work, budget, relationship, school, therapy, health and everything else that goes along with being a grown-up

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Life on a budget...

Budgeting rules. I just wish that I had figured out how to budget when I was 18 or so. Nope, took me filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy to get my financial act together. But at least I did finally figure it out.

Budgeting is actually pretty simple. Don't spend more money than you have. Here is my budget:
$1300 - Monthly Income (approximate)
$300.00 - savings
$300.00 - rent
$100.00 - gas
$100.00 -utilities
$200.00 - groceries
$100.00 - attorney payment
$35.00 - Curves membership
$17.00 - Weight Watchers online
$50.00 - unforeseen small emergency (or a haircut)

... which leaves about $98 every month for additional fun. Plus in reality, utilities hardly ever cost me $100, since I split them with my live-in boyfriend, and unforeseen small emergencies happen about as often as haircuts.

Notice the first thing on my list of bills? Savings. That's right, I am currently saving $300 every month for my future. I think that everyone should pay themselves first. Paying myself has helped me to save $1750.00 in a little over five months. I have NEVER in my life had that much money to my name.

In less than a year, the attorney payment will go away. Right now I'm still making payments for the bankruptcy. Crazy to spend almost $2000 to tell the court that I had no money. Thank goodness for the payment plan. After that, I will start saving $400 every month. Hurray for good planning!

I hate that I was stupid with money for years. I hate that I got up to my chin in credit card debt. I hate that I saw no way to pay my creditors back. And I hate that I filed bankruptcy.

But I'm done beating myself up over it. It was a great decision for me and for my future. Now I can save money and get the eff out of Memphis.

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