Two of my favorite things are snowboarding and raving, both of which are not exactly cheap. Over the years, I have learned how to make a budget for myself, so I can still do things that I love, while not racking up a ton of debt. It doesn’t matter whether your hobbies are the same or different as mine; it’s about learning how to budget your money so you can still afford to pay your bills on time and have fun while you’re not working.
Figure Out Your Monthly Expenses
Take some time to write down exactly what bills you have and how much each of those costs. For instance, I spend x amount of money for my rent, car insurance, car payment, and phone bill. Then, figure out how many miles you drive per week on average. You can figure out about how much you will need for monthly gas expenses based on the mpg your car gets and how much gas averages in your area. Obviously, the gas prices change frequently, but this can give you an idea about how much you’re spending on gas. Once you get all of your expenses figured out, you’ll have an idea of the minimum amount to earn each month.
Decide What Matters To You
When it comes to raving, I need to decide which events I want to spend the money. Regardless of how badly I’d like to go to them all, I can’t. On the other hand with snowboarding, I have to decide which pass option is the most logical for me. As much as I would’ve liked the multi-mountain pass, the reality is it’s unlikely I’ll actually be able to travel to those places. Instead, I opted for the cheapest, single mountain pass.
If your hobbies are different, just figure out which option is most fitting for your lifestyle and budget. It may not be your first choice, but just remember to be practical with your decisions. If you can’t afford your first choice at this point, start saving so you can afford it next time around.
Saving Your Money
Now that you’ve figured out your expenses and what’s important to you, you’ll need to figure out how you can put aside money to save. The rule of thumb is to take 20% of your paycheck and put it in a savings account. However, not everyone is able to do this. If you can’t manage to put 20% into your savings account each month, then only do 5% or 10%.
Besides just putting aside money, there are other expenses that you can probably cut back on or completely cut out. Because I worked at Starbucks for over two years, I got accustomed to having a drink almost every day. Then, when I quit I started buying drinks there all the time. When you add up getting a $3-5 drink every day, the costs add up quickly. Instead, buy a coffee maker if you don’t already have one and start to make your coffee at home. You can even buy flavored syrups or anything to make it taste just like your fancy drinks.
Find a Side Hustle
Besides saving your money, you can also find new ways to earn outside of your regular job. Babysitting is usually my go-to side hustle because I’ve been babysitting and nannying since I was 12 years old. That might not be everyone’s thing, but if you have a special talent that you could make money from, why not try? If you’re interested in photography, you can reach out to high school seniors who need their senior photos taken. If you’re really good with cars and know someone who needs basic work done, you can charge them less than a mechanic would.
Another way to make some extra cash on the side is by selling your own creations or old clothes/items that you don’t use anymore. You can do this over Poshmark, Depop, etc., or even just on Instagram. People are more likely to trust going through a website/app rather than Instagram. H
How do you save money? I would love to hear your tips on how you save and put aside money!