Ballin’ on a Budget: September 2018

This is my final update about my 2 month challenge to get my sh*t together. To be completely honest, I failed miserably. I did not even come close to reaching my goals and in fact, I think I’m worse off now than I was 2 months ago. It’s sad and it doesn’t feel great, but now I know that that didn’t work for me.

I think the main issue is that I didn’t have a big enough goal to work on. I had a few landmarks I wanted to reach but the overall goal just wasn’t really there. Thinking back to my last two posts, I don’t even know why I decided to do the things I said I would do in the first place. I didn’t decide what I wanted or what was most important to me. I just said that I wanted to work on a few small things like beefing up my savings and balancing my credit card. They weren’t small steps to a larger goal. I want to be completely honest, but those aren’t strong enough goals. I think I finally realized that I need to put some work in and get my sh*t together and do something that will actually put me in a better position.

So to keep my Ballin’ on a Budget series going, I’ve picked a new goal. I’m giving myself 15 months to accomplish it, by January 2020. It’s a significantly bigger goal and it takes much more commitment, planning and patience to get there. By January 2020, I will be moving out of my current house and moving into an apartment of my own. I always knew it was important to have goals and be working toward something, but I didn’t really understand what that meant until I knew what I could be missing if I wasn’t constantly working toward something more important.

The first few steps of getting to save up enough money to feel comfortable moving into a new apartment on my own is going to be seeing where my finances are right now, putting together a monthly budget, and allowing myself enough flexibility to not feel restricted. In the last 2 months of my previous challenge, I felt so restricted trying to save and work on my credit that I ended up making it worse. I realize that I need to be realistic. It wouldn’t make any sense for me to make a budget that doesn’t leave room for some new clothes, wine and a night out with friends. Those are things that make me happy and keep me wanting to move forward. They are things I can look forward to so my next goal is going to allow for those things that make me feel good, but in moderation.

I’ll also need to figure out how much it would cost for me to live on my own and pay for rent, utilities, food, insurance, etc. I need an actual numerical goal to work toward otherwise, I’ll find a reason not to reach it. Once I figure that out for one month, I think it would be a good start to save for 6 months worth of rent and utilities. Depending on how long that takes me, then I can continue to save more or get started at actually finding housing that fits within my budget. I think this goal is realistic because I’m giving myself plenty of time to fulfill it.

I’m coming to a point where I realize that you can’t just float by if you want people to take you seriously. You have to have goals and be willing to work toward something, otherwise you’re just wasting everyone’s time. At this point, I would be silly to not figure this out and work on it. I would be missing out on so much more by not setting a goal and working on it.

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