A Breakdown

Hello there. It has been brought to my attention that some of the ways I’m able to save money, or some of my “benefits” have not been clearly established.

As well I have revamped my saving method slightly. So I have decided to dedicate this post to fully analyzing and breaking down my saving method so that people in different financial situations can tweak it to fit their needs.

Okay, so I will break down every perk that I recieve currently and then breakdown my personal saving method and then finally outline how someone in a different situation could utilize these tools for saving.

My Situation

I just graduated College. So naturally I owe some money – $14,000

I have credit card debt from school as well – $2000

I pay $75 a month for utilities in my current living situation.

and then I have some smaller costs (Spotify, gym membership, etc) that come out of my accounts monthly.

The Perks

So I am super lucky to have people in my life that are willing to help me out.

First and foremost, my grandma is allowing my partner and myself to live with her for a bit while we start our careers and save money. This saves us each between $500-$1000 a month. So let’s call it $750 saved. (Shoutout Grandma!)

My mother helps me out by covering certain things for me, My phone bill, and she supplies the Netflix for everyone aha (Thanks Mom!) This saves me about $100 a month.

And lastly my partner lives with me so anything that we spend money on there is a good chance we’re going halfsies on it, things such as entertainment, and groceries.

There are always other ways people help me but these are the set in stone ones.

Expected Earnings (Weekly)

  • Income #1 – $400-$500
  • Income #2 – $20-$40

Total = $420-$540

What I Do

So what I do is I go to the bank and withdraw $140 on Monday. This money is intended to last me from the start of Monday until the end of day on Sunday.

I break my money down into four $20’s, four $10’s, and four $5’s. This is likely just a personal thing but I find it helps with spending if I’m going out and don’t think I need to bring $20, I have the option to bring a $10, or a $5 instead of allowing myself to be equipped with $20 for no certain reason.

I categorize my money into 3 categories which you will have noticed in my last few posts. These categories are; Grocery ($50), Entertainment ($50), and Misc. ($40). This allows me to have an idea of how much I should be spending on certain things but also allows me to buy things I want (within reason).

Breaking it Down Differently

So the #1 thing to note when analyzing my saving method is that it is broken down into a weekly amount. So for a month you can break it down into fourths ~ because months are around 4 weeks.

GOAL

First you would want to figure out what you’re saving towards , for this example I’m going to say it’s a car between $5,000 and $10,000.

EXPENSES

Now you breakdown what your expenses are:

ExpensesCost (Monthly)
Rent$700
Utilities$100
Phone$80
Wifi$70
Credit Card$150
Student Loans$330
Misc (Music, Gym, etc.)$100

Total = $1530

So now you have a total for your fixed monthly expenses. Break it down to a weekly number: $1530/4 weeks ~.

Weekly Total = $383~

INCOME

Say you work 2 jobs part time 20 hours per week, one at minimum of $14/hr and the other slightly higher at $15/hr. And we’ll take out a small amount for taxes and stuff.

  • Income #1 = $1050
  • Income #2 = $1100

Now add these up and divide it into a weekly number, $2150/4 weeks ~.

Weekly Total = $538~

Now comes the tricky part. You have to figure out what you have left over and decide what you’re going to spend on entertainment, grocery and have as a Misc/backup.

So we know that weekly, your income is $538 and your expenses are $383.

To figure out your leftover just take your income and subtract your expenses like so, $538-$383 = $155.

If you are a single person you should be able to get away with spending no more than $40 a week on groceries, Entertainment you can sit at $40 as well, and then your misc can be somewhere around $20. Now you have a budget of $100 per week.

When you look at it week to week $55 dollars doesn’t seem like a lot. BUT when you start to add it up you could save $2860 in just 1 year.

And this example is based on an individual who has a lot of bigger expenses when compared to their income.

If you adjust this to someone who is working one full time job at a rate of say $27/hr and you keep the expenses virtually identical this is what it could look like:

$27×37.5 hr/week = $1010~, and I’ll even take off 15% for taxes and such which will bring us to $880~.

Then we take away our $383 in expenses per week that we figured out earlier, that brings the sum to $497.

This means before you decide on your categories and allotments you have almost $500 left over per week.

Now let’s say that you are going out a little more and you’ve decided to buy cashew cheese instead of the dairy stuff. We’ll bump that spending allotment to $80 (Grocery), $80 (Entertainment), and $40 (Misc/Backup).

That is double what our last person was spending at $200 per week. Now if we subtract $200 from our leftover of $497 we are left with $297 per week, meaning you could save $15,444 in a single year.

That’s a lot of money and I think it is totally doable. I believe the keys to this method are as follows:

  • Limit Debit/Credit transactions (Use Cash)
  • Practice Will Power and Self Control
  • The Breakdown (Week by Week)
  • The Build up (Yearly Savings Potential)
  • Belief that you can do it

With all of the above said, I honestly don’t believe there is any ONE PERFECT method to saving, but in my life up to this day I have been most successful using this method.

I believe there is a clear mental similarity when it comes to budgeting and dieting. That is why I’ve called my journey The Money Diet, because I am trying to overcome my laziness, practice will power and stay on track. The biggest problem I believe people have while dieting is the constant fad approach of trying new hip diet trends and this is also very common when budgeting. Think of the “52 week budget”, 50/30/20, 80/20, the zero sum budget. I think it is more important to find a reason to save and then find a method that works for you. I’ve saved a bunch using my current method. I attribute my success with this method to the things that are motivating me, not entirely the method itself.

One thought on “A Breakdown

  1. So very good Matt. Nicely adjusting your finances. I like the way you break things down for yourself. You and Jordan are doing well. So looking forward, there has to be an end game. When you moved in it was for temporary. So there has to be a month your working towards in the near future.
    Iā€™m very proud of your determination to achieve a set goal. šŸ‘

    Like

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