Saturday, October 13, 2012

#69: Make a Monthly Budget

What does a 20-something who lives in the city, works full-time, who has no kids, mortgage, wedding or travel plans spend her money on? Before moving out of my boyfriend's parents basement this month, I found out. Turns out I was looking to save money in all the wrong places.


I discovered, in August, the hottest month of my social calendar (not!), I spent 20% of my monthly income on clothes and eating out. That's dangerously close to the percentage financials advisors suggest you pay on shelter. I made only three visits to the grocery store, totalling $62.44, and often felt like I had nothing to wear. The nail in the coffin? The amount I thought I paid monthly for my gym membership, was in fact coming out of my bank account twice a month.

Late night poutine is good. But not
worth the hit to my bank account.
Whoa. Embarrassing.

On the bright side, those are line items I can spare. In the month of October, I will spend $0 on clothes and will bring my lunch to work everyday. With those two lines cut down, I'll get back one third of an entire pay cheque.

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time I learned this lesson. I told my boyfriend during my sick leave, "it's surprising how easy it is to trim the fat off your expenses." But maybe that's the point, a budget isn't meant to be a sporadic review of your expenses. It has to happen regularly.

Despite having delayed this resolution until just before I reach 100, I've yet again, learned my lesson. I will make a monthly budget exactly that often. That way, though they're not an immediate priority, a house, kids, and travel can still be an option for the future.

4 comments:

  1. Poutine is a fantastic way to spend your money.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's a good idea, no doubt - something I need to start doing more strictly myself instead of fretting about money constantly without actually knowing how much I've spent exactly. But that poutine does look good . . .maybe make it at home instead? :)

    ~Catherine

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good idea Steph, get in the habit of a budget now ..... Because kids and a house really know how to BLOW your budget!
    - Momma

    ReplyDelete