Before I started budgeting I was spending my money left and right, with no care in the world - trip here, new shows there, etc. What started happening was I would spend all my money and have little left over for gas and food - the essentials. Then I would use my credit card to get by. I was living paycheck to paycheck and racking up more debt - a destructive cycle. On top of that I was still adjusting to living alone, having to pay bills on time, AND contributing to my 401k.
My reality check came when I checked the status of one of my student loans I started paying just one year ago. The loan started at $10,000 and after paying a minimum for a whole year it was now at $10,500!! HOW COULD THIS BE?! I started to cry; I realized I needed to change my ways or I wouldn’t be able to do what I wanted and living from paycheck to paycheck wasn’t my idea of true freedom.
Once I started budgeting every paycheck I was able to fill up my gas tank, buy my groceries AND go out to eat, salsa dance, buy myself something, and even travel. A budget showed me where my money was going and allowed me to plan for what was ahead.
“A budget showed me where my money was going and allowed me to plan for what was ahead.”
In my planning I could separate expenses and spend accordingly. Now that I knew I needed around $40 to fill up my tank over the next two weeks, that money was off limits. I was FREE to do each task, attend each event, save and go on trips and not worry if I would have enough money to eat or pay my bills.