Post # 1
Okay to start off with I’m 20, and I have 5K in the bank and I get married next year and wondering how much I should have to move out with and get situated into a new home? I have more then 5K but the rest of the money I have I don’t count as I plan on putting it straight down on a downpayment. So 5K is my personal amount, and I can’t seem to keep saving money at this point! With my first job I make $1K a month, and I also waitress about 2 nights a week. So maybe making $1500 a month, if I’m lucky. I broke it down on how I want to distribute my money since I don’t have any bills at the moment other then a car payment. So monthly I’d like to do $250 car payment, $500 spending and $750 savings, but it seems like I spend all my savings and spending each month. On what? I have no idea. Any thoughts on how I can actually save my money, and get past the 5K amount. Should I save all my 1K paycheck each month and just spend my waitressing cash? Or save my cash, and track my spending on my card where my checks come in? I need help! Haha
Post # 2
Start by figuring out where your money is going….
Unless you pay cash for everything, you should be able to look at your statements and figure out what you’re doing with most of your money.
You probably want to deposit your waitressing money the moment you get it, to force yourself to track everything.
If, after looking at where you’re spending it, your 250/500/750 split still feels reasonable, then put $750 in your savings account the day after you get paid, each month (or $375 if you get paid every 2 weeks–whatever). Make sure your debit card is not linked to your savings account, just your checking, so that you have to go on your computer and transfer the money to checking if you ever want to cheat on yourself.
Post # 3
Agree that you first need to figure out where all your money is going. There are a few ways to do it. You could try something like Mint or create your own Excel spreadsheet or paper, pencil and a calculator. You can start with your bank account and credit cards and start keeping track of all your cash too. You can carry a little notebook with you and write down any time you spend cash.
Next figure out what areas you can cut. Maybe eating out, shopping, Starbucks, etc.? You will be surprised how much you can spend without realizing it!
Next figure out a more realistic budget. If you’re currently spending $1250 a month it is going to be really hard to only spend $500 right off the bat. Maybe $900 is more realistic. Then you’ll probably want to make it so it’s difficult to go off budget. What worked for me was having 2 separate ways to pay. One account was only for bills. The other was what I could spend. That might look like separate envelopes of cash (going out $, grocery $, etc.) Or an account with just the amount of $ that you are ok spending plus a small cushion. Freeze your credit cards until you get spending under control. Like literally put them in a hunk of ice!
Post # 4
Get a receipt every time you pay for something. If you pay a bill, write it down. Write down all payments at the end of each week. At the end of the month, you’ll have a good idea where your money is going.
Then you can calculate your income & cost of bills/spending.