In case you were wondering, sadly it snowed a lot (for VA, haha) this weekend and we didn't get to make it rock climbing. Womp womp. So instead I spent my free time binge-watching Vanderpump Rules. I am obsessed with that show. Even better than rock climbing ;)
Here’s a common question I hear from my Budget Coaching girls:
“Ashley, I’m kind of scared for you to create my budget. Are you going to make me cut [Starbucks, fancy yoga membership, clothes & makeup shopping, manicures, etc] out of my budget?”
Short answer? --> No.
Long answer? --> Only if YOU decide that you want to cut them out.
Before I go any farther, I’m going to share one of my favorite quotes EVER (which I’ve undoubtedly shared here before)
“You can have anything you want, but not everything”
Here’s the thing. I hate the idea of cutting everything fun out of your budget. I don’t think it’s sustainable to live a life without spending money on “fun” stuff to make yourself happy.
a life without beer tastings = NO FUN.
But unless you're a gazillionaire or have fairly cheap desires, it's probably not possible for you to afford every single fun thing in life that you want.
So the main thing I do in Budget Coaching is show you where your money is currently going, and figure out how much money we can free up for the fun things you want to do.
For example, let’s say that your income is $2,000/mo. Your monthly rent, bills, groceries, debt repayment, retirement contributions, and all the other "must pay" stuff comes to $1,750/mo. That leaves you $250 of fun money.
So let's imagine that you tell me that you absolutely can’t live without your current fancy habits of:
$5/day Starbucks run (=$100/mo)
$100/mo yoga membership
$150/mo on clothes & makeup
$50/mo on manis/pedis
That adds up to $400/mo... so you’re already overspending your “fun” money, and that’s doesn’t even include random Target runs, restaurant spending, bars, and all those other little miscellaneous purchases that pop up each month.
In this situation, what I'll have you do is prioritize your spending and decide what is most important. Remember: you can have anything you want, but not everything.
Maybe you prioritize and decide that you will cut Starbucks to once a week (=$20/mo), keep the yoga membership, drop your shopping budget to $80/month, and cut out the manis/pedis completely. That comes out to be $200, so you’re left with $50 for all your other random spending in the month. Perfect! You still get the things that matter most to you, and you aren't overspending your income anymore.
So moral of the story: I will never MAKE you give something up. If you want it bad enough, we’ll figure out how to wiggle your spending so that you can afford anything you want... but probably not everything :)
What's your "fancy" habit(s) that you don't want to cut out of your spending?
Mine would be: Chipotle, occasional Target shopping sprees, teas (I am trying SO HARD to find the new Celestial Seasonings Strawberry Champagne tea at Target but no luck yet.. have you found it?), and nice beer.
PS- two important updates:
#1-- the Saving Money Challenge email/video for March is being sent out on Thursday! Make sure you're signed up on my email list so you don't miss out on the challenge! :)
#2-- The next round of Budget Coaching begins on March 1. Check out more info on the program HERE!