I have a secret – I think I should have gone into Finance rather than Business Management at times. I absolutely LOVE personal finance – crunching numbers, setting my budget, challenging myself to stick to my goals. I think I’ve gotten pretty good at it over the years! My last job, due to its low wage and high cost of living in the city forced me into managing myself and my growing debt.
Yes, this blog is all about lifestyle, so I think finance is a conversation that also needs to be discussed as it does affect all aspects of life, like it or not, haha.
As a young professional, we want to live where the hustle and bustle is. Our friends don’t live in the suburbs. We want to be able to take a taxi to all of the in-city events that are offered. Driving an hour into the city and couch surfing for the weekend makes us cringe (and impose). With all of this fun comes some hefty expenses! I’m not going to share all of my numbers to you just yet, but I’d love to provide steps to managing your money, tips I’ve learned along the way, and how to actually reach your goals stress-free.
I’ve made some stupid choices living in the city before (um, personal trainer?? unnecessary), and I hope to help you avoid the same. You’ll notice in my more “fun” posts that I’ll also point out deals and specials I can find around the town – I’m always up for some happy hour, Groupons, or all-inclusive tickets.
But to start off, I want you to take half an hour and look at your personaexpenses, asking yourself these questions and jotting down the answers:
- What is the amount you bring in every month? After taxes, before any expenses.
- What is your total debt. List all of the credit cards, loans, etc… out, with the highest interest rates marked as #1
- List out all of your monthly expenses
- List out large sums of money that will go out on an irregular basis (for example, in Georgia I pay about $300 a year for my car registration) and the dates you need to pay them by
- List out your savings amounts
- Finally, if you have anything you are saving up for, write it down! Everyone needs a goal. One of my big dreams is to get debt free by next year and to go on a backpacking trip in Europe during off-season (making it cheaper and getting the opportunity to interact more with locals)
Have it all down?? Great! Just as a tip, I track all of this on a Google Drive Excel sheet so I have it everywhere I go. Next post, I’ll show you exactly how to make all of this information work for you.