Building A Budget That Actually Works

It’s quite odd, but I get this question so often and I’m tired of stammering through an answer that quite honestly, seems self evident to me.. so here is my well thought through answer.

I’ll also add in some “tricks” for saving more for all of you that can’t commit to paying yourself first. Please refer to my earlier article titled “pay yourself first”. duh.

SOME Reasons to save money (in no particular order):

  • Retirement
    • There will DEFINITELY be a significantly lengthy period of time in your when you are not bringing home the cheddar. If you are earning $100K a year now, I assure you that there is no government program out there that will support your lifestyle. So unless you are literally ready to dramatically reduce your lifestyle when you’re 70 years old and want nothing more but to take year-long cruises because you can… you’ll want to start figuring that out now.
  • Home(s)
    • Renting is cute and all but honestly, part of the big American dream is to own a home. You don’t want to be 80 years old and fighting with your landlord or risking being evicted because they’re destroying the building you live in to build a condo. Seriously, this happens. You need to save money to have a down payment to buy a house.
  • Emergency Fund (probably #1 if I had to pick one)
    • Shit happens in life and you need to be able to pay for said shit. Sometimes literally, like when the toilet breaks and there’s shit coming out of your shower drain. I don’t know about you.. but I can’t (and really don’t want to) fix that. Not having an emergency fund is a huge reason why people get into debt in the first place.
    • Adding to this – everyone should have 3-6 months of expenses in cash… in case you lose your job or want the ability to change careers because your co-worker is a miserable old hag that you can no longer stand. (I promise this has no relevance to my own life, really.) You will need to pay the bills and sustain yourself and you don’t want to get into debt while dealing with an employment gap, and you also, likely, don’t want to live in a box under the bridge during that time.
  • Travel
    • This adds to the list of things you may want to do without getting into debt. For me, personally, this is number one. I believe travel makes us all richer.. unless it quite literally makes us bankrupt.
  • Debt
    • There is nothing sexy about carrying toxic credit debt. If you’re in it, GET OUT AS FAST AS YOU CAN. If you’re in it, you need to save anyway… because in the event that an emergency happens, you may want to be able to not get into deeper debt. Pay yourself first no matter what!
  • Financial Freedom (my ultimate goal)
    • If you woke up in the morning and time and money were not an obstacle for you.. what would you be doing? Unlimited time. Unlimited money. Whatever that is, figure out how much it would cost you to do it every day of your life and save towards that! What’s better than saving towards your dream life? I like to call this.. “Fuck you money”. As in, you can wake up any day and say FUCK YOU to wherever you’re supposed to be and whoever you’re supposed to see just because you CAN.

There are way more reasons.. I just listed out the ones that pop out most and I use as examples most often.

A few “tricks” for saving money:

  • Put aside each five dollar bull into a box every time you get one. Do not spend your fives. Deposit at the end of each year.
  • Set up an auto deposit from your paycheck to a bank that isn’t the bank where you have your checking account.. so you can’t see you have that money
  • Eat out one time a week less.
  • Don’t spend any money at Starbucks (it is most definitely the little things that add up)
  • Write out your budget and be honest. I promise when you see how much money you spend on certain things, you’ll know where you can cut back.


As always.. write me with questions!