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How to Create a Simple Budget {From the Girl Who Knows Nothing About Money}


I was seventeen when I started my first job. I wanted, more than anything, to save money for the future. (Yes, I was that crazy teenager). My thoughts were: gotta buy a car, gotta have gas for my car, gotta eventually buy a house, gotta have heat and air conditioning for my house. Gotta buy clothes, etc, etc, etc.

So, yeah. I was that teenager.

But, I got my job. And with that job, my dad suggested that I start a budget for myself. Honestly, I don't follow a budget anymore (this is something that I got away from when I started working a full-time job last year. I've simply learned how to handle my money without having to budget it).

What you need to add to your budget:

TEENAGERS BUDGET:

  • Roughly how much you'll be making monthly
    Whatever your net income is (meaning the money you make after taxes are taken out of your paycheck), make sure that's front and center on your budget. This is the amount of money you'll have to work with every month

  • Your main expenses:
  • Car payments, gas, maintenance for car, registration (yearly), insurance
  • Entertainment (movies, concerts), shopping
  • Clothes
  • Cell phone
ADULTS BUDGET:

  • How much you make monthly
    Whatever your net income is (meaning the money you make after taxes are taken out of your paycheck), make sure that's front and center on your budget. This is the amount of money you'll have to work with every month

  • Your expenses: 
  • Car payments, gas, maintenance for car, registration (yearly), insurance
  • Mortgage/rent
  • Electricity
  • Heating/Cooling
  • Insurance
  • Water/Sewer
  • Trash
  • Cable/Dish/TV services
  • Cell phone
  • Entertainment (movies, concerts), shopping
  • Clothes
  • Child care
  • Credit cards
  • Life insurance
  • College loans
Some things to keep in mind: 
  1. You should be saving more than you spend. Look around for the best deals when you can - shop around for the best prices for loans, shop the sale racks at stores, find a cheaper cell phone plan, etc. 
  2. As a teenager, don't stress about money. My sister is always stressed out when it comes to how much money she has/what she's saving and I tell her all the time, "You're a teenager, just calm down". Don't let money stress you out when there are other things you need to be worrying about.
  3. Be diligent in your spending/saving habits. Sometimes it's okay to splurge but try to take your time before making rash, expensive decisions. Is it something you really need, or do you just want it because it's cool right now? Are you going to actually use it, or is it going to sit around and collect dust? Is that a sweater you're going to wear or is it going to hang in your closet for a year before you finally give it to Goodwill? Think before you buy. (An example of this: I've been wanting a Kitchen Aid mixer for years. YEARS. They go on sale all the time, and I always talk myself out of them. Yesterday, Cyber Monday rolled around and Amazon had them on sale for $219 - original price of $550. I still wasn't sure, so I signed up for an offer through Amazon that gave me a $70 gift card. I ended up purchasing the $550 mixer for $163. Merry Christmas to me.) The point is, sometimes it pays to wait. 

Spending money is easy. Saving is hard. Budgeting is even harder. But someday, you'll be glad you did. (I promise). 

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