After working full-time for 4 months and being on a waiting list with a certain apartment complex for 3 months, I am now officially moving. It will be the first time I “really” move out of my parents house. I went away for a couple of years after high school, but I told them to keep my room “my room” so I could come back. This time it’s more official since I have a job and am aiming to become completely on my own.

It’s bitter-sweet for sure, but I think it’s the right move for me right now. There are several things to take care of when moving out for the first time (or even moving at all!)

1. Get rid of junk
2. Take inventory of everything you own for insurance purposes
3. Organize papers and loose documents
4.  Update your budget to reflect new/different expenses, etc.
5.  If reasonable, get certain things moved into your own name instead of your parents. 😉
6.  Put things away in an organized and understandable fashion.
7. Compare costs of different things and cut unnecessary expenses.
8. Be confident you can make it on your own and make decisions that will lead to success!

Any other suggestions for me or for others? What are some good tasks to take on during a move?

Back to the Basics Part 3-Budgets

Either I’m going to go out and spend all my money on food, new clothes, and awesome entertainment, or I’m going to sit inside and sulk that I can’t have any “fun” right now because I’m saving it.

Neither option the way to go, of course! But sometimes that mentality wants to sneak in on me. But I won’t let it. Balance is key!

Regardless of what others may say, the key to financial balance is having and maintaining a budget. Some feel it is too constraining but in reality it is very freeing because you get to control where your money is going instead of letting it control you.

A budget is easy to make and there are hundreds (if not thousands) of different templates you could use. J. Money at Budgets are Sexy has some pretty rockin’ ones you can find here. I’ve decided to create my own that probably only makes sense to me but here is the breakdown…

My Budget

I get a paycheck every 2 weeks so that is [usually] 2 a month. I call one paycheck, “Paycheck 1” and the other, “Paycheck 2.” (Simple, huh?!)
Paycheck 1 I designate out this way:
  • Cash Savings
  • Vacation Savings
  • School Savings
  • Rent
  • Gas
  • Food
  • Anytime Fitness
  • Life
A certain amount of money goes toward each of those categories and when they are all added up it equals the total amount of paycheck 1.
I do the same thing with paycheck 2 except it’s categories are a little different:
  • Cash Savings
  • Vacation Savings
  • School Savings
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Cable
  • Renter’s Insurance
  • Phone
  • Insurance
  • Gas
  • Food
  • Life
  • Best Buy
And once again, a certain amount is designated to each and there is none left after that. =) I plan ahead of time where my entire paycheck is going so there are no questions.
Once I have built up my “cash savings” I will have some leeway but right now I want to get my emergency fund up.

The Usefulness of a Budget

Having and keeping a budget up will save you tons of stress and worry and will also pay off for you in the long run.

The key is to pay yourself first (in the form of savings) than your bills than day-to-day living.

Once again, it’s basic. But I know some of you aren’t doing it. 😉 You can start today. I’m not an expert on budgets but I play with mine every day and have looked at a lot of other templates. If you have a question about one please feel free to contact me.

Do you keep a budget? Why or why not? How has it helped you achieve some of your goals?

The Files

(I’m posting this from my email, by the way. Hope it works out ok!)

I’ve always been a pretty organized person but I realized last week how much clutter I can accumulate when I don’t have a consistent and UP-TO-DATE organizational system.

So I dove in and decided all the loose papers and papers in last years folders needed to be organized.

First, I bought a small box that holds file folders and is easy to carry. This is much more practical for me as a single individual with small living space. If you don’t have one of these you definitely need one.

Second, I bought some hanging file folders as well as colored file folders to go inside.

That is really all you need to get organized. The way in which you set the labeling up is completely up to you but here are a few tips….

1. Keep it specific.
A file named “2010 Paystubs” is much easier to go through than a file named “2010 Financials.” Maybe a hanging file could be your financial section and in there could be file folders with paystubs, bank statements, investment docs, etc.

2. Keep it alphabetical.
It’s just easier to find! =)

3. Keep it up-to-date.
Don’t let papers stack up. File them right away, and you’ll find yourself more at ease and confident.

And out of all the papers you reveive everyday, how do you know exactly what should be kept and filed away?

Financial stuff (taxes, investment docs, etc.) should be kept 3-5 years. It’s a long time but you never know if you may need it.

Receipts for large purchases as well as the warranties that may come with them need to be kept for as long as you feel comfortable.

Just a few small pointers today to make life a little more simple and enjoyable!

What kinds of things do you file that I missed? Anymore tips on filing?