Blogworld, I need your help!
First off, happy MIMM! I hope you all had a great weekend!
Mine was pretty marvelous- but I won’t bore you since I pretty much covered my weekend in yesterday’s post.Ish is getting real here on Tiny n Fit. This post is a bit more serious. It has to do with money. Money I borrowed and money I now have to pay back. Ugh, I know all other students can feel my pain on this one.
This month marks the start of paying off my grad school student loans. Even though I graduated in December 2010, I was lucky to get a couple loan repayments from my employer that extended my ‘grace period.’ Until now. (insert whimper here)
I knew for months that this sad, sad day would arrive and I stressed and stressed about how I would be able to afford paying that loan-PLUS my other normal cost of living expenses- rent, food, and fun, plus my new love for crossfit which aint cheap. I don’t normally make a budget or spending plan- I pay my bills before they’re due and spend reasonably, and I only have one credit card with a small amount on it. I do save a lot, too- I contribute a good amount to TSP (government equivalent to a 401k) as well as some to a separate savings account.
I think living with my bf will definitely cut down on my rent expense, leaving extra money to help for student loans. But this won’t occur until mid-late summer and I want a good handle on my finances beforehand. With that, anyone out there have experiences with creating budget plans? Or have any tips or tricks to staying on a budget? Here is where I falter:
- I buy coffee/smoothies/snacks from work several times a week.
- I buy roughly 5 clothing items a month. Since I buy so infrequently and always on sale or with coupons, I feel this is ok.
- I rarely stick to a grocery list. I never know what I want for lunches during the week and I am a healthy yet picky eater. Sometimes I’m feeling a good salad, other times I morph into a toddler and eat a chicken hotdog with frozen veggies or sunbutter and jelly sandwich on paleo bread (not cheap, btw at nearly $10 a loaf!).
- Target. ‘nuff said.
I want to ensure I have good finances and am able to pay my student loan bill off more than the minimal amount (and hopefully with every paycheck, not just the once-a-month payment that’s due). I have Googled different ideas but I haven’t found something that is simple and straight forward I can just plug my info in and budget on my terms. I tried Mint.com, but my account is actually linked to my mom’s so that won’t work for me. I am looking for something sort of web-based, definitely user-friendly, and free/inexpensive. Any helpful tips would be much appreciated!
Oh, and just for fun 🙂
Rock on Lovers 🙂
Do you budget? Do you have tips for paying them off quickly?