It’s funny. I love talking about money. Well, other people’s money that is. I always hated discussing my own financial situation because I felt like I was a bad at budgeting. I read books by Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey, and Alexa Von Tobel, and I realized that I’m actually above average. Yea, me! But, I wasn’t always above average.
At one point, I had various credit cards and they were all maxed out. Later, I would come to the realization that I maxed them out during the same week each month. I’d buy clothes and other items I didn’t need and didn’t use. Luckily, I paid those off and reigned in my spending.
Then, I realized that I didn’t have money left over at the end of the month. I was at net zero in my budget. I thought it was a bad thing and kept trying to decide what to cut out. Here I was, teaching other people how to budget their money, and I was horrible at it! Only, I wasn’t and it turns out I was teaching them the right steps. You see, it’s good to have a net zero budget if you’ve allocated your money the right way. Lucky for me, that’s exactly what I was doing. Fifty percent of my budget went to essentials, like rent, groceries, transportation. Twenty percent went to my future, like my 403 (b), Roth IRA, and other investment vehicles. It also went toward paying for my graduate school student loans. Thirty percent went to entertainment. Now, I’m a pretty low-maintenance kind of gal, so my entertainment budget was pretty small. So, I re-allocated some of the funds to my future allotment by increasing how much I spent on paying off my debts. I also put a bit more into investment accounts.
Now that I am doing more reflecting on my financial situation, thanks to Hal Elrod’s Wheel of Life. I’m a bit weird. After reading that it costs over $230,000 to raise a child until it’s 17, I decided to save money as though I’m a parent. Will I get to the $230,000+? I don’t know. I do not think that kids need brand name clothes. I would likely sign my kid up for classes through Community Recreation and Education. I like to think that I would buy family passes to various museums though. I plan to invest the amount for those expenses, including food (I used the food stamp amount for a single woman with a child), into stable mutual funds.
This is just regarding the Level 10 Life Assessment. I’ll have in-depth budgeting posts later.