Since moving out of home, I’ve needed to make a budget. I luckily get paid weekly, so I am forced to always be looking at my budget and see where I need to put money. While living with my parents, I was fortunate enough to not have to pay board or rent, but my parents did raise me in a sense that if I wanted something, I had to pay for it myself. So ever since I’ve started working at 15, I saved enough money for a car which I bought when I was 17. This put me in a position where I learnt how to save, where to put my money, and materialistic things bring me joy. I’m not going to lie though – I was kind of thrown into the deep end when moving out and in with my boyfriend. We ended up moving in with some friends, which lowered our monthly rent, which eased me into learning how to budget and putting money aside. So I thought I’d share some of my tips on how I do it and survive pay cheque to pay cheque.
Make it apart of your bills: One of the easiest ways to save some money is putting $50 a week into my savings account as soon as I get paid. I have kind of tricked myself into thinking that the $50 is a bill towards my savings account, and it has accumulated a lot more quickly than I thought it would. If I have any spare money left over at the end of the week, I also put it in my savings account.
Know your bills and their due dates: I am not one to write down every little thing that goes into and out of my account, however I do make sure I put away enough money each week to cover my end-of-month bills. Fortunately all my bills (rent, phone, hydro, insurance) come out of my account on the 1st of every month. So I’ve added up the totals of these bills, divided it by 4 weeks, and that was given me the total amount to put away every pay cheque.
Put money aside: This coincides with the previous two points – I have a checking account and a savings account with my bank. When I get my paycheque each Friday, I immediately deposit it into my checking account. I then put away $50 + my weekly bill payments straight into my savings account. At the end of each month, I transfer my bill money over to my checkings account (this is the account linked to everything). Seems complicated but it works for me, and allows me to see how much I have saved at the end of each month (the money in my savings)! It’s a nice little reminder of how well (or not so well) I’m doing.
It’s okay if you can’t save: There are definitely weeks where I can’t put money away for my savings, or I have to dive into that money for an emergency (i.e. car issues always seem to be the emergency!!) and that’s just life.
Have fun & make sure to eat what you want! Whatever isn’t for rent or savings, is my money for the week – for groceries, gas, or spending money. Like I said, I don’t tend to track where this money goes, because I’ve already put away the money I need to for the week.
You’re going to have better weeks than others, and that’s part of growing up and becoming an adult. Just don’t let what you have define your happiness. I’ve been there, and it’s sooo depressing. Set realistic goals for yourself, and work harder every day. You’ll get there 🙂 Also let me know if you have any tips or tricks for budgetting!