My Financial Situation

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An actual picture of me.
I am not good with money. I love to spend. I love to buy things I don’t need. I love to shower my family with gifts and purchase drinks for my friends. I can’t help it, that’s just my nature.
But that’s all about to change.
I am writing this blog so I can learn how to squeeze the most out of my paychecks and make better personal finance decisions. I want to reign in the needless spending. Did you know that I ate at a restaurant for every meal last weekend? And that I also transferred money from my savings to my checking account from the dressing room of Forever 21? These are the sorts of habits I want to correct without losing any of the color in life. I don’t want to stop having fun with my friends, I just want to stop spending so much money while doing it. 

Here’s the situation: I have a job I love that pays decently well. It make a salary that anyone (except me, apparently) could survive on. I live in basically my dream apartment…but I used to share it with someone else. When they moved out, all my living expenses basically doubled and it was bye-bye outlet malls, hello…well I haven’t figured out what I will be “hello-ing” but I intend to find out while writing this blog! Hopefully I will not be “hello-ing” a new room mate.

And I’m pretty sure it goes without saying that as a Millennial, I’m up to my eyeballs in student debt. I dare not even divulge the number.

Anyhow, I’ve set up an account on Mint and made a budget. With a few sacrifices, I know I can make this work. That is, unless my landlord raises my rent. Then the game’s up I guess.

Here’s the plan:

1) Cut down for $40/week for groceries. I am a petite female. I only eat like, what, 1500 calories a day? Maybe not even?! So why have I been spending over $250 every month on groceries?! What is the purpose of that? How does that even happen? I plan on achieving this goal by cooking healthful foods in large batches (like casseroles!) and feeding on them throughout the week. I am also reheating my leftover coffee in the microwave, which is very pathetic but actually saves like $8 dollars every week.

2) I am only going out to eat once a week! Maybe a little more often, it depends on the place. I am only allotting myself $20 every week for eating out. This is the biggest sacrifice because I LOVE restaurants. I love to try new places and then recommend them to others like I am so cultured and in-the-know (not a person who drinks microwaved coffee). Now I must choose: a new place, or go to El Camino for the 400th time?

(the answer is always El Camino)

3. I’m only budgeting $90 (as opposed to $150+) every month for clothes. My friend Whitney told me to cut out shopping altogether, but hear me out. Within the past year I lost almost 25 pounds, so I still have a lot of wardrobe-rebuilding to accomplish. If I find that this is an unmanageable expense, I can continue to cut back.

4. Cancel my subscription with my cable provider and switch to a new provider. As a new customer, they’ll cut me a sweet deal on internet for the next year. Not an exciting step, but it will probably save around $30 every month.

5. Decrease my utilities by using less energy. Like…maybe I don’t need to have every light on in my apartment? Do I need to keep my router on when I’m not around? Is it necessary to have 3 appliances in the kitchen telling me the time? No. I don’t know how much this will save but I will report back. If it’s significant, I will share tips! If not, well, I guess I’ve been hanging out in the dark under a blanket for no reason.

That’s all for now! I’m also brainstorming ideas for a side hustle but I’m not really sure. Workin’ at the mall? Dog sitting? Selling things on ebay? Hustling beer pong? Blogging professionally?! Please leave comments with any recommendations for saving money, budgeting, or hustling! I’m all ears!

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