This blog is brought to you in part by divorce, learning to survive your twenties and the inevitable mental breakdown.
I “grew up” really fast. I would say my childhood was completed by the time of 8, and then it was all about responsibility. I always had a really good cushion in life though when it came to my living situation. When I moved out I went to live with my aunt and uncle, rent free. Then I moved in with my then-boyfriend-now-ex-husband, rent free. But when I got divorced it was a whole new world of rent, car insurance, and meals for one. WHAT IS LIFE. Who knows, but these are my tips along the way.
Budget, budget, and budget again. I know a lot of concern comes from when we feel the budget we just implemented doesn’t work after a few weeks- that’s because a budget should be ever evolving. The moment there is a $5 discrepancy, or you had an emergency expense come up- it’s time for a new budget.
Along with budgeting is automatic bill pay. Be it scheduling a check to go out a few days prior to when rent is due, or signing up for automatic payment with Sprint for your phone bill.
Don’t utilize all of your available credit. For instance, if you have a credit card and the limit is $500 a month, do not put $500 on it even if you’re paying it off. Your credit score is based on the amount of credit you’re using paired with the amount of remaining credit. If you utilize all of your available credit you are “maxing out”, even if you pay off or not.
Shop around. Amazon is really tempting but the dollar store and Walmart are usually cheaper- and no need to wait for it to ship.
Also with Amazon, use your shopping cart for thinking. If you REALLY want a new car stereo- add it in your cart and let it be. One of three things will happen. One- you will decide against it. Two- it will go on sale and you will buy it. Three- you will buy it after waiting and know your decision was justified. 2/3 involve saving money.
Your health is really important. I am really NOT the most reliable source for healthy eating as my diet is mainly coffee and leftovers- but small simple changes make a huge impact. Drink all the coffee you want- but flush it out with water. Eat (at least) three meals a day. Make at least one high in protein, one high in veggies/ vitamins/ minerals, and another just make it delicious! Meal prep and save your life. (nobutseriously) know what you like, buy it and make it. You won’t go out to eat as much, and you’ll actually eat!
Challenge yourself to 30 days of no spending. This is easiest at the beginning of a month. Pay your rent, insurance, gas- all the necessities. Buy groceries that you NEED to make the meals you will EAT. And *do not spend another penny* this is when the amazon cart trick is helpful, same with meal planning.
Look up anything and everything by Dave Ramsey. Figure out how to debt snowball- GET OUT OF DEBT. This has got to be the biggest thing ever. Once you pay off your debts you will have so much additional money left over each month- it’s almost like a second job.
Build your savings. Start with saving $1,000 and DO NOT TOUCH IT. This comes in handy when you do have automatic bill pay but not enough money in your checking’s. (Sidenote: make sure you bank doesn’t penalize you if they have to take out of your savings)
Finally- realize that all of these things combined help you reach your end goal in life- financial freedom… oh, and being an adult/ having your shit together.