My First Budget

I’ve never really needed a budget. Sadly, that’s not because I’m independently wealthy – I just spent too many years with broke-ass parents, then working 2-4 jobs at once as a broke-ass student, then living for 7 years in Scotland where I never earned more than $10/hr. I just spent as little as possible so that I’d have enough left over to indulge my One True Love: travel.

These days I make 4x as much working less than half the hours, and I have no idea what to do with it. I know, it’s a GREAT problem to have, but I hate that moment at tax time when you see in black and white how much money has flowed into your coffers and you can’t think of one darn life-enhancing thing you did with it all. Except for my cool trips, which will no doubt feature frequently in this blog. Anyway, I’m trying to make sure I’m putting enough money where I should – you know, all that grown-up stuff like retirement savings and emergency funds. And since I descend from a family that I’ve nicknamed “The Moneytards”, I’m winging it armed with little more than a good head for numbers, a lifelong aversion to materialism, and a sometimes inappropriate degree of frugality.

My first step in figuring it all out is to monitor how much I spend on various things, so I’m tracking my spending on both Wesabe and Buxfer until one of them has all the features I want. I did something like this online with my food and exercise in order to lose weight with considerable success, so here’s hoping that it has a similar effect on my finances.

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One Response

  1. Hey,

    I’m the CEO of Wesabe. What features are you waiting on us to see? Drop me a line if you want: marc@wesabe.com.

    Good luck with the project. My suggestion is usually to figure out your top 2-3 discretionary spending categories (restaurants, books, or whatever it is for you), and cut back on just one of them for the first month. Makes it easier if you start small.

    Best,
    Marc

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