Nothing says “Welcome to adulthood!” like payments, bills, and student loans. These things should be added to the whole only things that are guaranteed in life are death and taxes.
Starting out as a young adult, especially when it comes to money, can be rough. I know some people who are out living on their own and doing their own thing, and I also know people who are living the dream at home and hoping to save some money.
I fall into that latter category.
When I moved home after graduation, I told my mom I was never leaving. I can stay for as long as I need to, and I’m grateful they’re so understanding of my situation. But at the moment, I don’t think I could afford to live on my own, and I hope by living at home, I can save up to eventually move out one day.
I pay all of my own bills and student loan payments, and for a little while, I was barely breaking even with my monthly pay and my payments. I shifted the division of my paychecks between my two accounts, which has helped, but I’ve also been working on a little budgeting for myself.
I unsubscribed from daily store emails.
This was my biggest downfall. I was getting emails every day from Old Navy, Kate Spade, Target, Kohls, Mark and Graham, DSW, QVC, and probably a few others. If Old Navy was having a sale, you best bet I was already on the website ordering something. All of the extra spending ran up my credit card bill. After unsubscribing from those emails, I’ve gotten my bill under control (normally under $150), and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.
Auto pay for bills.
My car and insurance payments are the same each month, so I set them up on auto pay to come out of my checking account each month. I’ll get an email from each company when the payments are being taken out. I thought about setting up auto pay for my credit card, but since the monthly statements were always so different, I wanted to pay those myself.
Keeping track of credit card and cash spending.
I have an app on my phone for my credit card that updates with payments through the bank, so I’m able to see the running total for each month. I have direct deposit for my paychecks from my actual job, and I get physical weekly checks from my job at the ice cream shop. Those checks I either deposit if I have enough cash on hand, or I’ll cash them so I don’t take any money out of my checking account. I created a little spreadsheet in Google Sheets that breaks down my credit card spending and cash spending and adds up the total for both. It’s sometimes hard to keep track of how much cash you’re spending, so keeping a rough estimate helps me see how much total money I’m spending each month.
Do you have any hints or tips on how you budget your spending?
I find thas groceries and going out to eat are my biggest pitfalls and they are also the easiest to save a bunch of money. Planning meals and going to a grocery store with a list is so much cheaper than going and just getting a bunch of random food. Taking lunch to work or eating at home is also very beneficial. The last thing I do is if I am going out drinking I try to have a drink or two before I go out because alcohol is very expensive.
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Thankfully my parents buy food for the house, but when I lived at college, I bought my own groceries junior and senior year. I always tried to make a list of food and/or meals for the week so I knew what I had to get. And yes, drinks can totally get you. I don’t go out as much anymore, so it’s not as bad as when I’d go to the bar every Thursday night senior year; I’d hate to know how much money I actually spent on beer.
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