Long time, no finance talk! Last month I skipped my budget post because I was actually reworking my budget. I tried making an annual budget for this year as well as monthly. This way I was able to look at my long term savings goals as well as my monthly spending all at once. It’s been a pretty interesting year so far, reminding me that I still have a lot to learn!

Annual Budget

I started my first budget in the middle of the year last year, so it didn’t really make sense to have an annual budget. This year, I wanted to give it a try, and based mine off of this one, from Aja Dang. I changed it up a little bit, so it best fits my financial situation, added in my numbers, and off I went!

January Overview

January with my new annual budget was a big test. I used a lot of my base data from October, November, & December budgets. It wasn’t the world’s best data, but it worked well enough for the time being! I ended up adding some things and decreasing some others, learning where my spending highs and lows are now versus where it was in October (hint: it was a mess).

New Savings Account

I did open up a new savings account in January. I wanted a higher interest savings account to dedicate to long term goals, most specifically, first months rent when I move out. I’m looking at Washington DC so my ultimate goal is to be able to save at least $1000 by the end of the year. I was originally hoping to hit two thousand, but due to some big financial changes that goal was changed pretty quick.

Emergency Fund Used Up

My standard saving account is what I use as my emergency fund. The money in this account is either for a vehicular or pet emergency, or to pay for tuition. Some financial aid got stuck along the pipeline, and I had a surprise tuition payment to make at the end of January. That $600+ bill killed my savings balance. I’m a little nervous the aid won’t come through, and in that case, I’m in a little bit of trouble for the rest of the year, but we will see. As of today, I’m still contributing to my savings every month, and my current total is just under $150. Because of that, I’m going to throw off my budget a little, and add a lot more of my paycheck into my savings this month.

February Budget Overview

This month I’m still experimenting with the numbers. Lining up with my goals for the new year, I increased my total spending for groceries, health and fitness, and clothing. I also decreased my budgets for entertainment, dining out, and beauty. I don’t go out too often, and I usually go with cheaper places anyways, so it made sense to tighten my budget here. For beauty, a lot of my spending was on my haircuts. I have layered hair and bangs, so I was getting trims pretty much every 3-5 weeks, which was really adding up. I stretched out my cuts, and added in more bang trims partially to save money, and partially because I’m growing my hair out to donate!

I’m really looking forward to seeing how my February is going, it’s been pretty well so far! The next few weeks are going to be very telling for how my 2019 will go financially, but I’m going into February confident and excited. What are your financial goals for February?

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