Recently I have created a budget to keep track of my spending. I have done this before but it never seemed to work out. Whether I couldn’t stick to the amounts that I budgeted for or there were unexpected expenses that I didn’t allow for, whatever it was, every other budget failed for me. I thought well maybe budgets just don’t work for me.
However, I knew I needed something because I have been out of college for over a year and I don’t really have any savings to speak of and that scares me. So I set out trying to come up with an idea for a budget that would be custom to me. No apps, templates, gimmicky grids or crazy envelope systems, I mean I’ve really tried it all whether it was suggested by a friend or family member or from some New York Times article on “how to budget for dummies” ……no no no, not this time. This time I took it old school and opened up a blank excel document and got started.
What I realized was that I am a chronic over spender….”hi my name’s Christina and I live above my means” lol. The thing is though, I never realized how much I was actually over spending each pay period. I though maybe a couple hundred dollars a month tops, but no…. More like a couple thousand!!!!! No wonder I have no savings and credit card debt from college 😦
So I decided instead of being in denial about the fact that I clearly over spend on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, that I would embrace it, but more importantly track it. I am pleased to say, just by tracking it, this pay period I have cut my normal over spending in half! I know, hold the applause haha
So why am I telling you this. Well, it’s because I realized a valuable lesson through this experience: it’s so important to do you. I know that’s clique but it really is true on so many levels, at work, with your finances, in your personal life, etc. It is so much more important to figure out what works for you than to follow the crowd or assume that the latest trend or fab will be a perfect fit. If it is then that’s great but don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take a look inside to find the answers, usually they are already there. You know… you are the only expert on yourself, so trust that you might just know best!