Congratulations! You survived the longest month of the year! I always feel like January drags on and on and on. Before the new year, I sat down with my budget and set some goals for the year, like paying off major debt, find my own apartment when my current lease is up - meaning no roommate to split the bills with, and just generally practice better spending. I then looked at how I spent money in 2018 to set the new budgets for 2019. Now that January is passed, it’s a good time to re-evaluate your budget. Were you able to stick to the goals you set before the new year? And if you went over budget, are there areas you could be more disciplined in? Are there areas within your budget where you were too strict with yourself? The key is to set yourself reasonable goals so that you can actually stick to them throughout the month.
So, here are my 2019 Financial Goals:
Credit Card & Personal Loan Debt Free - $25,000 cumulatively between credit cards and personal loans, 2 of which will be paid off by May!
Afford to Live Alone - $1500/Month for Rent (hopefully I’ll be able to find somewhere nice for cheaper than this though)
Break Bad Money Habits - I.E. ordering takeout multiple times a month….ok week
To achieve my goals this year, I am taking on more freelance clients and being really mindful about how and why I am spending my money.
Below are my budgets for January and February. After evaluating January’s spending, I tweaked a few of my budgets for February. The first budget to be tweaked was my debt snowball. I am aiming to be debt free by the end of the year makes this payment huge but I freelance to finance the payment. January happened to be a good freelance month so I was able to put more money on those payments. Next I tweaked my Groceries budget, you’ll notice I budgeted even less than I did in January, but this is because January was a stock up month and I went over because I failed to budget for stocking up on paper goods and switching from a semi-vegetarian diet to full vegan. I know my self and my eating habits, so I am confident I can maintain the budget I gave myself for February and moving forward. This month, I also need to tighten up my spending on personal care and restaurants, so rather than making those budgets larger, I left them as they were to teach myself to be more disciplined.
I use my miscellaneous budget for events that pop up throughout the month, birthday gifts I forget to buy in advance, shopping for clothes etc.. January was a tough month I treated myself a few too many times, so I left the budget the same for February because, again, I need to be more disciplined here. I think it’s important to mention, that though I went over budget in a few areas, I still came in under budget for the month. I intentionally do not budget every single dollar every month because you need a little wiggle room so that you’re not reaching for credit cards when you’ve run out of money for the month. I also budget the full amount of split bills because the full amounts come out of my bank account and mentally I need the reminder that those whole amounts come out before anyone pays me.
What are your financial goals for 2019? Want to chat about how I hold myself accountable to the budgets I set myself? Leave me a comment below!