I don’t know about you but merely hearing that word brings me anxiety. How ridiculous is that? As a society, our dependance on money is unbelievable. We truly couldn’t live without it. Is that sad? You bet. But it’s not our fault. We’re taught from a young age to value money and that having a lot of it is equivalent to “success”. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with that statement but there’s no point in arguing it. We’re never going to stop the cycle and the concept of money will never, ever disappear.
So, what can we do? We can be smart about how we handle our money, we can value our belongings, and we can be aware of how our income relates to the amount we spend. Easier said than done.
Budgeting is something I’m constantly
struggling with working to improve. And I’d be hard pressed to believe that anyone truly has it mastered. I mean, how many times have you been this person…
Sad but oh-so true.
As a recent college graduate, I’m not completely financially independent from my parents yet and that’s okay. However, I do pay for all of my living expenses (food, house necessities, car maintenance, certain bills, etc.) and one-by-one I’m working to take over full responsibility of my bills. Um, stressful.
Budgeting has become absolutely crucial to maintaining my sanity and making sure that I have all of my bases covered. I know how much I make working at my job, how much needs to go where, and how much I have that’s “extra” to save or spend. Am I perfect? Hell no. But, I’m getting there!
Here are a few tips that I’ve learned thus far:
- Be Aware. Know how much your income is, how much money is in your bank account at all times, what bills you’re responsible for, and where every dollar is being spent (see #2).
- Keep Track. For one week keep a little notebook with you and write down every single thing you buy- from food to clothes to gas- everything. Then, after 7 days, add up how much you’ve spent and take into account where that money went. You’ll be shocked. Let’s just say, Starbucks has gone from an everyday affair to once or twice a week. #illalwaysloveyou
- Get a job. Obviously this is self-explanatory but I figured it should be stated. Getting a part-time job at the restaurant where I work was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Not only does it give me a steady income, it also brings me a constant sense of accomplishment and purpose.
- Save. Duh. Every time you get a paycheck, put a few dollars in your savings account. Then don’t touch it. If you make that account off-limits then you’ll constantly have money accumulating.
- Use Cash. It’s been proven that people spend less when they’re using cash. There’s just something so easy about swiping a card, it almost doesn’t feel like you’re spending money. But, with cash, there’s no escaping the reality. That $20 you had in your wallet is gone now. #oops
Unfortunately, stressing over money is a part of life that most of us will encounter at some point. Thankfully, there are ways to make it a little more bearable and that allow you to still find your bliss.
Bottom line? Control your money. Don’t let your money control you.
Here’s to a blissful bank account…