7 Budgeting Tips From A Girl Who Loves To Spend Money


By Rachela Forcellese

I am terrible with money. Managing and saving money has always been one of my worst skills. Or, at least, I thought I was. I really thought it was hopeless, but last year I saved $10,000 and moved my ass out to L.A. to pursue my dreams. Seriously. So if I can do that, anyone can. Here were some things that helped me. 

1. Know how much you make in one paycheck.

In order to really figure out how much you are spending, it’s even more important to know how much you’re making. Most of my life, I’ve waited tables which means a lot of cash tips. Cash makes it really easy to lose track of how much you are making since you can just spend it right away. But even if you aren’t receiving the normal paycheck every week, you can still keep track. I bought a cute little planner and wrote down what I made each night. That way I could get an average of what I was making each week and could budget from that. I also didn’t allow myself to spend the money I made until the following week, after it was all budgeted and accounted for. I made one trip to the bank each week.

2. Keep your credit cards at home!

This one was crucial for me, because there was a period of time where I racked up several thousand dollars in debt from over-spending. I found that if the credit cards stayed in my drawer at home, then there was no chance for me to decide, “It’s okay if I use it just this once!” And if you’re nervous about building credit, just keep a small balance on the card every month like Netflix. That way you are building credit without really spending on your card.

3.set up one budget for necessities, and one for fun.

If you allow yourself certain amounts on food or gas or bills, then you can figure out how to not overspend. If you don’t set a budget for your groceries you can end up buying whatever. Plan meals. Plan plan plan. The more you plan the more you can set aside portions of money for these things.

4. Take advantage of the restrictions set by your bank account.

Most savings accounts have a limit on how many times you can withdraw from it and how much you have to have in the account to keep it free. I always put money I did not want to spend directly into my savings, and if I had to withdraw, I had to think about the fee. Plus, having a minimum means you can’t take it all out. Take advantage of these types of things, because if you’re feeling weak or unmotivated there’s nothing like a pesky fee to keep you from taking out money you shouldn’t be spending anyway.

5. Always make sure you are saving *something*.

It’s crucial. Even if it’s just $50 a week. I lived with my parents at the time so I was able to put more away each week. And after a little while, it’s really motivating to see your savings account grow. You no longer have to worry about every little expense because if there’s an emergency, you can cover it! Any amount counts because any amount will help build your account.

6. Try to resist buying something each week.

I love online shopping, but it’s the most dangerous kind of shopping because you don’t even have to put on pants. But every time I put something into my cart, I tried to ask myself, “Will I still love this as much in a month or two?” Most of the time, the answer is no. I would also try and think of past things I’ve bought that I absolutely “needed” and half of the time I didn’t wear or use that item anymore. That help put everything into perspective.

7. Save up *FOR* something.

Having a reason to save really helps and can be motivating. For me, it was saving enough money to live where I wanted in California. Saving up for a dream or goal, no matter how small, makes you want to put money into your account. You don’t even have to spend it on that item or trip if you don’t want to in the end. But it’s a good practice to help save.

It’s important to think about saving money in a similar way as eating well or working out; once you get into the habit, it becomes much easier. Remember to still treat yourself and enjoy your money from time to time…you can’t totally deprive yourself or you just won’t succeed.

Rachela is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. The views and opinions expressed in Contributing Writer articles reflect those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the site.

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