Tag Archives: debtfree

Back To Frugal

Back to Being Frugal

First off.. I need to sincerely apologize for my lack of posts.. ya see I have had a lot going on the past few months, let me fill you in and let’s get Back to Frugal!

I finished graduate school in November!! (Boo for more student loans though). I did however land a new job in my field that I am super happy with! Along with this job came some big changes. I moved to a new state, by myself, away from my support system! Oh, and I got a puppy!!

Meet JJ everyone he is an adorable Lab/terrier mix and is about 4 months old

Now do the math here graduates in November it is now May.. yep! School loans are starting to kick in which means I also need to kick my butt into gear and Get Back to Frugal! To start out I decided to set a small goal for something I know is coming up. Side note, I already have a 1,000 emergency fund. Now I know come October I’ll need all new tires and new brakes so I’m expecting this to be about $600 total since each tire is $125.

My first goal… save $600 in 5 months, while living paycheck to paycheck and paying all of my other bills, Whoa! This might feel unrealistic so let me start from the beginning and breakdown my budget to see where I can pull this from. You can also check out my post on Budgeting for Beginners here!

budget excel.PNG

(Sorry the photo is so small it was really hard to fit in one line..ugh too many bills!)    🙂

Soo, as you can see I have a few bills already entered that I have paid off this month. For me the “misc” is for any funds that can change like food and gifts.  I have $100 as a limit. now I have a family graduation party and there is Father’s day which my family always celebrates. So I need roughly $40.00 for gifts. this leaves $60.00 for groceries. Now this I can do!

My goal now is to save $40.00 from that grocery budget. This is going to take some creativity. I have 11 days to plan food more on $20.00, it’s a good thing I have a stocked pantry! But, I will be posting about frugal foods and meal planning at a later date ;).

I have lots of food just sitting around for when I am in the mood for it.. so let’s get in the mood for it and use it up! Here is breakdown of my food list for the next 11 days this includes lunches and dinners so that is 22 meals. (FYI I eat overnight oats every morning MMM so good!)

Rice and Veggies- 4 meals

Chicken Stir fry-4 meals

Pasta and Meatballs- 4 meals

Chicken and Stuffing-2 meals

Egg and Turkey Bacon Quiche-3 meals

Chicken soup- 2 meals

Pizza- 2 meals

The $20.00 Will be used on the essentials on this list. Eggs, Milk, and Turkey Bacon. I will probably have some $ left over to throw at my savings balance but I like to leave a few $$ for food emergencies like forgetting my lunch or a client meeting where it might be necessary to eat out (I do get reimbursed for work lunches but I have to front the money and expense it at a later date).

and THAT is my take on saving money when there is none to save! What are your go to saving tips? I’d love to hear from you about them!! Comment below or feel free to contact me directly 🙂





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 was 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, 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.

Setting a Budget

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., 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. 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 Kelley.aroura@gmail.com