They say "Easy Come, Easy Go", and I immediately think about my money. Getting paid once a month really sucks and usually by the 10th of the month I am totally flat broke. Especially when I was used to getting paid every other week and quite a bit more than I am making now. If it was just me that I was supporting my money would go a bit further I think. My income was never meant to support more than one person. But for three years I was doing considerably well.
But, then my relationship failed and my ex took off to Atlanta which threw me behind in every aspect of my life. I got behind on my electric, cable, rent and just about every other aspect of my life. I ended up losing my condo and from that moment forward I gave been struggling.
In December I finally got tired of struggling and made a move to try and correct that situation. At this point I have come to stay with a friend and his partner. I have taken control of my medical situation and have reached out to try and get myself established in Jacksonville. January has been a month of appointments trying to get the care I need and establish myself with the appropriate agencies that can help me and keep me off the streets.
Though this journey is just beginning I am hoping that they end result will bear the fruit that I need. But if January is going to be any guage as to how things are going to be then I maybe in trouble. Because before I knew what was happening my money was gone and the struggle has been real. Though my luck has turned around a bit with credit. I fear that it might cause me to drift back in the wrong direction financially. So this evening I started laying out a plan to get a budget in place that should help me plan a bit more towards saving money.
Further, by encouraging my partner to fill out and get food stamps will help with the food situation thus making February easier financially. This month was full of unexpected expenses that I shouldn't have next month. There were 3 trips to and from Daytona that I had not planned on or prepared for. With that being said I know that next month there will be trips back to handle legal business but after that things should go back to normal. I am not sure what the outcome of court is going to be but I am hoping that no matter what I will be able to start saving money so that I can finally get into a new place that has everything that I would like to have again.
Flying by the seat of your pants and not budgeting adequately can lead to living from paycheck to paycheck. This year it is my goal to get away from living that way. I fear that the next several months are going to be full of struggling to get to that point because I know that no matter how well you plan unexpected expenses crop up. Yet by May I hope to have created a buffer that will take care of those. But as with everything in life you have to start from square one and move forward.
I have never found a way to jump ahead and stay there. Because there is always something lurking around every corner that you haven't thought about or included in your original planning. When I was working full-time and I had money it was easy to over spend and live beyond my means. Then when I got sick, unplanned and unexpected, I was forced to leave the work force and depend on social security. This was definitely something that I wasn't used too and I still struggle with the amount that I currently make.
Though I do believe that I am finally getting the hang of things and becoming more comfortable with my means. I still find that my money goes out way faster then it comes in. Yet, with the proper help and support from my partner I think that it will become much easier in the future. I know in the past that we talked about money and finances, but apparently it was a lesson that I needed to learn all over again. Because here we are talking about it once again. The one thing to keep in mind is that if you have more withdrawals than deposits it is easy to go out of balance and negative. Therefore it is important to know what your expenses are and budget accordingly.
In my budget I am padding in a $100 buffer each month. This will be applied to savings and will add up rather quickly. This will I hope give me the opportunity to eventually replace the things there I have lost and give me the ability to fix some of the negative things that are affecting my credit at this moment.
In a couple of months hopefully I will be able to come back to you and report that "Easy Come, Easy Go" is no longer something that I fear. That I will be able to report to you I have stopped living from paycheck to paycheck and that I have been successful in saving money each month.
Here is my advice to you on a simple budget. Gather all your monthly bills and expenditures together from the previous month, pull out a notebook and at the top record your projected monthly income. From there it is simply enough to create a line item for each bill subtract it from your projected income and keep a running tally of what you have left after each line item. As you pay each bill go back to your budget and record your actual. Compare your projected and actual and keep track. This will also be useful to you when balancing your checkbook each month.
As I have noted some of my projected payments will not be as high as my actual so already I have created a buffer and will be able to save more in the long run or that is my hope and goal.
As always my hopes and dreams are with you. Laugh often, love much and live well.