Quote of the day: “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”
After not working for three months and talking to different people about money and savings, I got this strong urge to look at my spending and see where my money was going.
I think seeing what you’re spending your money on is so important because you’ll probably realize you spend your money on sh** you don’t need at all. Don’t get me wrong, there is no problem treating yourself to new shoes or buying a new plant or whatever you’re into, but just be smart about it. I’ve definitely been the person (not anymore) to spend A LOT of money on coffee or other beverages and that stuff adds up QUICKLY. Now, I’ll see it more as a treat to go get a matcha from somewhere every once in a while.
When I started tracking my finances aka last month, I realized that I was spending a crap ton of money on food, drinks, and subscriptions. Even more eye-opening was the fact that I was paying month-to-month for a subscription that I didn’t even use! Ahh Taylor, what an idiot. But yeah, cancelled that ASAP. If I had just realized this before, I could’ve saved honestly a significant amount.
I have chosen to be more aware of the things I spend money on, so I don’t make dumb financial mistakes again. I write down everything I spend money on and how much it costs. I put it in a category “food, drinks, subscriptions, etc.” and then I review it at the end of the month. I have included a pdf of what my finance tracking sheet kind-of looks like, and maybe you’ll want to start tracking your spending as well.Untitled spreadsheet - Sheet1-2
I think have a purpose for tracking your money is a good driving force for you to start. Honestly, everything starts with a purpose. If you don’t have one, then you just won’t do it or it won’t matter to you as much. For me, there are two main important reasons I want to be better with my money. One: I would like to move out of my parents house at some point in my life. I’ve never had to pay for anything that big before, which I am so thankful for, so I think it’ll be a very challenging and different thing for me to deal with. I want to have enough saved up so I don’t feel completely stressed out and don’t need to live paycheck-to-paycheck. Two: I want to plan for the future. My mom recently made me put a big chunk of my money into a Roth IRA so I start saving for retirement. Retirement seems so freaking for away and my mentality is “why would I need to start building that up now?” when in reality I know it’s good to start planning and start saving. Also, if I decide to go back to school, I’m on my own for that, so I’ll FOR SURE need to have money in the bank.
So basically, find why you want to start saving, what you’re saving for, and track that money! You’ll be surprised where it’s all going and you’ll be surprised how much you can save once you are aware of unnecessary financial purchases. Use my spreadsheet as a starting point or create your own! Just do it!