Monday, October 8, 2012

Frugal Monday | Make a Budget

Although this is probably something you have heard is the truth. You CANNOT be frugal if you DONT plan! Part of planning, is making a budget for how you spend the money that comes into your care. This is something that my mom has always been extremely good at...and I hope to do half as well as she has in this area.

About two months ago Autry & I sat down and wrote out a list of things we would need to pay for once we were married and on our own. A very important discussion for any couple who plans to get married! We made a general list at first and then later I divided it into two parts: the essentials, the luxuries. I will share these lists with you to give you an idea of how to make/start figuring out your own budget.

The Essentials
Rent/House payment
Car Insurance
Cell phone/home phone
Non-Food (toilet paper, shampoo, cleaners)
Gas for Car(s)
Renters Insurance
--and for us--Meds (for me)

The Luxuries

Health Insurance

Explanation of our Lists
~Essentials: things you have to have in order to keep living on your own. It is SO very important that you plan in your budget the very basic things like food, gas for the car (this should include extra trips to town, etc.), house payment/rent, car insurance, phone plan, electric/gas, and non-food items.

Other things you may have on your essentials list, like we do, is renters insurance (I'll explain soon!), and the money set aside each month for my medicine (which runs about $15 a month now).

~Luxuries: things that are not necessary to survival, but are nice to have WHEN you can afford them. Internet is something I'd really like for us to have. Why? Well, I can't work and I cannot drive so I will be home a lot and I don't want go crazy without all my creative sources to pull from. Plus, I am just getting my blog to a point where I feel really good about it and I'd hate to lose that. Netflix (a site where you sign up to watch movies and TV shows for about $8 a month) is one of our favorite ways to spend time together. It's not a need, and we don't have to have it even if we do end up with internet, but it is nice to have. There are so many good documentaries and informational sources on there! Plus, if you're into movies and TV shows, there are literally hundreds to choose from!

~Others: things that are neither a necessity nor a luxury. For us the only thing falling into that category is health insurance. We have looked at several different health plans and none of them are any good. The main reason we are looking is because I will eventually lose the plan I am on and will need my own. One of the medications I am on would be over $100 a month if it wasn't for my health insurance I currently have. If it came down to it I would change to a different medicine which would not be as expensive, but for now we are still looking at plans and seeing what our options are.

Renters Insurance
Many people may not know this, but renters insurance really does not cost that much and is something to consider especially if you live in an apartment where a fire could break out and you would have no control over it. What does renters insurance do? It replaces what you had in that house/place; a very nice thing to have, especially if you are starting out and don't have much anyway. A fire would be absolutely devastating to me and Autry if when we get married in the next 3-6 months. I feel much better paying the few dollars to have that security than losing everything and having no money to start over again.

When you are putting your budget together you need to know how much money will be in your bank account, and how often, each month. Once you know that amount you are now ready to start dividing that money up between each item. Start with the most important: housing, electric, transportation. A phone is not a necessity so it should be added later on down the list once more important things are covered.

If you have any questions about making your own budget please feel free to ask away! This is something that anyone can do: college student, single person, couple, etc. I wish I had made a budget back when I had two jobs and went to school full time. Maybe I would still have a little money in my bank today if I'd done that. It is never too late to start a budget, so grab a piece of paper and a pen and get your list going!

~Even if you still live at home, but work a job you should/could still make a budget. Your budget will look much different than mine, but it will help you save for bigger things such as a car. Make a plan now for your future!

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