Mistakes I made before having a budget
“Budget? I don’t need a budget! I pay my bills! I’m totally fine!”
Sound familiar? That was me when I was “young dumb and broke”!
Follow me on my journey to financial security. This will be a major part of my blog. I am still not 100% financially secure, but my husband and I are working very hard, together, to get there! Continue reading to get the full story on how I came to realize, I actually needed a budget. I hope you can relate with one or more parts of my journey! I will start by telling you the mistakes I made before I had a budget. This way you can see why I so strongly suggest budgeting. So here we go…
When I turned 16 and got my first job, I did not have a budget, nor did I think I needed one. I also had no idea how too create one that worked for me, even with my parent’s help. LOL, god bless them! Love you mom and dad! :* My parents tried to help me, but I was always enticed by that new pair of shoes, or going out with friends for a good time. Then, I would be stuck with barely enough gas money to get to work or school, then borrow money from my parents. It was an endless cycle. This continued until I graduated high school.
Then, I got an AMAZING job in the car business! (Read this with sarcasm). Not that anything is wrong with the car business, and I had a ton of fun at the dealership I worked at, BUT this was the beginning of my huge money crisis! What does an 18 year old girl do when she is making 5-7k plus a month, lives at home and has a total of about $500 in bills every month? Does she make smart choices and save for her future? Pay off her car loan? Pay her speeding tickets when she got them? Invest? NO!! Of course not! NOT one of those things happened! Again, I go back to “young, dumb, and broke”. Man, that should have been my theme song! What did I do? I bought 2 cars within the span of one year, traded in the one that I could actually afford because it didn’t “look” nice enough, and blew all my money on clothes, shoes, and eating out. Oh, I also rented and apartment and after two months got evicted. I know I could have prevented that now, all if I knew how to manage my money.
Fast forward to age 20. I just met my husband and get pregnant with our first child! I am working on paying off credit cards at this time. Being pregnant, I continued getting sick and then decided that it would be better to quit my job then to stay there. Cue being unemployed for 4 months. Being jobless for that amount of time, and having to rely on someone else to pay your bills every month is a super quick way to figure out what is really, TRULY, a necessity in your life. You think after all of this, I would have learned my lesson. But noooo!
I went back to work after having my first kiddo, and my husband and I were 22, and again, making great money for the age we were. We spent all of it on…who knows what…I honestly couldn’t even tell you at this point. That is how important the things I spent my on were. After another long cycle of irresponsibility my husband and I both had the wake up call we needed.
My husband and I had both left our jobs for bigger and better things, so we thought. Neither of our career choices worked out and led to our downfall. We got evicted from the house we rented for 5 years, we almost lost both our cars, we had to get on food stamps and WIC for assistance just to feed our 5 month old, 2 year old and 5 year old. Nothing devastates you more than not being able to provide even basic necessities for your family. To this day I am grateful for the assistance I was given by the government in our time of need. It was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I literally cried when I got my first WIC checks for formula. The saddest part about all of this, is that I firmly believe that if we had managed our money correctly from the very beginning, we would not have been in that situation.
Learn from my mistakes…
You need a budget of some sort, even if you are not living paycheck to paycheck. If you cannot say where all your money is going every month, and if you don’t know how much you are bringing in, you my friend, are on a slippery slope. Please make this an open communication with your partner if you have one. You both need to be on the same page! Subscribe now for a free budget checklist! Then follow on to my next post Setting up your budget.