Finances

How to Budget the Simple and Easy Way

With the start of the new year, many people reflect on the previous year and begin to plan out how they can make the next year better. Getting in shape and saving money are always the top goals on the list, but many times, we set unrealistic expectations that have us failing before February. I too am one of those people who fails at my exercise goals, but I’ve always been pretty good with money.

I’m a natural planner, so budgeting my money came instinctively to me. No matter my income, I’ve always been able to support myself, while still enjoying life. For example, when I did two years of Public Allies, an AmeriCorp program after graduating from college, I did a great job managing my small income while still living a fulfilled life. It’s no secret that AmeriCorps members (in other words, paid volunteers) make about, if not less than, $15,000 a year. While in AmeriCorps, I managed to live on my own (with a roommate, but without the assistance of my parents), pay my bills on time, go on weekend trips with my friends to places like D.C., treat my (now) fiance to a Brooklyn Nets game as an anniversary gift, and buy all of my family awesome christmas gifts without going into debt. For me, it was a simple thing of making a plan and sticking to it. Most people know that’s all you need to do to budget, but it’s the actual making of a plan that stumps some people. Allow me to offer some of my tips. (more…)