Hey everybody! Thank you for making it back over to my corner of the web. I know that it’s been a while since I last posted, but if you read the prior post here you would know I’m engaged and very busy. Beyond that, the new Overwatch season started and I’m full time at work, so I don’t spend a lot of time on my computer at home anymore. I’m going to try to be more frequent. So, without further ado, this is my budgeted life month 3.
May was crazy. It was a month full of joy, laughter, and fun. It was also a month where I got complacent. I have stated prior that Dave Ramsey (whose program I am following) has stated that it usually takes 90 days to get the perfect monthly budget going, but it may take me this fourth month to really maximize my debt repayment. That is because May was a whirlwind and I was not as diligent as I should have been. Additional income was the name of the game this month. I received some money as graduation gifts (thank you to those who gave me said money, you’re all amazing). Normally, this would pad a budget, and make things easier, and for the most part it did. However, I took off a week from work after my ceremony to spend time with my family, and realized that forgoing a week’s pay is not exactly the smartest thing to do when you’re on a budget. It was worth every second, and I don’t regret it, but I’m very happy to be back on a regular budget and non-fluctuating income as I start my full time career. June will be more uniform and I’ll be able to speak about my final budget more then.
Like I said earlier, this month was all about learning how to handle additional income. Seeing as I do freelance work sometimes outside of work, sometimes I’ll be lucky enough to make more than I had originally planned for the month. I saw this as “free money” to do with what I pleased. And when you’re not in debt, that’s exactly how you can view additional income. It’s a nice feeling to take a little bit off the top of your monthly haul when it’s bigger than you planned for it to be. The thing is, this doesn’t work for people who are in debt, and a lot of people are. When you are in debt, extra money you make doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to your creditors. That’s a really crappy thing to admit, but I have to accept that from now on when I make additional income, I need to simply plug it into my budget as such and add it up to my “debt payment” budget item.
This may sound like a really crappy way to spend that little bit extra you earned. Give it away? You earned it (or sometimes it’s given to you, as I said earlier), and you want to get yourself something. However, it was that instant gratification mentality that put me into debt, and its forgone gratification that will get me out. All the extra money I make once I’m in the green can go towards my video gaming or my Star Wars merch collection. For now, I have to give credit where credits due, literally.
Fortunately, despite my poor allocation of my excess income, I did find ways to boost income and to cut some more costs which I can apply for the rest of June to save money. The biggest thing I did was start my full time career as a software developer. I graduated on May 6, 2017 and took a position at the firm I interned at for the previous 11 months. While it may not seem like the cleverest way to increase income, there are some things to take away if you are currently in college or starting new careers. Don’t discount the value of an internship. While interns may not always make the big bucks, they learn about company culture and the skills that that company is looking for. It gives a candidate time to prove that they fit in on the team and are a good hire. The pay raise I got with full time will make it much easier to pay back my debts and to plan my monthly income.
Beyond starting full time I also became much more conscious about how I drive around. Not only am I a little leadfooted at stop lights, I also drive way more than I need to. Sometimes I’ll drive home for lunch from work even though I have food at the office. Other times I’ll drive to grocery store across the street when I could walk there. Conserving gas is a great way to save money and keep a little extra in the budget for the month.
That’s all I have for May. I’m always learning about my own spending habits, and this series has helped me share some of what I’ve learned. Not only that but it keeps me accountable for this plan I’m on. I know if I share my progress with others, I’ll be much more motivated to get out of debt as fast as I can. Thanks again for reading! If you learned anything or you have any tips or tricks to share with me, consider commenting below, or on whatever site you saw this posted on. Have a great day!