"Bood' jay? I'm sorry I don't speak French. Oh, Budget! Still kinda foreign to me."
At some point in my life, someone taught me the concept of personal budgeting. Maybe it was one of my parents, or a teacher, or most likely both. They taught it to me. It made logical sense. Then, I proceeded to spend the first decade and a half of adulthood leaving that knowledge tucked deep in my brain while I wondered why I never seemed to have money.
As I attempt to turn my finances around, the book Broke Millennial has once again introduced me to the concept of personal budgeting. You know what? This time I'm actually going to put it to use rather than let it collect mental dust in my brain, probably next to the plot from an episode of Boy Meets World. The book introduced a few different budget tracking concepts. I plan on attempting the "Count Every Penny" strategy. My goal for this is to get a better understanding of where my money is going.
As I start counting every penny, I'm going to try using the Mint app for personal budgeting. I'm not sure if it will be detailed enough to track everything. There have already been a few things I noticed that could be difficult. For example, I pay my rent with a debit card that cannot be accessed by through Mint. Having such a large living expense unaccounted for by the app could reduce its usefulness. I expect I'll have to use the app as one tool and supplement it with maintaining my own budget spreadsheets.
From now until the end of April, my goal is just to get a grasp on where my money is going. By the time May rolls around, I'll set a monthly budget to follow. Preliminary info from Mint shows my spending breakdown as follows:
Based on this information from Mint, it is possible to surmise I am both broke and really boring. Look at that! I'm already learning something on the first day of budgeting.
Do you have any tools or techniques you use for personal budgeting? Are my percentages way out of whack from normal humans? Let me know in the comments!
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Randy Miller is on a quest to move his life along the scale from completely sucking to sucking slightly less to potentially sucking very little. He isn't really sure how he'll do this, but maybe writing about it will help.
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