Budgeting for beginners: How to budget your week & month in less than 15 minutes

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Because let’s be honest money doesn’t determine everything in life, but it does determine how we go about a lot of things Hi guys, it’s Jen here Today, we’re gonna be talking about budgeting and saving & I’ll be using my salary as an example. Before we get started, I just want to put a disclaimer I’ve filmed — I’ve re-filmed this video so many times because I was just not satisfied with how it looked I decided to just eat some ice cream, shower and just go at it in my natural state Now I’m more focused on just being comfortable on camera and giving the right information Rather than thinking about like, oh is my hair okay or whatever But yeah, just wanted to put that out there In this video, you’ll see how I track my financial spending through my phone and my notebook and how I developed better habits that you can also incorporate in your life I want to emphasize that this video is meant to be informative and help you think more broadly about the way you can save and budget not to make you feel poorly if you make less because I know as humans we all have a tendency to compare With that said, I was debating whether I should make a more generic or more specific video regarding budgeting But I went to Instagram and I took a poll and it seems like people think a more specific video would be more beneficial So I decided to include real numbers and not just percentages I think it’s beneficial for us all when money isn’t such a taboo topic and we discuss it more openly Because let’s be honest: money doesn’t determine everything in life, but it does determine how we go about a lot of things One thing I will not share in this video is my exact salary amount and that’s because I am currently employed at the company and plan to be for the foreseeable future So I will include specifics about my spending and other things so if you just listen closely you’ll still be able to figure out how much I make And then last thing to note before we got started I didn’t know if this is a good time to create and upload a video like this Because I know in America we’re experiencing unemployment rates like never before But my thought process behind this is that we can always identify Unnecessary expenses and find ways to better budget So this is my first job out of college and they offered me a sign-on bonus It was a one-time deposit and I technically never saw that money because the moment that it came into my checkings I moved it immediately into my investment account.

So I will not be including this amount in my monthly income One thing I wanted to mention is that I did negotiate for my offer. And I think that’s something that everybody should do especially woman — I don’t think we do it enough However, there are three things to consider when we do negotiate One, doing our research So what are you being offered versus what is the market salary for your position? Second, demonstrating why you deserve a higher amount. So you can talk about your previous experiences and previous internships And third, which I think is the most important step is to negotiate in a respectful and open-minded manner Now, let’s talk about the breakdown of my monthly income As I mentioned, we will not be including the sign-on bonus as part of the calculation So it will be the gross or pre-tax income And then I chose to get health insurance through my employer I also signed up for commuter benefits through WageWorks and I get $120 worth of value charged to my metro card every month I set aside 30% of my gross income for taxes because that’s usually what is taken out of my paycheck And then I’m left with about $4,300 as my take-home pay every month Let’s break down the $4300 Please note that this is for a normal month, not for months like these where we are all in isolation I get paid bi-weekly so I move a portion of my paychecks into investment the moment I get it.

The amount differs each month depending on whether I’ll be traveling or making a big purchase but I aim to put away at least $1800. During months like these, it could be a little bit more My rent is $1275 and it includes utilities I talk more about this in my townhome tour video if you wanna check it out! I budget $550 for gifts. I send my parents money every month They don’t need it but they’ve supported me for so long that I think it’s just a nice gesture And then the extra $50 is for donations or if I’m buying a friend birthday gift or something like that I budget $300 for travel This is one thing I’m always willing to spend money on and I talk about it later in the video. If I know I’m buying plane tickets or I’m away for a weekend I will try to spend less during the month to make up for it Of course, that still means I would put less into investing But that’s also why I stick to my budget when things are calm I budget $200 for groceries, so an average of $50 a week.

If I know I’ll eat out a lot that month I’ll spend less on groceries to give myself a buffer from my restaurant budget But if I know I’ll be eating at home more, then I’ll spend more on groceries I budget $120 for going out, which includes drinks and ubers That’s usually about 2 to 3 nights out And then I budget $70 for personal care and hobbies For example, I paint my nails every week so if I wanna buy a new nail color I budget $50 for shopping, but honestly I haven’t really purchased anything since I wanna say November This budget rolls over every month So for example if I want to buy a few new pieces for the summer Then I’ll have all that money that accumulated I budget $20 for home supplies I basically have everything I need and so I’m just buying small things like dish soap And then anything else that I haven’t covered that you have in your mind is likely going to be covered later in the video…

So stay tuuuned I track my financial spending through an app called Mint. I’m able to customize my front page so it shows accounts and it shows how much money I have in cash and investments We scroll down and it shows cash flow and then budget, which I look at pretty frequently then specific transactions and then overall spending, which is a high level overview and there is my credit score I spend half of my time in transactions seeing the specifics of what I’m spending One thing that I really like is you can go into Harris Teeter, which is a grocery store and if they categorized it wrong, you can go ahead and re-categorize Another thing that I really like is, for example, if this was actually a dinner and you split it with a friend, you’re able to hit the split button and then you can say reimbursement For example, if they venmo’d you back, you can write that down which I think is really nice The other half of time I spend in budget So you’ll be able to see how much money you have left out of each category And you also can click into it to see what it is that you bought if you’re not sure For example, this is the camera I got Okay so how do I track my budget longhand First off, health insurance and public transportation comes out of my pre-tax income so we’re not worrying about that here but everything that you saw earlier is now categorized and written down here You’ll see that the dates are Saturday’s because in the past, I have always gone grocery shopping on Sunday so then I’m technically buying food for the following week And then here, you’ll see my actual budget for this month So you’ll see that I’m not spending money on traveling or restaurants or going out or shopping but I did increase my budget for groceries from $200 to $300 and then my budget for hobbies is $600 this month because I am spending money on a camera this month So my actual budget for this month is actually bigger than a typical month because of the fact that I am making a big but one-time purchase, so I’m putting less money into investments Typically, if I’m overspending on one category, I’ll cut back on other categories so while I’m allowing myself this amount, I know that I won’t actually spend this much money This basically does what Mint does, but I think physically writing it down leaves a better reminder And then we’re gonna break this down even more, weekly So you’ll see here that I have the budget for a week and a half And that’s because I’m not making as many transactions right now So I thought it would just be better to fit it all in one page So as you can see, I spend money on Trader Joe’s, rent, sending my parents money, camera, tripod, blue light glasses I total this all up and then I categorize my transactions And then these numbers go back here I’m just gonna explain this first, because I know some of you guys are wondering I don’t have any loans or debt I am very fortunate that I have parents who financially supported me throughout college and while I did have internships and jobs on and off campus, that was for additional allowance None of what I did would’ve been enough to stand on its own And I know this is the part of the video where you’re gonna think “Well, you got to where you are because of your parents” Yes and no.

I think half of it was the privilege of being able to do unpaid internships and being able to study and intern abroad But I think the other half is working and interning and being involved all year round I think I had to be afforded these opportunities but at the same time I also needed the work ethic to get it done, if that makes sense Next thing we’re gonna talk about is transportation So I don’t have a car here in DC and I don’t plan on buying one If I were to have car payments and car insurance to pay for and parking permits and gas and all that I don’t think I would be able to save as much as I do now. I really prioritized on choosing a home that was really close to the metro I did drive in college when I babysat and honestly I think driving DC is a lot more stressful than driving in LA I guess when I’m in LA, I’m home and I’m on vacation mode I’m doing fun things like going to brunch and meeting with friends, whereas here when I’m driving it’s because I have places to be and things to do With that said, I do enjoy taking the metro because it lets me relax and be in a better headspace and let me listen to like podcasts before I go to work whereas if I had a car, I would be stuck in traffic and be stressed before the day even started And as I’ve mentioned a little earlier, I do pay for public transportation through my pre-tax income So why not use that when I already pay for it Another thing is I have no subscriptions So this is gonna sound crazy but I don’t mind ads on Spotify I don’t have Netflix.

I only really watch Netflix when I’m downstairs with my roommate Michelle and we’re watching a show together. I know it’s only like $5 here, $12 there but for me, if it doesn’t add value to my life, I don’t want to spend that money because it does add up Now we’re going to talk about nightlife. So if you spend more going out at night than you earn in a day I was there myself during college. I went through that phase. But it’s time for us to change that Now I’m more conscious about how I spend my money and will set a budget for the night before it begins Typically, I try to spend less than $50 for a night out, which includes ubers to and from the place and drinks Andddd shopping So I used to buy buy buy and not look at my bank account, which I know is so bad I don’t do that anymore I only buy things that I really need. How I look at it now is if I buy a shirt for $50 let’s say will I get $50 worth of investment out of that shirt or will that $50 be better in my bank account? Most of the times, it’s better in the bank account But for example, this past winter I bought two pairs of winter boots They were about $160 to $200 a pair but I got them on sale for 50% off.

How I justified this is I knew that I didn’t have any boots because I either donated them all or got rid of them or sold them online I wanted boots because first of all, I don’t want to freeze my ankles. Second, I wanted to be warm and cute So I knew I was gonna wear them a lot and I really did So the cost per use was really low for those boots I have no problem and no shame buying things on sale or on clearance because if I can buy a shirt that’s marked as $100 for $40, why not? Another big thing is food I cannot tell you how much money I spent on food in college when I could’ve just eaten at the freaking cafeteria and not waste those meal swipes And don’t get me wrong Even before this quarantine started, I still eat out pretty frequently but now I’m more selective with who I dine with If I’m going to spend money on food, I want to be with company I genuinely enjoy I’m not a huge fan of uber eats or door dash or those food delivery services just because I’m not, as everyone is not (a fan of) spending $40 on a $20 meal because of those delivery fees and service fees Of course I’m gonna tip if I use uber eats because I’m not gonna be cheap about money that other people rely on but because of that, I would just rather cook at home Another thing is I don’t really do takeout For me, I always preferred dining in because if I’m going to spend the money, I want to get the full experience And speaking of experiences, this is one thing I will always splurge on and I save money elsewhere so I can spend money here I think traveling and being out of your comfort zone opens you up to new things that you can’t really experience and receive otherwise Of course this is a privilege that not everybody is able to do, but I think we can always start off small.

For example, instead of buying a shirt that you’re gonna wear to a party once, you can use that money to eat at a new restaurant It doesn’t have to be leaving the country for four weeks for vacation Experiences can vary. As long as they help us expand our horizons, I think it’s worth it Well, that’s all I have for you today If you liked this video Please give it a thumbs up, subscribe, and let me know what you think down below Videos like this take a while to make so that would help me tremendously as I’m trying to grow my channel Also, let me know what kind of videos you want to see next I was thinking of doing a video about how to ace your interview or like career related Let me know what you’re interested in and I’ll see you next time.

Thanks. Bye.

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