Friday, June 1, 2012

Budgeting!

Everyone should budget if you're trying to save money. It is an excellent first step. Personally, I've been waiting until the beginning of the month to start my budget because I love making excuses. But the month is here and I can no longer ignore my goals. My completely awesome and reasonable budget is below.
  • $750 - Rent
  • $33.60 - Phone bill
  • $22.50 - Gas bill
  • $15 - Electric bill
  • $10 - Internet
  • $50 - Home improvement fund
  • $300 - Food
  • $118.90 - Entertainment
The items from rent to internet are pretty set in stone. Once my contract is up I'm going to negotiate a better phone bill, but what I've got will do for now. The home improvement fund item is an agreement I have with my roommate. Each month we're going to put $50 in a hat and build up some cash to improve our place with. We're going to try to go as frugal as possible with our purchases, but the goal is to make our place nice, not save a ton of money.
Now, the big question is how to actually stick to the budget. In the past I've gotten a bunch of envelopes together and written budget items on them and every month put the money in the envelope. It kinda sorta worked. But not really. This time around I'm doing it a bit differently. Two days before the end of the month I took rent out of the bank and gave it to the roommate. Then I also withdrew the money that is spent freely (Food and Entertainment). I left the rest of the budget IN THE BANK (my fatal mistake last time). Now I've locked away all my cards and I only have $420 for the rest of the month to spend.
I have no real idea of how well this is going to go. Today I spent $11 on groceries. How many days can I make that last? My guess is actually quite a while (3 days minimum). The key is reducing the expenses that I don't really see coming or the more expensive things that I kinda really want (like cleats).
The point is: I have $420 cash to last 30 days. No plastic. No cards. No withdrawals. Wish me luck!