So, you’ve reorganized your bank accounts so they are up to snuff, and you’ve signed up to Mint so you can keep a tab on all your accounts more easily.
What’s next you ask? It’s budget-making time, that’s what! Making a budget will not only maximize your savings potential but will also keep you on track for the rest of the year.
The image above is an example of the budget I’ve been using for the past year or so. This may change for you if you have more expenses such as car payments or a mortgage, but for a single person with limited expenses with an income of at least $30,000 or more (and I’m talking gross income), believe me, this is a totally workable and realistic budget.
How I got to this budget was by writing down all of the “I need this to live” expenses and cutting out all of the “I don’t need this, I just want this” expenses. It’s not an easy thing to come to terms with having a champagne taste on a beer budget, but if your goal is to pay off that student loan in the next couple of years, start your savings nest egg, or to take a month off to travel, you’ve gotta make some sacrifices.
My main motivation was for once to just have money in the bank. Being a full-time student for 5 years and graduating with a $5,000 student loan to pay off really got me sick and tired of being poor. I wanted to have enough money in the bank that I could go out and buy an iPad or some really nice gold earrings without feeling guilty about it.
The great thing is when you do start using a budget and begin seeing the effects of it, you’ll get more motivated to do better the next year and so forth. The first year I lived on my own working my first real full-time job, I literally had my iMac and $250 in the bank. I set a goal for myself to save up $10,000 in one year’s time.
It wasn’t easy, but I did it. Since then, my yearly income has increased and I’ve cut back even more, so I’m hoping to save up another $15,000. There’s nothing like the feeling you get when you finally accomplish that goal, so if you need any words of encouragement, I’m happy to help! YOU CAN DO IT!