Have any of you recently moved in with your significant other? Or maybe you've already been living with yours? Ever made a monthly budget and all of the sudden had scary numbers telling you that you make way less money and spend WAY more money than you thought you have?
That was my week. And let me tell you, friends, life is expensive.
Since we moved in together M and I have been talking about making a monthly budget. Living in the city is just plain expensive and with me getting my masters and working only part time, we both knew it would be smart to make one and to stick to it (aka bye bye pretty shoes...)
This was definitely a learning experience for me. I've never created a monthly budget before. I've been more of a check my bank account every couple of days type gal. Going through everything we spend money on in a month and putting it in ink was a bit terrifying. Now that I'm not working full-time, it was definitely a wake-up call to realize how much my budget needs to change.
So, M and I sat down and listed every category we spend money on or will be spending money on during a month to month basis. Aka, rent, utilities, food, travel, going out, clothes-etc. We then decided how much money we can spend or have to spend in each category.
Half way through I had to take a break to go sit in a corner and have a good cry. Stress hit me in full force and all of the sudden life just seemed too impossibly expensive.
When I came back out from having my moment, M put on a song for me that we like to sing to one another, and it made all of the difference.
Ever listen to Ingrid Michaelson? She's my fav. She has a great song called "You and I" that says,
"Don't you worry there, my honey
We might not have any money
But we've got our love to pay the bills"
Although, our love can't pay the bills literally (it be pretty awesome if it could) this song reminded me how lucky I am for what I do have and put my stress in perspective. I'm so lucky to be able to afford to live in Boston while in school. I'm very lucky to have a roof over my head and enough food to keep me well fed. And I've got M and our cute little apartment.
So, my advice?
Making a budget is important. It keeps you on your toes and realistically makes you realize you may not be able to afford those adorable boots this month. I suggest while making one to take a break, though, and take a moment to live in the beauty of what you do have. If not it can get way too stressful.
So, take a break, enjoy a glass of wine and relish in your love and know the rest will follow. At least that's what I'm hoping.
Any tips of your own?