Budgeting Week One: it’s still very sad.

Alright, it’s 2018! Time to be less of a POS or at least that’s the goal. As I briefly mentioned in my last post, I signed up for Mint so I could see all of my income and spending in one spot. What I’ve already discovered is that based on my spending in November and December, money is no object and I have the same income as Oprah.

Side note: Did you know Oprah’s birth name is Orpah? I saw someone post about it recently on Facebook and I’m still working through this tidbit of enlightenment with my therapist. Confirmation here.

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I was lying about my income. Or maybe I was lying about Orpah’s. I’ll leave that to you to decide. Either way, money is an object, one of which I haven’t been very responsible with.

I have to be honest, I didn’t know what “money is not an object” meant when rich people said it on MTV’s Sweet Sixteen or Cribs or whatever other non-music-related TV shows were airing during my middle school years. Turns out it very much is an object, and now I wish there were more people on non-music-related MTV shows talking about how money is a friggin’ stupid responsibility and not just something you exchange like Halloween candy for 14 mini-horses.

The fast and simple solution I’ve got to come up with is some really innovative side hustle. The best (that’ssubjective) idea I’ve had recently came to me while I was hiking in Seattle. There in nature, I couldn’t help but notice all of the moss covering trees and like that, a lightbulb moment. With all of these eccentric body hair trends going on, why not add to it? I could totally start the “Tree Moss Pubic Hair” trend for those extreme nature junkies. Start new green hair pube trend, profit by the bazillions.

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This innocent photo of nature turned oddly phallic and I do not regret.

The worst part about this is, I brought my bullet journal with me on my hike and actually stopped to write this down so I wouldn’t forget. In my defense, the starting of this trend ended with “–only if I really hate myself.” That was also the promise I made to myself about doing stand up comedy ever. If you hear that I’m going through with either of these 2 ideas, you have my permission to intervene.

I should probably just keep my focus on getting myself out of debt for now.

In December alone, I spent over 2X my monthly income. Revolting. Granted, once I decided that I was going to be budgeting, I went and made all of the large purchases I had planned for the first 2 months of the year like an alcoholic about to go to rehab. Might as well spend for the lifestyle I’ll be missing ammirite. I’ll know I made it in the budgeting world when I can work the large purchases into my monthly expenses. Baby steps.

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The stock photo version of me trying to count past 20.

I like the fact that Mint consolidates all of my accounts into one, though it currently yields a very ugly net worth. On the up side, every transaction lives on one little app, which empowers me to take control of knowing my daily expenditures when they’re happening. What I didn’t like was the budget feature. I truthfully don’t understand it in the app, and it wasn’t working for me. Instead, I built myself the most beautiful Google Sheet with formulas and numbers, broken down by the week. Here’s a screenshot from the beginning stages. It’s going to require some serious refining and moving money around after I figure out how to balance my spending and saving.

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As my friend, Amanda, said when she read the above paragraph,

“FUCK YEAH SPREADSHEET. MINT IS ASS.”

If you’d like a copy of my template, or help making your own, learn with me! Simply comment below or shoot me an email at christineinchicagoblog@gmail.com and I’ll share my creation (thus far) with you.

In all major goals, I can’t let myself focus on the bigger picture or I’ll get more overwhelmed than I already am. In order to achieve ~financial bliss~ (lol what is that even) I need to spend my time focusing on the tiny steps involved to get there.

Here are the steps I’m taking towards financial security this week:

    1. Delete shopping apps from phone: I’ll miss you impulse 7am “meet the $35 minimum to get same day delivery” Amazon Prime shopping. So long, Nordstrom “because I probably deserve this and oh my god I’m so close to my next Nordstrom Note” purchases.
    2. Break down budget for the month: The doc itself is beautiful. It makes my eyes cry and my heart sing. However, after editing this cant-go-over-budget-if-you-never-make-a-budget.jpgpost, I’m realizing that this budget I made was a really cute introduction, but is going to require some serious adjustments if I want to ever retire and not marry a 97 year old, cancer infested, oil rich man. Here’s a great list of potentials, though, as a contingency plan, of course.
    3. No eating out for the week: I just jumped back onto the Keto Diet wagon, so this is really for the best. I miss donuts already and I don’t even like them that much.
    4. Review/record purchases day of: While ignorance is bliss, knowledge is power.
    5. Begin listening to financial podcasts including Optimal Finance Daily: I listened to one 10 minute episode (e.484) this morning while I was getting ready for work that covered how much money you need to have saved to be ready for retirement. The magic number, you ask? According to Mr. Money Mustache, you should take your yearly spending and multiply it by 25……….shit. Why didn’t I start saving as a fetus [sic]? Guess I’m working forever. This leads to my next goal.
    6. Set up 401K: Who the hell is Roth and why is he taxing me to save money? I made Todd proofread this entire post and his explanation made it simple to understand, so now I have to add it:

“Fund where your money can grow post tax and after you retire you’re not taxed on it when you start drawing on it. Meaning you have much more stable finances that aren’t controlled by tax rates.”

Ugh, he’s smart. Okay, so how much do I have to save to take a yearly spending of ~$26,000 and turn it into $625,000? Is anyone interested in purchasing any of my organs? My liver will be on discount following the number crunching that is this month. I’ve been feeling good about my late 20’s but now I’m pissed that I’m 28 am very not prepared. If I wanted to retire at 65 (LOL NEVER) and begin saving this month for retirement starting at zero —guys, I feel I should mention that I do have some savings that I pretend don’t exist for very important reasons— I would need to save ~$301 a week. Well fuck me and the 14 mini-horses I rode in on. I hope I’m doing my math wrong.

I regret making budgeting one of my goals this year because responsibility is garbage. It’s making Current Christine do a lot of cleaning up for Past Christine and requires a lot of making up to do for Future Christine.

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Has anyone else started taking control of their finances this year or has done so successfully in the past? For the LOVE OF JEEBUS, HELP ME. Send me emails, leave me comments, send my carrier pigeons with savings tips, deliver me a potato with debt consolidation ideas! I’m desperate and so lost. Thank you. Love you. See you next week when I continue to be a human dumpster fire about all things money.

If you’re 12 and reading this: sorry about the swear words but start saving now.

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2 thoughts on “Budgeting Week One: it’s still very sad.

  1. This is the most honest thing I’ve read about money and adulting ever. My inner monologue in your words. That being said, I’d love your template until I get you anxious and depressed about being too poor to ever stop working.

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