Setting up a Budget

Oi! Don’t stop reading! Get back over here! You want to buy things and pay your bills at the same time?! Well, either make a ton of money or get your budget in check. Or both, both is good! Which is what I need to do. Right now. So…how do we do our budget? Well, it is a little bit complicated. We get some money from our university from financial aid which we use to pay our rent and bills. We normally don’t do this, but with us both having full time, unpaid internships we chose to take out the extra to make sure that our bills were paid, and that we wouldn’t have to worry about having a roof over our head, or food in our bellies. But, this doesn’t mean we live in the lap of luxury and we are well aware that we have to pay it all back here very, very soon. (Which is scary).

So budget. We use a program called You Need a Budget. I bought this, oh goodness, probably three years ago I guess. I still lived in the dorms when I purchased it. Their methodology follows four, relatively, simple rules.

  • Give Every Dollar a Job: “Your money shouldn’t tell you what to do. You’re the boss. The drill sergeant. The maestro. When you earn money, you plan how you’ll use it, then you follow your plan.”
  • Save for a Rainy Day: “Take those large, less-frequent expenses that usually send you into a financial tailspin, and break them into monthly chunks. Result? Financial peace. Climb out of that Financial Crisis Roller Coaster. It’s smooth sailing ahead.”
  • Roll With the Punches: “In boxing, a fighter moves his body in the same direction as his opponent’s punch, so as to lessen the blow. In budgeting, you do the same. Be flexible and address overspending before moving on to the next month. This helps you stay in the fight.”
  • Live on Last Month’s Income: “To be perfectly frank, we want you spending this month, what you earned last month. This Rule is something to strive for, and likely isn’t something you can implement right away. However, with the help of the other three rules, you’ll get there.”

This program is pay to own and costs $60, but you are getting more than just the program. You are getting online classes that will help you out, the forums, and the program itself. Some of their free classes that they have are Getting Started with YNAB, Budget Workshop, Handling Credit Cards, Improving Workflow, Dealing with Different Pay Cycles. Since I haven’t been using this program the way I should be, I will be going back through their website, forums, and a few of the classes to get myself back on track.

The next post for this will be about how my husband and I set up our budget, what it looks like (gonna get real personal there) and some of our goals for 2015.

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