each week add that in as well. I choose not to put in spending money so that I don’t give myself that option. If something comes up I know whether I can afford it or not but I don’t want to give myself an allowance to spend money if I don’t need anything!

Then input your pay day – whether you get paid weekly, bi weekly or monthly. Do not add extra income if it is not consistent. Don’t give yourself false hope. For example I am a Sales Manager and although I do get an annual salary I also get commission. I don’t add that into my budget because it varies based on the month.

I also have it set up in my account to deduct a certain percentage of my paycheck that automatically transfers to my savings account. This takes any “extra” money I have and forces me to save each month. Before I set this up, I wasn’t consistent with saving and even though I had the money each month to save, If it was in my checking account I would spend it. When its in my savings account it might as well be in china and I would have to walk to get it. I never touch my savings!

I have attached a sample budget form below – check it out!! I have also included a sample budget form so you can just fill it in!!

Blank Budget Form

Sample Budget Form

Especially around the holidays it is really important to budget!! If I don’t budget around the holidays I end up spending WAYYYYY too much on presents and extras that i really don’t need. Especially with black friday and other holiday sales! It is really tempting to just buy buy buy!

I have pretty hefty goals in 2019 and in order to reach those goals I can’t be buying extras right now so this savings and budgeting has been a lifesaver!!

Try it out and let me know what you think! Also let me know if you have any savings tips that have worked for you 🙂

 

xoxo

Meg

 

Mo Money Mo Problems

This quote hit me hard. So many people believe that if they had more money all their problems would be solved… well hate to be the bearer of bad news but money does not solve your broken heart, money will not make you love yourself, or make your crush fall in love with you. Money will not bring you happiness. Money will bring you everything superficially and it will not last.

I am by no way frivolous with my money, I actually love saving money! But I am willing to spend money on investing in my life – so I spend money where it counts. I shop at whole foods, I buy from a more expensive skincare line, I travel, I go out to dinner or get drinks with family/friends. I want experiences and to fill my life with substance; that I will spend money on all day! My spending habits are definitely influenced by my childhood. We did not grow up rich by any means but we always had what we needed. I did not grow up with a silver spoon I was always taught if I wanted something I had to work for it and work hard. This inadvertently taught me to notice the little things. We grew up on a farm and were therefore always outside and using our creativity to play and have fun. I also grew up in Vermont which doesn’t get more basic. I found happiness in running through fields and exploring. Riding my bike up and down our dirt road and catching fire flies at night! I never needed expensive toys or fancy vacations to be happy. I look back on my childhood and can remember dressing up in ridiculous outfits and making funny videos on the trampoline with my sister. I remember swinging on a tire swing and playing on hay bails and just being happy.

These days we get so caught up with social media and having the latest and greatest technology and toys that we lose sight of what really matters. Kids today are so competitive and you’re looked down upon if you don’t have the latest FAD. All of our faces are constantly looking at our phones to see if we have a new notification, new message, or new like. We can’t stop at a stop light without looking at our phones! We no longer look around and notice our surroundings. We have truly lost sight of what really matters.

So what does matter and how will this ever change?

Option 1 – Get rich and famous. Find out it doesn’t make you happy and start again!

or

Option 2 – Take time to smell the roses. Put your cell phone down, go for a walk, go to eat with a friend (first one to reach for their cell pays the bill) take time to reconnect with family and friends. Take time to connect with yourself and find what makes you happy. What are you favorites…food/color/vacation spots etc. What are your likes and dislikes. What do you like to do for fun? Spending time alone is one of the most powerful and rewarding things you can ever do for yourself.

There was a time in my life, where I did get caught up in the money and the lifestyle. I wanted the most expensive purses, I wanted the lavish trips, I wanted the nicest clothes. Well guess what… your Michael Kors purse holds money just like one from walmart. Stay humble. No one is coming to your funeral talking about material possessions.

As I get older I am learning that what brings me the most joy is spending time with friends and family and experiencing all that life has to offer. The past 10 years I was obsessed with working and making money and that’s all that mattered! Now… I don’t regret that but I do wish I had taken a step back and realized what truly mattered. My cousins kids birthday parties, graduation parties, friends sporting events etc. I am now making a genuine effort to be at those events and make those relationships solid again because that is what really matters to me.

“Money is numbers and numbers never end. if it takes money to be happy your search for happiness will never end.”- Bob Marley