Hi friends! A few of you asked for budgeting tips over on Instagram recently so today I am going to give you some insight on how we budget and my financial journey! Money is like an entirely different language to many of us, and that’s okay! The important thing is to get to know know your money and spending habits. Please know that there is no one right way to do things. I am just a millennial learning along the way and sharing my story with you!
My Money Story
I have to confess, I am a natural spender. I think that it’s so important to come clean about that before we move on here. Coming to terms with the fact that I LIKE to spend money helped me learn how to save money in the long run. I grew up in a relatively middle class family. My dad was in the Marine Corps, so the government paid him. If you’re a teacher on here, you’re probably giggling because you know what it means for the government to give you your salary (AKA it ain’t a lot).
My parents told me as a teenager who naturally wanted things that they would take care of my needs, and if I wanted extras I would have to cover them. I thought that was perfectly fair. I didn’t get an allowance, but I did get my first job as a Lifeguard at 15 years old. If you asked me where any of that money was now, I couldn’t tell you because I SPENT IT AS SOON AS I GOT IT!
When I was 19, I bought my first car that I still own today. My little Hyundai Elantra taught me how to pay bills, and save some of what I earn. I was afraid of debt and I was NOT going to miss a payment because credit scores terrified me.
When I graduated college I found myself spending a lot of money on clothes and other material things. This is likely because I had a big girl job that paid me more than I ever had before. Also, I was living with my parents until I got married, so I was able to save money there.
Up until about 2 years ago I didn’t really have a budget because I didn’t WANT to know where my money was going.
Becoming Financially Literate
I honestly believe learning about finances is like learning how to read. It’s a lifelong skill that is priceless. It’s a lot to tackle. Slowly but surely, you learn and do better than before. I recommend sitting down with yourself or your spouse and seeing exactly how much money you’re spending each month on necessary things. When we did this and subtracted our necessities from our income, we had way more money than I ever thought. This is what truly opened my eyes to how much extra I can easily spend on clothes, eating out, makeup, etc.
Here’s a peek into how my husband and I manage money today:
- We have a weekly meeting to discuss grocery lists, plans for the week, and where we are at with our budget. Life is always smoother when we have a Sunday evening sit down at the kitchen table and go over where we are at. If you share finances with someone, communication is key!
- We have an emergency fund for if anything goes wrong. This includes car maintenance (which we’ve had a LOT of over the last year), medical expenses, money for rent and bills, etc. Everyone’s standard for an emergency fund is different. Some people say to save $1000 for emergencies, some say 3 months salary, some even 6 months or a year. In our current uncertain times, I say the more you can save, the better.
- We combined bank accounts when we got married. It made sense for us, and we each have our own single name accounts to buy each other gifts, etc. We operate daily from our joint account, and that’s what our paychecks go into.
- We both work, but we try to live off of one income as much as possible. My paycheck goes into savings the second we get it. We are in the process of building a house right now so most of our savings currently will go towards that. Before buying that we could still live off of one income to protect our long term financial goals. We also use my income for travel or any extra spending “fun money” occasionally.
- We put most expenses on a travel credit card and pay it off at the beginning of each month. Credit cards can be really valuable and if you are smart with them. Don’t get yourself into a hole of debt by paying the minimum balance each month. I’ve been there and had to stop using my card after I paid it off. We like to travel, so earning points for flights was a no brainer for us.
Here are some valuable resources that helped me learn more about money.
I still consume these youtube channels, instagram pages, and blogs weekly!
The Financial Diet– I LOVE this Youtube Channel SO much. This is probably my most watched resource listed. They cover every financial topic you can think of from how to budget, tackling debt, and learning to be content with what you have. I also love their Instagram!
One Big Happy Life– Tasha and her husband talk about money through a lifestyle lens that I really appreciate.
Instagram & Blogs:
The Purposeful Penny– Paige’s resources helped me a lot when I was first trying to figure out how to budget and figure out what goes into a credit score. I especially love her content on planning a wedding on a budget! She also talks a lot about paying down student debt. I linked her website here!
Getting to know your money is a process, and we all start somewhere!
Was this post helpful? Comment below or come tell me over on Instagram! I am an open book, so if you have any questions please reach out!
Love you big!
Recent Blog Posts:
School Is Out Forever
My Work From Home Workspace