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How I Budget My Money

I'm writing things on my blog that I'm super passionate about and you would've never guessed this 5 years ago.. but I NOW love to budget my money. Back in the day if I had something I was saving for like a Cancun high school graduation trip, I would save the money because there was something I needed it for. But when you have to save for "just in case" you REALLY don't want to. You'd rather buy a handbag or a vacation because why not.

It wasn't until I literally had a change of heart at my job in 2015 that I really started saving money.

I knew it was time to be an adult so I went ahead and started putting anything I could in my savings. Now.. it's a bit more organized. This is how I do it.

(not accurate salary because obvz except I did watch a Youtube video of a girl that disclosed exactly how much she made and where it all allocates to and I think that's TMI! But she was a freelancer so... it wasn't every 2 weeks)

Bi monthly paycheck: $2000 (after 401K and health insurance deducted from my paycheck)

- $50 for phone= $1950

- $50 for ROTH IRA= $1900

- $300 spending for the month= $1600

- $300 stash for flights, hotels, bday gifts= $1300

- $1200 for savings= $100

leave $100 in checking account to just have

Now for someone who is not paying rent, saving a lot is doable! You can save SO much money. The way I look at it is I'm saving for a home or a place I can call my own in the future so for me, it's still as though I'm needing the 'savings' for something. It you try to save for something, it will be easier. & If you set a goal for yourself for the end of every year, it will be easier to try to get there.


Colin swears by using cash to keep track of his spending but I'm a credit card girl. PS if you don't have a credit card, you should get one because you'll need it to build up your credit to ever buy a house. (I shared which ones I use below a bit.) How I do it is I'll keep track of how much I'm spending in my statement until it closes. Knowing your closing dates is suppppper important because if you spend $500 from Jan 1-30 you'll owe $500 on your due date of Feb 26 but if you wait to purchase that $200 flight on Feb 1st (just when your statement closes), then you'll owe the $200 on March 26th. It's crazy how much more time you get now to get that money saved up! I have 3 credit cards with all different due dates so I take turns on what card I use so I don't have a bunch due on one day. Also don't ever pay interest!

I think it's such a waste of money to have to pay interest on anything especially unpaid credit cards.

Try hard to pay it off before putting anything else on the card.


1. The ones I have are the Chase Freedom which is point based and I end up getting some cash back every couple months. There is no annual fee for this one which is awesome.

2. United Mileage Plus is great as a travel card and I earn miles and fly for free a lot on United. It is $95 a year (waived the first year) but I think it's worth it from all the miles you can earn to use for travelling. You also get 2 United Club Passes which is a place in the airport where you get free food and drinks (alcohol included) and WIFI while you wait for your flight. It's awesome and I'm obsessed with it.

3. Then I have the Citi American Airlines card which is similar to number 2 and gives you miles but just on American Airlines. This one is also $95 a year (waived the first year) but I get at least 1 or 2 flights free a year. This one doesn't give you any Club access like United which kind of stinks.


Sometimes it may just seem like a $4 uber or a $8 blouse and it's nothing but everything ADDS up!! You can easily spend $50 in ubers a month and that comes out of your $300 budget so now you only have $250 to spend eating out! I mean that's where my money goes but who's asking... I have a list in my notes that's like a tally like this:

$300 for the month

-$5 uber

-$20 dinner

-$15 marshalls

-$10 lunch

it'll help you keep track and just tell you where you're at for the month. Make sure to put in those $3 charges too because IT ALL ADDS UP.

My notes on my phone is where I do all of my tracking.

I have a separate excel spreadsheet that's pretty much like the first table above but notes is easily accessible and I write down all my credit card statement closings, etc in there.

Make money on your savings!

I just transferred all of my savings into the Discover Savings account because my brother swears by it. I've never been so excited to get hundreds of dollars for doing nothing!! I used to have my savings in my Chase account because it was easy to transfer over once I got paid, but they have such an easy way to transfer over to Discover too! Discover pays you 1.4% back from your savings when Chase only does .01%. It's crazy!! If you have $10,000 in your savings, you'd get $1 back for the whole year. with Chase. And if you have your money in Discover, you'd get $140 for the same $10,000! For doing nothing! It's insane. Here's the link to sign up. And no I don't get anything if you sign up- I'm just in love with it!

I hope this helps someone- let me know if you have any questions!

Here are some journals (under $25) if you prefer to write things down:

xoxo ela

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