Let’s talk money! Ah I know, such a touchy subject. To be honest with you guys, I haven’t always been the best with my finances. Especially since starting a business (thelifewithnicole.com), in the past I have been horrible with tracking my business finances, credit card debt, and more. Trust me, you can overcome! It happens to the best of us.
Now that I’m getting older, it’s time for me to start keeping track of my bank account. Spending a few hours a week
1.) Know your income
How would you know how to make a budget if you don’t know how much you’re bringing in right? If you work a salaried position, you would most likely know how much you bring home a month. For those who have paystubs that look different every week whether you’re a freelancer or hourly employee, then you would just have to figure out the average every month. Keep your money in a checking or savings account to keep track.
2.) What are your fixed expenses?
Fixed expenses are rent, transportation, utilities and other things that you don’t have control over. These are expenses you know you will be taking care of every month.
3.) What are your variable expenses?
Think about the things you pay for that don’t cost the same every month such as groceries, eating out, shopping, vacation, etc. You should be able to add up these activities and calculate an average.
4.) Keep track
This is so important! I remember when I got my first grown up job, I used to spend like crazy! Eating out, shopping, unnecessary grocery trips, etc. Then I’ll check my bank account and realize I spent wayyy too much. Luckily, banking is so advanced now and they have mobile apps where you can check your balance, view recent transactions, and transfer to savings. I also like to use a tracking app called Mint. Mint is connected to your debit and bank accounts and it notifies you every week to let you know on average how much money you have spent. This can be harsh for some, but if you want to get your spending under control, it can definitely serve you a big slice of humble pie!
Take a look at all of your variable expenses and see what you can cut out or cut back on each month. Do I really need to take an Uber? Do I have to have iced coffee and a croissant every morning? Or what about that expensive green juice or happy hour? Not to say you cannot do these things, but try to set a budget each month for luxuries like this.
A couple of tips for saving money
Have a portion of your paycheck transferred to your savings. If you can’t see it, you won’t spend it right? You can do this through your bank or have HR set it up at work. This makes a huge difference. Trust me!
Eat and make coffee at home! Of course I like to have Starbucks or some trendy coffee shop coffee every morning, but it doesn’t work like that. Invest in a coffee machine such as a Keurig or Nespresso and make your coffee at home. Also eating out less will save you tonsssss of money! I used to get so mad after leaving the grocery store and realizing I spent $60, $70 or $80. But I have fresh food at home and I’m not tempted to eat out.