let’s plant a money-tree

Money. 

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…

Budget

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:

  1. 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).
  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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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…

-Emily

20 comments
  1. I’ve been cutting back on The Bux too. Sad, but I think it makes me appreciate it even more not getting it everyday!

    • Emily said:

      I agree! I definitely appreciate it more now (:

  2. A tip I use to save money is to have a savings account. It also sounds so simple but when I see the amount I have in my “spendings” I’m less likely to spend money than if I have all my money in my spendings. Hoping this made sense :/

    • Emily said:

      That totally makes sense! And I agree. Having a savings account has helped me so much.

  3. Budgeting is one of the things that stresses me out like crazy too, but I find it’s not so bad if you stop trying to ignore it and pretend it’ll go away. Once I started keeping better track of my expenses and getting them under control, things got a lot less stressful. Also, the tip to use cash is one thing I swear by – it’s way easier to spend more than you should when you’re paying with plastic!

    • Emily said:

      Exactly. For the longest time I just pretended it wasn’t an issue. haha. Not smart!

  4. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! said:

    This is so helpful! I am definitely in the process of learning how to budget and having tips like this to refer to makes a big difference! Thanks for continually posting such helpful things 🙂

    • Emily said:

      Yay! You’re welcome. (:

    • Emily said:

      Haha! It’s such a problem for me…I’m working on it though!

  5. I’m working on my budgeting a lot too, and it can be really stressful to manage my living expenses for the first time without my parents’ help! I really love the tips on being aware and keeping track–I check in on my bank account a few times a week and write in all my purchases right away so I know exactly how much I have to spend at all times.

    • Emily said:

      That’s awesome! I love reading your posts about budgeting when it comes to groceries. That’s definitely something I’ve been working on! (Whole Foods can eat up my paycheck so quickly!)

    • Emily said:

      I can totally relate! Using cash has been one of my goals for the past 2 months- it helps a lot!

  6. Ellie said:

    I found a solution that works for me. I tell myself I’m really poor and don’t keep track of what I have in the bank. Every time I think about spending more than necessary, I tell myself I am a poor college student paying off loans. This worked for the past 6 months and I’ve paid off all my loans and have a nest egg with which to feel comfortable. I have the mindset that if I know how much is in there, I will try to convince myself to be less frugal with my money because it’s there. If I dont know what is there and just convince myself there’s not much, I am less likely to spend.

    …yes, confusing but it worked 🙂
    Love your blog!

    • Emily said:

      That’s actually AMAZING! I can’t believe you have all of your student loans paid off and everything. I’m definitely going to try incorporating that mindset into my life.
      Thank you! ❤

      • Ellie said:

        HAhaha glad to help! Sometimes it’s better not knowing 😉

  7. Meg said:

    After graduating college and being thrown into the real world, I totally struggle with this. I relate SO much and need to be more focused on budgeting

    • Emily said:

      I do too! I think it’s something we’ll all constantly be working on. (:

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