Like the majority of my generation, I am working to pay off my student loans. Initially, I was the worst with finances. I wasn’t making a lot of money, had a ton of students loans, and didn’t know how to budget. I’m a far way away from that now but I’m still no expert! My end goal is to budget better, pay my student loans off faster, and save for a house.
This month I put together a rough budget of what I think I spend per month. I looked through my past month’s statements and created the below list of what comes out monthly. Roughly $4K. Some of these are exact amounts that automatically deduct each month and others are estimates of what I think I should be spending. I can already guess the areas I’m underestimating. Key suspects? Food, entertainment (going out, alcohol, fun, etc), and credit card; I swipe that thing like it’s going out of style. Here’s the rough layout of my expenses.
|Student Loan 1||$510|
|Student Loan 2||$300|
To “budget” this month I’m going old school and using cash. Cash?!? I know! The times I have cash on me are beyond rare but I’ll be using cash in November. My mom swears by cash for the simple reason of knowing when it’s gone. Most of my monthly expenses auto deduct as I mentioned but the better part of my monthly spending ends up on my debit and credit card. So this month I took out cash for Food, Gas, Entertainment, and Personal items and put them into envelopes. My plan is to stick to the experiment by using what’s in the envelopes but if I find I’m 10 days in and completely blown through my cash I may need to make a more realistic budget. Regardless, I think it will be a really eye-opening experience and I’m excited to try it out!
I realize November may not be the best time to start this experiment with the holidays quickly approaching but if not now then when? Stay tuned for part 2 to see how my experiment pans out.
Leave a comment if you try the envelope system or have any other budget recommendations.