budgeting – the journey pt. 1

I don’t think I became an avid saver until I got my first real big girl job at the age of twenty three. It was pretty scary coming out of college with no job lined up and no real work history…for almost four months and monthly student loan fees due soon. Freak out central in my head. I remember my first paycheck consisted of $500 and I thought I was rich and made it a goal to save every little bit of money I could so that I had a proper nest egg.

I have come to find that I am not as frugal as I once was and have somehow become a bougie-ass girl….and I type this as I chow down on a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Salted Caramel Almond ice cream. Bougie.

Ross, Payless were stores that I frequented with my parents as a kid. I never really dreamed of going to the ‘fancy mall’ growing up and shopping at Nordstroms. In my mindset, the items in those stores were out of reach but once I had a steady income I began to explore other stores that weren’t Forever21 or H&M quite as often. I’m definitely not shaming anyone who shops at these stores since I do occasionally – I love Target to death.

From the moment I graduated college and landed my first big person job I was focused on two things: build a savings from scratch and pay down my student loan debt. All of which were possible because my parent’s never asked that I pay rent while I lived at home. Now that I’m on my own – almost without a roommate and searching for a place all for myself I’m stuck with this annoying pinch in my neck: how the hell can I be ballin’ on a budget? How in the world can I afford living in an area that is rapidly becoming just as expensive as the Bay Area. I’ve asked a few people how they budget. Some have simple plans while others are more complex.

So far I know what I can cut out of my monthly expenses…but it’s really a matter of if I really want to give things up. I can easily save $2500 in my annual budget if I were to cut out all the unnecessary spending like: getting lash extensions filled, going for my monthly mani/pedis, paying for Spotify and Netflix, and terminating my membership at 24 Hour Fitness. I’ve thought about doing some side gigs, random jobs for some extra cash like: Lyft or Postmates. This might be a good idea as I look into how I might be able to afford trips and things.

When I lay out how much I’m spending a year on certain things it’s puts things into perspective. That I can pocket $2500 for a trip somewhere or save it for a rainy day in case I lose my job or Elliott needs some sort of emergency surgery. I’ve been trying to figure out how it’ll be possible for me to own a home by the age of thirty. Something I’ve been vying for forever. A major accomplish that would definitely be – a girl who had $80 in her savings at the age of twenty three to owning a home.

Welcome to my slow and excruciating journey of #adulting.

xx/jack

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