Beginning to Budget: Define Your Goals
Beginning to budget is challenging. I found it overwhelming when I started my journey; where do I start? Many 25-year-olds have an extensive amount of student loan debt, are renting overinflated apartments and savings accounts with balances near zero. Eventually I decided enough was enough but didn’t know where to start off. I definitely fell prey to some of the classic pitfalls: non-consistency, disorganization and a lack of commitment and vision. Here are some things I found that helped me to get on track.
- Write down some definitions. When starting this journey it will help you to define your end goal and vision. Define financial happiness, financial freedom as you want it to apply to your life. Most importantly, define what you want to feel when you are “financially free”. Despite what we like to think, emotions are the main driving force of human behavior. These definitions will help you to focus on what you want to accomplish.
- Look at your options. There are many different ways to accomplish what you are doing, so it is important to consider all the options; think about what you need vs want and most importantly WHY. Every choice you make is one step forward or backward in the direction of your goal
- Choose what is best for you. It is okay to try different things AT THE SAME TIME. A lot of “financial gurus” will recommend focusing on one aspect per month and taking it one at a time. While this works for some people, I have found that it can be more costly, and lacks immediate results. I have found that giving a shock to the system and attacking multiple avenues at once can be rewarding. You can get results pretty quickly this way, which will help you feel accomplished allowing you to snowball your growth and achievements.
- Resilience. Keep fucking going. It’s going to be a long ride to your goal. There is no question there will be a lot of hard work and sacrifices along the way. What’s important to remember is that the cost (time, money, stress, etc) is always lower when these things are maintained vs when they are stopped and started. Because of this it is important to stay committed to your goals consistently, no matter how difficult.
Taking some time to review your wants, needs, goals and desires will ultimately lead you to a more financially free lifestyle as you define it. I had previously started and stopped multiple times with no tangible results until I took these 4 steps. By following these steps, in a years time, I have purchased a house, gained financial stability with my daily expenses without sacrificing my luxuries and paid off 3700 on my student loans. This method allowed me to achieve balance between my happiness now and my future happiness.
This is not official financial advice. Please speak with your official financial advisor for more options.
Welcome to my website! I am a 25 year old, who felt for a long time that the world was keeping me down. After putting on 40 pounds in 3 months, realizing my student loan debt had grown by 10k$ since graduation even though I had been paying each month, and not having any form of savings, I hit a wall realizing I could not continue forward like this. In spite of what many “self-help books” say, I wanted to tackle them all at the same time, so I did! I created a life I was happy with; a healthy body I am proud of, a comfortable savings account and a method for attacking my student loans. I want to share my experience in the hopes that it can help you do the same!
Budgeting: Changing your philosophy about budgeting can help change your life.
If you’re like me, you probably woke up one day to find that you are heavy underwater with student loans, you are paying an exorbitant amount of money in rent, you live paycheck to paycheck and it feels like life flashes you by. I grew up in a household where money was always an issue and definitely did not have a good relationship with money and finances coming out of college. At my lowest point I realized that I wanted my life, and the life of my future children (still no children LOL) to be different than my own; I want to live comfortably, but mindfully. It took a lot of work to get to where I am today, and make no mistake, I am still on my journey. These are some things I learned throughout my journey that are necessary for long-lasting change
- You have to want change. If you are reading this, you already accomplished this! Woop woop! Like anything in life, you will not see progress unless you are committed to whatever you are trying to do.
- Change your habits. What most people do not understand is that our habits are who we are. For example, I am a healthy human being. I am not healthy because I eat a salad once per week, I am healthy because when given a choice between two options, I choose the healthier one 80% of the time. Similarly, you will not see your savings grow by putting 1000$ into a savings account once. You will however save money over time by saving 50$ each week and consistently choosing the most cost effective option.
- You will fail a lot. On my journey “on the money wagon”, I have “fallen off the wagon” several times and fell hard. You probably will too and that is okay. Perseverance and optimism are qualities that are not stressed enough in society anymore, and are especially necessary when trying to change a major part of yourself. As was said in Batman Begins, “Why do we fall Bruce? So we can learn to pick our selves up.”
I am so excited to share my journey with you! I also post videos on Youtube regarding this topic, feel free to take a look.