Today we have a guest post from a reader about how she manages her finances. Enjoy!
I have been giving myself a weekly allowance for the past two months.
This was my plan with starting my new job. I only get paid at the end of the month so I had to find a way to make my money last. I am thrifty and great at saving but I knew that with my new job I had to develop new ways to work with the money I had. I looked at it as almost a challenge…which I love because it gives me something to work towards and accomplish. I also get a wonderful feeling knowing I have saved so much money!
I decided to give myself a monthly allowance of $300. I first thought $400 ($100 each week) but I talked to a friend that is thrifty as well and she said that was way too high. I settled on $300 ($75 each week). At the end of the month I get paid. I only use the $300 I take out for the whole month. I have envelopes labeled: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, and Savings. I put $75 in each envelope at the first of the month and that is all I have the entire month. The savings envelope is what I use to put money in when I have extra cash at the end of the week (and yes that does happen)!
I have been doing this for 2 months and it works. I always pay bills first, take out $300 cash, and the rest of my money is split between savings and checking accounts.
- Gas-I live in a small town. If my jeep compass is empty it seriously only takes $22 to fill up. Get a fuel efficient vehicle. Sometimes I don’t even have to fill up each week. I can go close to two weeks without needing gas.
- Groceries-I only buy enough food to get me through the week. Nothing more and nothing less…of course I have essentials already in my kitchen. Each week I buy fruit, vegetables, and meat. I may buy a few additional things. I try to spend no more than $35 a week on groceries. Also, another thing to note is that I eat the same thing every day until it is gone! I meal prep on Sunday and Wednesday and I just make it work!
- Lunch Money-I always pack my lunch but with my job I am almost bound to eat out at least once a week. Sometimes it is a conference and other times it’s an all staff luncheon at a restaurant. However, I give myself a budget. I allow myself to spend $5 if it is a basic sit down eat in place and $10 if it is a nicer restraint. I always have a lunch still at the office that I can eat if I am still hungry. Being on a budget and going out to eat a salad will become your best friend…and it’s the healthy choice (not many salads are over $10).
I am usually able to save $10-$20 at the end of each week. Sometimes I will go out and use $10 to buy a new shirt and put the other $10 in my savings envelope, it varies. Of course random additional things come up. You can also use your savings envelope if you run short during another week and need a few extra dollars. I love the joy of looking in my savings envelope and seeing how much I was able to save for the month. I am able to spend more money than that and even give myself a larger budget but I choose not to. I like the challenge of working on a small budget. Only purchasing the things I need allows me to live within my means, comfortably, and save tons!
Give it a try…pay bills first, make yourself an allowance, and save! You won’t have any regrets, I promise.
Hello! My name is TaNiqua Ward. I reside in the wonderful state of Oklahoma but I have traveled many places since I grew up with a father in the military. I graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2013 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology. I received my Master’s degree in 2015 from Oklahoma State University in Health Promotion. I currently work as a healthy living program specialist. I absolutely love to exercise! I am a certified exercise physiologist as well as a group exercise instructor. I teach group fitness classes on the side while enjoying running, reading, and just living life. I have a passion for health and everything that comes along with it! I’m always eager to learn new things about health, engage in conversation, and share the things I know.