song of the day: if it kills me, jason mraz

i know budgets are a weird thing to be obsessed with, but i made mine this morning and it really wasn't that bad as i was fearing! the hard part is going to be sticking to it. but here's what i did. first off, i started with a template. they do all the work for you. especially if you use one on excel, cause those ones can do all of the calculations for you. but if you'd rather do this by hand, i've got a template for you, here. but if you google "budget template" you'll find tons.

the first step in making a budget is figuring out where your money goes in the first place. total your income and then track your expenses for the last month. (if you have time to map out more than one month, you'll get a better sense of your average, in case it's a month of ireggularly high spending.) then subtract the one from the other. in the red? me too. but it brought some things to my attention.

my first realization? i spend WAY too much money on makeup. the thing is, i just buy a little at a time, but i'm still buying WAY too much. in july alone, i wasted $175. and you've seen me, i don't even wear that much! i found there are a few more hidden money suckers in my life.
  • magazines; ridiculous, when i read as many blogs as i do.
  • smoothies; when i've already said i prefer making my own at home.
  • DVDs; so many times i buy a DVD just for the sake of owning it, but then it just sits on my shelf.
  • the vending machine at work; i calculated, if i took the time to bring something from home before a shift i'd save $10 a month. which seems little, but will add up.
  • cheap jewellery; my jewellery box is full of $5 rings that only last a month before turning green and it'd probably be better if i just didn't buy any at all.
  • nail polish; i always talk about how nailpolish can be a nice accent to an outfit and i'm not knocking that of course. but in tracking my expenses i realized that i average about one $9 bottle a week and that's a little insane.
  • taxis; i'm not knocking them and i would like to say that a taxi home after a night out is always a good idea, but sometimes i'm just to lazy to take the bus, that's $20 down the drain right there.
  • drinks; i always end up stopping for adrink when i'm out at the mall, tucking a water bottle in my purse before i leave will save me about $20 a month.
when you're making a budget, make a list of things you feel you can not live without and then juggle your finances around to accomodate them. i've decided to prioritze going out to eat with friends. we tend to go out to grab a bite or dessert after worship practices or for birthdays. plus, i've read that on average spending money on an experience feels more rewarding than spending money on just items. so that's what i've made the most room for in my august budget. especially because it'll be my last chance to hang with a lot of people who go back to school in september. i've also set aside the money for one movie (GI JOE!) and a meager back-to-school outfit, and that's it!

i do feel the budget i've set is a bit optimistic. (i can't help it, i'm an optimistic person) but i've read that it's perfectly fine to make adjustments. not to totally renege on what you've set out to accomplish mind you, just to rearrange things while sticking to your goals. one of the top reasons people drop their budgets is because they feel they can't stick with them. that won't be me! (i hope.) this site was super helpful with budeting tips and info.

alright! just a few more things. it's my mom's birthday today! but that's not the real news. i FINALLY got around to writing an about page. check it on the tab at left. i also added a few more sites (in no particular order) to the blogroll over there. i plan to maintain it a bit more as i continue making blogging friends. check out some of the sites and blogs there, it's good stuff! and another thing. while i'm still not comfortable using my whole name, but i don't really feel like i am "sunshower" either. that's a thing, not a person! so you can call me B from now on =) have a fantastic day!!