It’s Time To Budget!

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m here today to dish on all things budgeting! Yep, that’s right. Today we’re talking money. Specifically — how you save it. And then spend it.
I think sometimes people get nervous when the conversation goes toward talking about money. Why? Because our society is one the says “Hey! It’s none of your business!” And to a point – I get it. But when it comes to how we allocate money, save for big trips and plan out my funds for monthly expenses, I think it’s fair to share that information, especially if I think it can help someone else. Ya feel me?
So let’s get right to it!
First things first – it’s important to note that the majority of what I make goes into savings and we try to live off solely Dane’s salary. There are obvious loopholes to this (like when I want to surprise him or buy him a gift of sorts), but for the most part, we try to make sure that the majority of what I make goes into our savings account.
Now, my favorite topic — the holidays. I always found myself getting worried around the holidays — how am I supposed to use my regular paycheck for all my expenses PLUS gifts?! Do I dive into savings? Take out a loan? What the hell do I do?! When I met Dane, he and I developed a really handy way of dealing with this – every week, we put money aside for holiday spending in the number amount of the week. So, in January on Week 1, we each put aside $1.00. On Week 2, we each put aside $2.00. You see where this is going. By the end of Week 45 (the beginning of November, when I typically start Christmas shopping), you will have accrued $1,035.00!
Okay so my next favorite thing is vacation. Who doesn’t love a good vacation, am I right? We save for vacations on a monthly basis, by taking 10% of our monthly pay (5% of each paycheck) and depositing it straight into our vacation fund. This happens automatically, so we never even see the money, which helps in not wanting to spend it on stupid shit we probably don’t need from Target. We take one big international trip per year and we never feel guilty, because we save for it in a special bank account all year long.
Now, let’s talk about the not-so-fun things like rent (or mortgages), groceries and utility bills. These are never fun expenses, because it’s just the cost of living. It’s nothing exciting! We account for this with a RUG fund — Rent, Utilities, Groceries. We’re really clever, I know. 40% of each of our paychecks goes into this fund each month. Whatever we don’t use at the end of the month goes directly into savings. Some months it’s nothing, but every little bit helps.
So, if you’re keeping track by now we’ve allocated 50% of our pay to something. But where does the other 50% go?
30% automatically goes into savings. We never even see it and it’s better that way! And the remaining 20% goes to “fun money”. We use it for date night, meals out, a round of drinks at our favorite bar, a new pair of sneakers — whatever. But! The caveat of all of this, is that when the fun money is gone — it’s gone! No more! It’s VERY easy & tempting to dive your hand a little bit into the savings pot, because you really want to try out a new restaurant or upgrade your wardrobe. Believe me, sometimes the sales at Nordstrom just call my name…but don’t do it! You can resist, I promise 😉
Now that we’ve gotten all of MY budgeting out of the way.. I want to hear about  yours! I can’t wait to see your favorite tips and tricks 🙂

October 15, 2015

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  • Excellent post, friend! And seriously, thanks for talking about something no one talks about. We've struggled with savings since we got married because life has been throwing shit our way every. freaking. year. but it's nice to see it all broken down! Totally implementing your strategies!!

  • super interesting post, thanks for sharing! we don't have a set % that goes to this or that, but we really need to. i love that holiday savings plan idea. i have actually almost finished my christmas shopping, just a few bottles of wine and gift cards and i'm done. i can't handle the stress as it gets closer!

  • Love this linkup! We think very similarly as you as far as our budget goes; all savings, vacation money, and what we want to give to charity comes out first so we never even see it, and when the money is gone from a category we treat it that way! Peace of mind is so worth the restrictions (which actually are just allowing you not to be restricted later…)

  • Jen

    We are all about saving money, we have a set amount every month that goes into savings. We don't care too much about saving for vacations but it is a really good idea how you do it.

  • I like the holiday-saving plan. I might have to do that starting in January!

  • I've been waiting for this link up since you announced it – I love reading about how others budget and save!

    I've been meaning to start that holiday savings plan for a looong time now – I'm making sure to start it in January! My sister follows it, just in reverse – she puts more away starting in January and the closer it gets to the holidays the less she has to put away.

  • Jen

    Nice tips! Rather than save money for the holidays through the year, we buy presents. Kid toys always go on sale AFTER Christmas so that's the time to stock up!

  • Great tips! We allocate just about everything everywhere. Kids savings, school, IRA's, the list goes on. I like the holiday savings plan. We always end up shopping like two days before Christmas…not good. Chris does a ton of day trading and investing so much of the time we try to keep that as our fun money. Lord knows I can spend money faster than we can make it. LOL

  • Ooh I love this linkup! Do you have any plans to do it again in the future?

  • I really like your savings plan. My husband and I used to be really good about this, but we haven't been of late

  • these are such great tips – we are always trying to save but then it seems like some;thing major happens so we get in a jam & have to spend some. So frustrating.

  • Interesting saving 0plan for those couples with money to set aside each month.

  • I love your tip of making the money go straight into a fund. I need to do this. It would be so much easier to save if I never saw the money.

  • Great post!! I was a much better saver before I had kids!!

  • My suggestion is that if you are saving for Christmas is to reverse the chart. That way you start with more but as you get closer to the holidays (and have so many added expenses), you are required to put less in.

  • Great post! My fiance & I just started combining our incomes within this past month and have been doing just about the same thing– we have our paychecks set up at certain percentages going to savings, our joint bills checking account & then our fun checking accounts. We haven't figured out what to do for Christmas yet though so I love your idea!

  • Great tips! It's so important to have a saving!!

  • These are great budgeting tips. I usually set aside 15% for vacation. It is so important.

  • These are some great tips! I've found myself in a tough spot for the first time this year as I save up for surgery in December. These tips should help me be successful in my budgeting.

  • It's always a great idea to have a budget. Helps keep you on track and I love having a vacation fund. It always gives you something to look forward to!

  • Loved this post! I am always working on ways to manage our money so that we can save, take care of six kids, and travel. Traveling is important to us – so that is where our money tends to go. I joined your link-up . thanks for doing this! I have never hosted a link-up and have thought about it in the past.

  • Oh awesome! I love this post I'm always interested in ways to budget and save!

  • Omg love it!!! I'm going to have to check some of these pages out! Thanks for hosting 🙂

  • I really like the budgeting system that you have set up for the holidays. I think we should try this method out.

  • Loved this post! This year living on my own is the most seriously I've ever had to budget! I have a giant spreadsheet where I'm tracking everything and trying to stick to the limits I set myself… Would be easier if I could open savings accounts and such, or if any of my banking were in English, ha! But definitely need to implement a system like this next year when I'm back in the states and married 😉

  • Thank you so much for sharing. I love having a Christmas club account, perfect for the Holiday spending. I think this is a great idea for any type of goal. 🙂

  • I need to be better at budgeting! It is a major failing of mine!

  • Great post! I'll have to join in on this link-up someday 🙂 I'm passionate about budgeting!

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