This past week, I was asked by a friend how I am doing so ^fairly well with my expenses. As a recent graduate (and blessed with generous parents), I never had to worry about future expenses. It was basically a 2-Step process for any transactions: 1. See a potential future transaction 2. Check to see if I had any money in my account and make my purchase. I was very fortunate that my income in college was all “Mad Money.”
However, I was a bit lost when I was actually thrown into a job with actual bills to pay. That is when I created a monthly budget with a system to check every week with every transaction. That way, whether I’m getting paid monthly or bi-weekly, I don’t have to worry about it as long as I am sticking to my budget. It’s honestly easier than it sounds!
Calculate all your FIXED expenses. These are expenses that happen every month, such as rent, subscriptions and for me, my weekly allowance.
Ex: Rent, Utilities, Car Payment, Netflix, etc…
Deduct your total fixed expenses from your monthly income. Personally, this is the most important part.
Choose how much from the “leftover” pile you want to keep as savings. Be realistic. Whether it’s $10 or $100, putting aside something that will remain untouched will go a long way at the end of the year. Deduct that savings goal from the “leftover” pile. This new total is your “mad money.”
I like to divide my “mad money” by 4 for every week in the month. I find this easier because the timeline is short enough for me not to lose count of my transactions. (Caught that pun?) However, you can keep this total and track for the entire month or a matter of weeks.
Record your expenses with your set time frame. At the end of the month, calculate your total and watch your savings grow.