Learning to budget

I’ve posted before about debt issues this year and having to take out a debt management plan to deal with things. It’s been a tough 2015. Even though my debts will go down and payments are being made I still have the issue of having very little money left over once the monthly direct debit has been taken.

There’s also a bigger issue of discussing it. I had a chat with a fellow debt sufferer this week and she mentioned something I agree with in that it is a bit of a taboo. It’s very hard to say to someone I am in debt. The amount of times I’ve tried to discuss having no money and people saying they don’t too before booking a holiday or going to the theatre and so on while I mean I have no money and am resorting to jam sandwiches for lunch.

It’s been particularly hard this month with all the Xmas parties. I’ve had to turn down several and as they are with work or book club it’s with people who are not my closest friends and I’ve found it hard to say why I can’t join in. I’ve accepted that I can’t do it but I’m wary of telling people why I can’t go in case I get pitying looks or worse people offering to pay for me (it has happened). As kind a thought as that is it actually makes me feel worse.

I’ve been terrible with budgeting this year. Even though my debts are now on one payment and I pay my other bills on time I find that I just can’t make any remaining money last the month. I thought about trying to split my money equally over the weeks each payday but having not budgeted for Xmas presents that went pear shaped pretty quickly. Which brings me to the envelopes. In my conversation this week I was told about an app (with a one off fee) where basically it has you putting each bill into envelopes with each one marked as to what it is: gas, electric, rent etc. Then if you feel the need to spend on silliness (cigarettes for some – takeaways for me or books. Always books!) then you are aware that you are basically robbing your rent money and it is supposed to make you stop and think about what you are doing.

I’m ok at leaving my bill money alone; it’s the rest I struggle with. I don’t save for holidays, Xmas or even just a meal out because I’ve usually spent it on something silly so I’m going to starting January payday have my own envelopes for these things and see what happens. Maybe then next year I CAN go to the Xmas parties because I will have saved up enough money by budgeting properly 🙂

 

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2 thoughts on “Learning to budget

  1. I know being at the bottom can be frustrating. Just know that half of those people who say they are “broke” and then go on vacations are absolutely swimming in debt. 7 years ago I was exactly where you are now. I made minimum wage, lived paycheck to paycheck, and even started budgeting by using the envelope system!

    It has paid off big. I have a much bigger savings/investment cushion than most people my age. I still listen to my friends complain about money (friends who make much more than my husband and I do) and in the same breath they invite me to do expensive things with them. It doesn’t matter that they make $90k or more a year because they’re still in debt and living paycheck to paycheck.

    Stay strong!

    • Thank you for your kind words. I’m sure you are right in what you say
      about others. I am just being grumpy
      You are the 3rd person to now say how good the envelope system is. It really does sound like fantastic yet simple solution and I can’t wait to start it next month

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