Since joining the conversation, FIRE and I have had our differences. The struggle was real and still is, but I wanted to share that all this frugaling and budgeting has had a positive impact on more than just my savings rate. The core tenet in financial independence is The Budget. Don’t leave home without it! While budgeting itself didn’t scare me, it was just hard to make everything fit with housing being my biggest line item. I initially tried to make my expenses conform to a hypothetical ideal budget when I just wasn’t there yet. When I finally made the budget work for me where I am currently, I found relief. It’s been working so far. Today, I wanted to share that when faced with a new financial hurdle, my budget came through for me.
My Working Budget exceeded my expectations. I recently started handling Aunty MERJ’s finances and inevitably had to cover some of her expenses. At first, I started to panic. Oh my gosh! What will this do to my My Early Retirement Journey. It felt as though I was hemorrhaging money and the thought of carrying the extra expense indefinitely started to give my eye a stress-twitch.
But I went back to the budget. I use a top down method. I started with the allotted amount for the month ($2,500) and subtracted the necessary bills to see what was left for living expenses. And then I’ll adjust from there as needed. I anticipate my aunt will need my help for at least Jun, July, and August 2018 so I am calling this My Summer Budget.
|My Summer 2018 Budget|
Without tracking my expenses even as loosely as I do, I would have felt really inconvenienced by this additional expense. And that is not how I want to feel when helping out my family. They’ve done so much for me! Without an established budget, I would have thought I couldn’t afford to help or didn’t have the means to do so without breaking the bank. Without the budget, it’s quite possible maybe I would not have been able to do much. But the numbers show I can certainly help Aunty MERJ for a little while. I have more than I think and I can be more generous than I would have imagined. And as a bonus I can see areas for improvement or re-allocation down the road. So a huge THANKS to the FIRE Community! For all the flack I gave you, this was a really great tool! #Godsend
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