How To Budget For Beginners

One of the MANY questions I get asked is…”How do I start a budget?!”
So go get a cup of coffee/tea (hey, whatever works!) and come back to join me on this extensive post all about the dreaded budget!

How to Budget For Beginners

How to Budget For Beginners

Top Tip!

Now my top secret tip for beginners is to set up your budget and just do what you normally do for a month. Track your spending habits, your bills, your income. Gather it all neatly and simply watch what you are doing. this allows you to see where your money is going and what you can cut back on vs. what you cannot stop doing.

My second tip on budgeting is to start small! Don’t overwhelm yourself. All life changing habits do not occur over a month. this is trial and error and for the first few months you will not reach your goal, and that is okay! During the first month of tracking my spending, I spent (ugh can’t believe I am admitting this!) 545.82 on Mics. items, this is eating out, clothing, and anything that is not really needed. I set up a miscellaneous fund of $100 to have fun with for the month, this meant eating out with friends, doing a little shopping, hey a girl has got to have a little fun..RIGHT?! but I was 445.82 over what I thought I could do. The next month I upped my allotment for the month to $200.00 and I was able to keep that goal.

How do I set up my budget? First, I break it down into categories based on my bills.

  • Rent
  • Groceries
  • School Loans
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto Loan
  • Insurance (car)
  • Gas
  • Phone
  • Miscellaneous

Second, I calculate what is needed to make minimum payments on all necessities. Next, I allow myself that much money to pay them. I calculate how much money I will have left. I think of all the things I will need that month, a haircut, a birthday gift etc. and I add this into my mics. allotment. Take all income, savings, and debts and place them on a spread sheet, I use Exel for this.

Now, what do I do with the money I have saved that month? I take ALL of it ( I already have an emergency fund) and put it towards the debt with the highest interest rates, which right now happens to be my auto loan.

Personally, I do not use the snowball effect not that I think there is anything wrong with it, I just don’t believe its right for me.The best way for me to pay down my debt is to focus on how much  interest will be paid over time and try to knock that down as low as possible.

I really hope this beginners budgeting plan has helped motivate you to start tracking your spending and to create your own budget. Please share your budgeting tips in the comments below! 

and if you still need some motivation check out my Favorite Financial Quotes.

I love to hear from my readers so feel free to email me to

What Is Frugal Living?

What is frugal living, click here to visit and find out!

As I begin this journey of frugal living I have had a lot of people ask me what that means. Frugal living can mean many different things to different people.
To me the word frugal is about being logical with finances, it is not about being cheap.
It is knowing my income and my debts and finding the best way to pay those debts off as fast as possible.During this process, I will be evaluating my values and be making lifestyle changes. Yes, I will be cutting corners but I will not be missing out on the things that really matter to me. I will be prioritizing my life and my finances. Come along with my and I’ll show you how…

For the past month (June) I have been tracking my expenses and examining my wants vs needs. I have been gauging a pretty good budget for my lifestyle needs through this budgeting process. I plan on finishing out July by tracking the expenses and being a bit more mindful of my spending. I have been using these quotes to stop impulse buying. this tactic has been really helping me determine my wants and needs.

Next month I plan on setting a budget and trying to stick to it for the first time! I plan on posting about this experience and the tricks I use to get through it.

Do you have any tips you think I should be using? Comment below and let me know!

Favorite Financial Quotes


Use these financial quotes to curb spending and impulse buys.

Use these financial quotes to curb spending and impulse buys.

I am a huge book-lover. No seriously I love reading, almost as much as a love writing! So, I thought we can chat a bit about our favorite quotes. Keeping on topic here, let me share with you my favorite financial quotes.

This one was hard to narrow down because really how can you choose?! These are my go to quotes when I am having a rough day and stressing about saving money. Seriously, I have a copy of these printed and sitting where I can see them at my desk.

“If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability”. –Henry Ford

Having money will not bring you independence, the experience, the knowledge, and the ability to be debt free will give you the freedom you so desire.

“Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant”. –P.T. Barnum

We are all servants to paying our debts, until they are served we will never be a master of money.

“Try to save something while your salary is small; it’s impossible to save after you begin to earn more”. –Jack Benny

One of the best ways to pay off debt is to earn extra money! Do odd jobs for a few extra bucks, save your spare change, any small amount can be saved and out as an extra payment to debt which will also help reduce the interest you are paying.

Here is my favorite quote when I want to put something on a credit card…

“Every time you borrow money, you’re robbing your future self”. –Nathan W. Morris

I always try to remember this. If I have to use my credit card, I really determine if this object is a want or a need. At this point, I am trying my hardest not to put any more on that credit card. Unless it is a true emergency, this quote has stopped so many impulse buys!

So my question for you….What is your favorite financial quote? Don’t have one? Go google search and comment! I love to hear from readers and get their input.

This post has also been involved in a link party Hosted by Mama’s Gone Crafty. Check it out by clicking the photo below!

10 Things That Make Me Happy

Did you ever just wake up and know it was going to be a crappy day? I have created a list of my top 10 favorite go to things when I need a pick me up. So, here are the top 10 things that make me happy.

  1. Books

I love to read almost as much as I love to write. I can easily read a book in 3-5 days. Would you be interested in my top books? Comment below and let me know!

  1. Coffee

Vanilla coffee with French vanilla creamer is where it’s at. This stuff can put a smile on my face during a tornado. Not kidding, I get very grumpy if I miss my coffee for some reason. FYI tip here- if you run out of creamer use a scoop of ice-cream…You Are Welcome!

  1. Family

I know my family is pretty cray-cray and annoying at times, but they are also some of the only people who know me well enough to bring a smile to my face.

  1. Friends

The family I get to choose. I have learned a lot throughout the years and friends are a lot like fireflies they come light up your life and then go away. Sometimes they come back and sometimes the light just fades. But there are a select few who stick around and even though there are miles between us it’s like we are still on the same page. There is nothing like talking to an old friend that understand where you come from during a rough patch in your life.

  1. Work

Yea, work can actually make me happy If it is something I love. Take this blog for example, it’s work but I LOVE it, I hope you do too. In fact, if you do love it let me know by joining me on Facebook and be the first to know when I post a new blog!

  1. Saving Money

I love being frugal with my money and saving. I have quite a few tips and tricks on this but I will save those for a later date.

  1. Beauty Products

I Like girly things, but I also like being frugal with my money so I only buy the things I think are worth the money. Some of those things, urban decay eyeliner, Lush conditioner, Perfectly Posh moisturizer and I might be a little obsessed with nail polish!

  1. Showering

Is it weird that I have showering on my list? It totally makes me feel better when I am in a bad mood though!

  1. Walking

I am not one for exercise it has never been my thing. I mean, I weigh 110 so why would I waste the time? I do however love to take walks when I am in a rough spot. I get inspiration and my mind just flows. I have gotten quite a few blog post ideas from just taking a 30min walk.

  1. Leggings-

Yep I went there! Nothing like leggings on a day where you don’t want to put pants on and you have to go to work. It’s okay though, I don’t wear them as pants. I make sure my shirt is long enough to cover my butt, and sometimes I even wear them with a skirt. If you have that annoying girl posting on Facebook about her LuLaroe business, for the love of all things holy just be friends and buy from her! She knows her shit and these things really are amazing… Judge me if you want to…#noshamehere


I’d love to hear some of your favorite things that put you in a good mood. Comment them below..

5 tips for getting a raise

5 tips for getting a raise

I have been working for a childcare center for the past 4 years. I absolutely love being with the children. But, as we all know the pay for a childcare teacher is not so great. I’m talking that I have been living off of less than $11.50/ hour for the past 4 years! I have a Bachelor’s degree and over $40,000 in student loans alone. On top of that, I am also in the process of getting my Master’s Degree and adding even more debt to the pot. I am living paycheck to paycheck and praying an event doesn’t occur that I will need an emergency fund cause we all know it is non-existent.I decided to grow a pair and ask my boss for a raise. Let me tell you a few things I have learned along the way!


Be prepared by planning 6 months ahead. Have a goal set, and learn where you stand within the company. How are you valued? What can you improve on? Make sure you actually deserve the raise you are asking for.

Make a list of reasons you do deserve a raise:

I am an employee who never calls off, who is on time, and who gets their work completed by the due dates. Who helps others to overcome their struggles and succeed in the workplace. I am also a part of the moral building team that the company nationally offers. I have taken 2 separate courses to become a leader and move up within the company.

Make a list of areas to improve:

Sometimes I make negative comments about the workplace. I am always ready to rush out the door. I don’t switch hours with coworkers. I don’t work overtime. I can put more effort in the weekly newsletter.

NOW, you have 6 Months to work on those areas to improve! I know making a list of your negative attributes can be hard. Everyone wants to think the best of themselves, there has to be an area you can improve on. If you are still struggling with this step, ask a coworker /or friend to help you out but do not hold what they tell you against them. They are only trying to help your future (and YOU asked for it)!

2.Make It Known

It is never a good idea to surprise your boss. Give them plenty of warning before actually discussing a raise. Tell them how you feel in a private discussion. Ask to talk about your income after work one day. Tell them you are struggling. Make it known you are on a strict budget. Don’t overdo this step and make it a pity party. Just let management know about the situation, they may be able to give you overtime opportunities.

  1. Ask What Can Be done?

During the discussion in the previous step, you also want to be sure to ask what can be done to improve and either promote within the company or get a raise. Remember you still have 6 months to plan for. The answer to this question from your boss should closely resemble the areas you are already working to improve on. I told you to do this for multiple reasons. The first being, you won’t be upset hearing it from someone else. The second reason being, it will show you what the company is looking for.

4.Follow Up

Time is up! It has been 6 months you have been rocking the positive attitude and you are now ready to ask your boss for a raise! Remember to give them some warning to handle the discussion. Ask the day before to have a time set for you to sit and discuss your performance. This allows your boss to think over your efforts. It also makes you reliable for sticking to your discussion, NO TURNING BACK NOW! Follow up with your discussion and state the things you have improved on and ask if they agree. Tell them you are still struggling and ask if they can increase your salary. You should also study and review the current earnings and how much raises within your company typically are. Usually anywhere from 2-5%. Be ready to negotiate this rate and have a set number you will refuse. Which leads me to the next step…

5.Take Action!

If you are still told no, without a reasonable explanation, it’s okay to find another source of income. Don’t ever feel locked into a job. If you work hard and are consistently a great employee, chances are another company will see that and offer you what you are worth. This may be challenging and downright stressful, but I promise you will not regret it.

Personally, I was told that I have had the most percentage raises I was allowed and that management does see where I deserve a raise, but the budget is already set and there is not room for a raise. I kept my cool and I went home and researched job openings, within 3 weeks I found a new job, and in a totally different field. I have never been happier! I make more money, I have more control of my day, I am responsible for my own actions and getting my work done on my own time. Management is amazing, and I have already excelled beyond my expectations in the 3 months I have been there.

The point of this blog is if you love your job and deserve a raise just plan ahead and ask for it! If they say no be brave and move on. Someone out there will appreciate you and the work you will do. Have you ever asked for a raise? Do you have a tip to share? Please leave a comment and tell us! If there is something you would like to see feel free to email me at, or come on over to my Facebook, like the page, and get the latest updates on future blogs!

Meet The Girl Behind The Blog


Thank you for stopping by my blog. I want to welcome you to my little slice of heaven on the internet. Here I will explain what I am all about and explain the girl behind the blog. So, buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Who Is Kelley Aroura?

The girl behind the blog. I want my readers to be aware that this is a pen name. Kelley Aroura evolved about 6 years ago during my undergrad classes. I used this name to complete a social assignment and Kelley has stuck with me through the years. Let me assure you Kelley is no made up person, it is still me and my views and I use it now as only a way to keep my privacy.

My blogging inspiration:

My intentions with this creative outlet is to just be real. I want you to come along with me during this blogging journey. I will talk about my life and the things I learn along the way.

What this blog is all about:

I am currently focusing this blog on paying off debt, and the best ways to do that. I will have some fun stories and experiences along the way (and food, because who doesn’t love food?!). Thank you for joining me on this great excursion.

Contact me:

I am new to blogging and just starting out so please feel free to leave me any advice. If you like it, comment and let me know. If you there is something else you would rather know that I did not cover, email me at and suggest it. I love hearing from readers so don’t be shy, I promise to reply!