Do you know exactly how much you spend each month? Do you know how much of that goes to food? Clothes? Transportation?
Until I graduated college I did not know the answer to any of these questions. I had a job and a goal to go on my dream trip to Japan. I realized that to travel, I had better start figuring out where my newfound income was going. My first budget was rudimentary and not very helpful, but it did show me that if I cut down on eating out and buying new clothes, I could realistically save up for a trip within the next year. This was an exciting realization!
What are you passionate about? I love to travel, painting, and trying new food. All of these hobbies cost money, and I believe budgeting has helped me stay conscious of my spending habits in order to save enough to continue pursuing these endeavors.
According to Google, a budget is an estimate of income and expenditures for a set period of time. When I refer to budgeting on this blog I also expand the definition to include recording past finances. At the end of each month, I take an hour to review and record my spending habits, which in turn helps me stay focused on my savings goals.
I truly believe that you cannot accurately budget without first knowing where you currently spend your money.
The hard and fast rule of budgeting is:
- 50% of your income goes to fixed expenses (rent, grocery shopping, transportation, etc.),
- 30% goes to other spending (clothes, movies, concerts, etc.), and
- 20% goes to savings.
Although this ideal ratio may not always be possible, it is a great reference point. How does your spending and saving measure up?
If you are reading this blog, you are a motivated, passionate, and goal-oriented person with a multitude of plans for the future. I am here to help you achieve your financial goals in order to make these plans a reality!
Please stay tuned as we dive into starting you first budgeting spreadsheet, creating realistic savings goals, and learning about the dependable resources that quickly and efficiently review my monthly finances. You can also follow me on Facebook to stay up to date with new content.
The picture you see below was taken in Japan this year. Because of effective budgeting, I have been able to save enough money to go to Japan three times!