One reaction I’ve gotten alarmingly often when I mention that I ride horses is, “Oh so you must be rich, right?”
Yeah, I wish. I’m comfortable enough, but that’s only because of careful budgeting. Let’s face it, I’m an early-twenties research analyst living in a place with an absurd cost of living.
I was a little hesitant to write this post, because let’s face it- budgets are boring. But some of my favorite blog posts out there have talked about budgets and financials, so I’m jumping in and joining the conversation anyways. Honestly, for me it all boils down to one question:
What do I have to give up to pay for this?
When I get that delicious Chipotle for lunch, that could be a drink at the bar with my friends. When I crank the heat up instead of putting a sweater on, that could be a new show shirt. You get the idea.
That’s how I keep my spending in check day-to-day, but I also try to prioritize my spending. I know that certain things are necessary and certain things are wants, and I try to keep those in balance as best I can. For example, riding breeches are needs. Twelve pairs of riding breeches are wants.
And that’s my super simple way of making sure my budget works for me each month: on a high level I make sure I’m paying for my highest priorities before spending on things that aren’t as important, and on a smaller level I justify each purchase with myself by asking what else I could be spending that money on.
If there was interest I was thinking about doing a series on more specific ways that I make my budget work for me as a professional twenty-something, let me know in the comments if you’d like to see that!
What’s your favorite trick to keep spending in check?