Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Fun Stuff

Hey y'all, today's blog post is all about BUDGETING!!!

Get excited.

I've been using this blog as a way to get my thoughts out of my head, sort of like a diary. But the reason why I'm choosing to make this a "public diary" is so that (hopefully) my thoughts will be of some use to someone who stumbles along this baby blog.

So, as I began to start a budget today on paper I thought, 'hmmm, when was the last time I saw a blog post on budgeting?' I'm hoping this little budget workout will help you, and help me too!

I tried to loosely follow a budget that would be recommended by Dave Ramsey. You guys, this man is a LIFE CHANGER. If you are ever struggling in debt, or want to know more about finances, how to better manage your money, how to be a more devoted tither, anything budget related, he is your guy!

p.s. I tried a new almond butter today, and ohhhh baby. It's SO good. I found it at my local grocery store, I'm unsure if it's carried nationally. Barney Butter. Find it if you can!

(I really love the vscocam app, it produces great quality images, plus I'm a huge fan of their image filters)

OK, here we go!

First off, I want to show off my budget notebook. I purchased this from May Designs, which is a really awesome website that has customizable notebooks for a really great price!

May Designs offer a large range of notebooks, and this one specifically has "budget" formatted pages, which I am showing you below.

This notebook is simply a quick and easy way to write out in one place where all my money is going.
I'm going to do an example budget and include percentages, so you see where I got all these random numbers from!

Here's the easy percentage breakdown:
10% Tithing 
25% Rent
8% Bills
17% Groceries
15% Transportation
15% Savings
10% Personal Finances

And here is the percentage breakdown applied to a $1,500 a month budget (keep in mind that, ideally, $1,500 should be after taxes have been taken from your salary):

I am first a tither. There is no perfect percentage for tithing! Everyone must give what they are called to give. But I'll stick with the traditional 10% in this budget.
So, $150 to tithing leaves me with $1,350.

Rent, according to Mr. Ramsey, should be around 25% of your budget. If that's true, monthly rent should be around $375, excluding bills.

I'm guessing here, as my rent and billing situation is a bit different, but monthly bills, if we are looking at water, electric, trash, and gas, would run at a yearly average of about $120 a month (if you're as frugal with your a/c and heating as I am!) We're going to round that up to about 8% a month.

Food is my next big cost. You guys will know that I'm a foodie, and I also love to cook! I probably spend more on food than the average person. However, I'm going to try to change that! So, I'm going to say that 17% of my income goes to food-that includes groceries, going out to eat, coffee shops, etc. That's about $255 for a monthly budget of $1,500 a month.
Keep in mind that, although I hope this budget layout will help anyone who finds it, I am also catering this to my personal lifestyle. If you think this percentage is outrageous, by all means change it!

I drive a Jeep, so transportation can be quite a hefty part of my budget. I'm going to go with 15%, which gives me about $225 a month for gas. Hopefully you guys can save some wiggle room in your budget with this expense!

Alright, I'm getting to the end! I promise I'm working on getting these blog entries to be more concise.

I'm now left with 25% of my budget, which I'm going to split two ways. This now becomes a personal decision, and I'm sure this could fluctuate often in your budget, as I think it will in mine.
I'm going to choose to put 15% in savings, and use the rest of the 10% in personal finances. So, this means about $225 a month in savings, and $150 a month for shopping, concerts, or any other fun activities I want to do! For a girl on a college budget, that sounds pretty darn good to me.

Now, I beg you to keep in mind that I am not a financial planner. I have no experience whatsoever in professionally or educationally handling money. This is a budget that fits my lifestyle, and I really just hope that it will help those of you who are lost when it comes to starting a budget. This should be a stepping stone, if you will! Please don't take this post as a concrete suggestion, as I'm sure this budget of mine will be tweaked and changed in many ways until I can get it just right.

I hope this has been helpful! Leave a comment below with suggestions for what else you want to see on this new blog! I'm quite fresh at this, so tell me what the people want! :)

Love and Hugs,

*Post Disclaimer* I was not paid to sponsor any of these products; rather, they are a few of my personal favorites!
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