First Year Associate Musings: January Budget Recap

Not going to lie – I’m struggling to keep my “eating out” budget in check. Working 12+ hours each day has caused me to struggle greatly with food prep and meal planning. Last month, I went grocery shopping once… and ended up throwing away 60% of the fresh produce I purchased because I poorly planned meals and did not use up the produce I had.

How do you maximize your use of fresh produce before the expiration dates? 

If I can find a way to reduce my restaurant spending, I will be able to have enough money to survive each month and put away money into saving. This month, I am ending with $1,331.15 in my savings.

The goal is to NOT touch the long-term savings account AT ALL. My monthly expenses will be increasing by $350 in February (car payment) and an additional $410 in March (student loan).

For February my financial goals are:

  1. Increase Beachbody income to $400/month
  2. Decrease Restaurant Spending by 25% (keeping to $50/week)
  3. Add an additional $500 to long-term savings account
  4. Devote 10 minutes a day to personal development.

Many of you are probably thinking, “How is personal development a financial goal?”
It is a financial goal because the more I improve the WAY my brain works and HOW I approach different situations. By changing my mind set in these areas, I will be able to increase my financial capacity to raise money and ability to facilitate savings.

This is a journey. Was this month successful? Probably not.
Yet, as a fabulous person, Dani Johnson taught me… 10% success, is still success.

Here’s to making February a powerhouse of savings!

First Year Associate Musings: Budgeting for the Future

Budgeting for the Future

I received my payment schedule for both my car and student loans, so I’ve been able to finalize my monthly budget.

Luckily, the amount owed is less than I originally budgeted. Unfortunately, I still lost roughly $200 each month, if I hit all my budget caps. Over the last two months, I have been fortunate enough to achieve about two bonuses each month that allow me to maintain myself above water. It’s tough knowing that my job performance will determine my ability to tread water, financially, but at the same time, it may be the motivation I need to keep putting in 100% effort even when the stress starts to get to me.

My current big-girl job goal is to bring in new clients and close 10 cases by March. I am going to start reaching out to people somehow, some way, and I will make a difference.

My current Beachbody goal is to help at least three people and run one challenge group each month. Additionally, I want to actually  finish Insanity Max:30 by March. I may restart the program since I’ve had the worst time working out more than 3 or 4 times a week. #truth

budgetBack to the main point here — my budget. I am going to post my excel below so you can see the line items I’ve added. Some of the items may not be as important to you, or you may have a non-negotiable that needs added, its supposed to be whatever works for YOU.

Check it out and let me know if you have any questions…. oh, and, yes, I’m still struggling with my Starbucks addiction. Nonetheless, I am down to two times a week. #success

Take notice that my yearly expenses are more than my take-home income… which is why SAVING and finding ways to maximize your budget is super important.


First Year Associate Musings: Budget? What Budget?

Somehow I ended the month with some money, nowhere near the amount I wanted but it was more than zero. SUCCESS! 

My Starbucks visits have decreased so much that I’m expecting the cops to perform a safety check any day now. (Gold card members don’t just stop showing up). Bringing my Nespresso to the office was probably one of the best decision I’ve made in a long time. Instead of getting in the car to buy a mid-day latte, I turn my chair around and press brew. Plus side, my pods are a little over fifty cents a piece, so I’m saving a lot of money compared to my $4 a day soy lattes.

Ordering lunch is still a problem, though. It’s challenging to bring a lunch to work if I have to go to the courthouse in the morning because, even in a cooler, my lunch doesn’t stay cool enough to be safe to eat when I return to the office. And, I’m too lazy most mornings/nights to pre-pack my lunch… or even go grocery shopping. So, I’ve resigned to the fact that I will order lunch a couple of times a week, but I will ensure it is cost-effective and healthy. Additionally, I will start grocery shopping again and do my Sunday evening meal prep. This way I can bring a couple of days worth of lunches to the office on days I’m not in the courthouse first, so I always have something to grab when needed.

The new car has helped with my gas budget, too. I’m grateful now that I included a car payment line item before I even had a car! Although my monthly payment is $100 over what I anticipated, the amount I’m saving on fill-ups will compensate. And, it’s a nice car!

December ended with a significant amount of money saved… which all went to my down payment. Nonetheless, it is encouraging that I had more than enough in reserve to cover what my eventual car payment and student loan payments will require.

How are you doing with your  budget in the New Year?

What must have is not being cut out?