Between Instagram and the insane amount of options we have for where/when/how we shop, it is easy to get pulled into the idea that more is more and forking over your credit card is the way to get it. Whether you are married, single, or cohabitating, it is important to have a budget for your expenses. If the word ‘budget’ gives you chills and you’re thinking ‘that is the least glamorous topic in the world’, hear me out. Would you rather be a badass lady boss who can afford 10 pairs of shoes without worrying about how to pay rent this month or the girl wearing the cute shoes that can’t afford to go out with her girlfriends because she is in so much debt she’s one bad month away from having her car repossessed? Even a simple budget keeps us chic.
Where you are in your life and what goals you have will help you determine what your budget is. For example, if you are fresh out of college at an entry level job, you may want to splurge on new clothes for this new job but may not have the funds (those student loan bills are pricey!). Figuring out what your monthly income and expenses are can help you determine what you have available to use for more strategic shopping choices.
If you’ve never sat down and done a monthly budget, here are a few things I do with my monthly budget:
- Physically write it out! Crossing off each item as you pay it can be very satisfying. Not to mention that you are more than 40% more likely to accomplish your goals if you simply put pen to paper and write them out.
- Be honest! If you spend any amount per week at Starbucks and aren’t cutting back, it needs to be an expense on your budget. Otherwise, you’ll continually go over budget and ‘wonder’ why.
- Expenses to consider: rent/mortgage, utilities, phone, student loans, car, gas, groceries, savings, and (of course) shopping.
A few years ago, I discovered Shoo! Jimmy Choo by Catey Hill. Aside from the fact that the pink book and reference to Choos caught my attention, I found the book while I was trying to navigate some heavy expenses and debts and the advice inside helped me get a clear image of what I really had going on in my finances. Not every chapter applied to me, but the ideas and worksheets helped me understand why I was spending and how I could spend more wisely. Being smarter about money has allowed me to be able to shop when I want and grab those cute shoes while they’re on sale.
Curious about the book? Check it out for yourself:
Shoo, Jimmy Choo! The Modern Girl’s Guide to Spending Less and Saving More by Catey Hill Amazon
If you’re lucky, you might find a copy at your local Half Price Books and start saving now!