Howya doin’, folks!
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up fast, I wanted to share a post with you all that I thought would be both relevant and worthwhile. When’s the last time you sat down and wrote out a budget for yourself? If it’s been a while, then you’ve come to the right place.
Quick disclaimer: money is not everything. But let’s be clear, nothing in this world is free. So it’s a deadly idea for you to be proactive and control your monetary flow before it starts to control you. You don’t want to make a bags of your spending, now do you?
Again, this may not be ideal for everyone, but if you’re looking to make a financial change in your life, listed below is how I budget my income on a monthly basis.
*Note: You may have noticed some odd words and phrases so far. That is because I wanted to make this post a little more fun by adding Irish slang in honor of St. Patrick’s Day! All of the slang in this post has been italicized. Refer to the key at the end for definitions.
Investing your money is where you have the most control of your budget. Because honestly, this part is completely optional. However, that doesn’t mean this part should be overlooked. Investments should account for 10-15% of your monthly income. Taking time to consider where you want to invest your money is fierce and extremely important for you and your future.
And when I say invest, I don’t just mean stocks and bonds. Investing could mean investing in a friend, investing in a small business, investing in a cause or charity, investing in your church or even investing in yourself. It’s your choice. But investing your money in something could provide you with a bigger return in the meantime. Use your money to make more money. Get more bang for your buck!
You have some control over how much money you save per month. Putting away approximately 15 percent of your income every month will help you maintain a financial cushion in case things go south. Not to mention, saving your money comes in handy when an emergency pops up. That way, you don’t have to stress about not having enough money in those dire times of need.
Earlier, I mentioned that you had some control over your savings, but not as much as your investments. This is because while saving is necessary, it’s still not mandatory. For example, if you went on a road trip this month, then this can affect how much money will be in your savings. Savings accounts are also savage for big expenses that may not be emergencies (e.g. moving into a new home or getting a new car). With your savings, you give yourself space to upgrade things in your life that may be overused or depleted.
You have less control with how much money you spend per month. Daily expenses fluctuate quite often, so of course, your spending will reflect that.
Your spending should include: food, gas, recreation and other groceries you may need throughout the month. If you’ve spent donkey’s years at work this month and went out to buy food more than usual, then your spending amount will increase. If you attended seven birthday parties this month instead of your usual two, then your spending will also increase. What I’m trying to say is, it’s OK for this to alter a tad, AS LONG AS you do your best to keep this number below 30 percent of your monthly income.
Paying bills (43-50%)
Why do bills even exist, right? Yes, we all hate this part. But unfortunately, this part of life is mandatory if you want to have a roof over your head, electricity to keep you warm and a bathtub that actually works.
Because bills are imperative for most adults, this means that you have minimal to no control over these expenses. Your bills are always going to be there, so make sure you crack on and set aside no more than 50 percent for them. Anything more than that can get overwhelming, and you may soon find yourself completely knackered…only working to pay bills. Where’s the fun in that?
*Did you know? It’s recommended that your your rent/mortgage is no more than a third of your total income. In fact, many apartments/homes won’t even approve you if the payments are more than 30 percent of your income.
Using credit cards (0%)
At least, try not to give it a lash. If you do, you only need ONE. And that ONE credit card should be for emergencies or for credit-building purposes only (meaning you should already have enough money saved up to pay the entire credit card off, if you had to). Make sure to keep your credit limit low (i.e. between $300-500 max); that way, you won’t go crazy with spending money you don’t have. And any money you do spend on there should be paid back right away.
I feel like people make budgeting such a long and complicated process. But honestly, it doesn’t have to be that hard. I find my process to be quick and painless. Not to mention, it provides me with some structure; that way, I’m never a complete dosser with the money I have left at the end of each month. What are some ways that you like to budget your money? Leave them in the comment section below!
Thanks for reading 🙂
*Irish slang dictionary*
delira and excira: delighted and excited
howya: hi, hello
deadly: brilliant; fantastic; great
make a bags of: make a mess of
fierce: very good; great; excellent
savage: great; brilliant
donkey’s years: a very long time
crack on: continue on; get going
knackered: exhausted; tired
give it a lash: to make an attempt at something
dosser: someone not working or messing around; someone up to no good