Money Matters: Budget, Even While Traveling

So this is the last time I’ll mention my new job and traveling to New York (hopefully) but I wanted to quickly share and remind you about the importance of budgeting even while traveling.

Simply put: have a dollar figure that you’re not willing to go over.

Now, I was fortunate because my new job was comping us for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the days we, the company, didn’t eat together. Which was great. That meant less money out of my pocket. But that’s not always the case. I may have very well had to supply my own meals in which I would have had to decide how much I would be willing to spend on each meal, budget accordingly and ensure I didn’t go over that dollar figure.

In my case, as silly and perhaps lowballed as it sounds, I didn’t want to spend over $100 while in New York. Crazy, right? Well, I had most of my facts up front. I knew the company was going to supply or comp our meals. I knew the company was going to pay for transportation to and from the airport. And the company had already supplied the hotel room. So logically, what more did I need to spend on other than getting around the city on my free time and a few souvenirs?

Budgeting, wherever you go, is easier when you have all the facts.

Think about it: how much would you know to stock away if you didn’t have an estimate, at the very least, of what something – an item, a meal, an event – was gonna cost? Even in a city like New York where the cost of living is 13% higher than Los Angeles, I still budgeted to the best of ability.

How do you budget when you travel?

September’s 💵 Money Challenge 💵

I know. It’s Labor Day. The one day of the whole year which is supposed to be dedicated to not working. I get it. I also don’t care. Not because I’m evil or mean or a monster. Because I believe in Mark Cuban words: when the other guy is sleeping, you need to be busting your butt off.

I firmly agree with that.

So what better time than to get a jump on your week and finances than on a day when everyone else is ‘laxing it up?

We made August the month about zeroing in our income and expenses. And we even threw in a budget to better watch our money. I think September should be about designating our monies to savings account. We already said we’d budgeted it in.

So how much and how often? Or do you want to do the weekly savings challenge: your first week of savings, $1, your second week of savings, $2 and so forth and so on.

So how much are you willing saving, how often?

August’s 💵 Money Challenge 💵: First Comes Budgeting…

…then comes planning.

Aaaah! I know I’m a few days late following up on our money challenge for August, but I wanted to check in quickly and get us started for this week even though it’s half way over. But no worries. This next part is easy. Ish.

Now last week we wrote out our expen6se, right? What’s going out? I did it too because what’s the point of calling it our money challenge if I’m not participating, right? I used an Excel sheet even though I also use Mint and Trim to help me stay mindful of upcoming due dates. And I have a little over $1,800 in life expenses. Wowzers. Now, for LA that’s actually on the low side and to be fair, here’s why:

  • I don’t have a car payment. Got a used car from a friend, paid in full.
  • I live in a studio apartment for under $1,000 a month, utilities included.
  • I don’t have cable or satellite service. I have a Roku device. I cut the cord about 2 years ago. I only subscribe to Amazon Prime and Netflix (the $7.99 Netflix). So my in-home entertainment costs is a little over $14 a month. And I love it.
  • I take the bus to work and most places — and I have a car? Well, my mom drives the car since I live about 1.2 miles from work. That monthly TAP card for the bus is about $100.
  • I’m still on our family plan cell phone bill with T-Mobile. I do pay the bill for all of us, but if I didn’t, my portion would average to about $60 a month.
  • I also save about $100 a month. That doesn’t include the 401K account I have with my job in which $280 is deducted from my check before taxes even are every month.
  • I try not to spend no more than $200 on groceries and $60 on eating out for the month.

A little rigid? Yeah, maybe. Why? I have a dream home in mind. That’s why the budgeting, that’s why the cutbacks in certain luxuries or amenities. I want something bigger and better down the line, so I’m making small sacrifices today.

So, the next part of your our August money challenge is to figure out why we’re budgeting and what we can live without for little bit. Make budgeting plans.

I can live without cable or satellite TV. I get most of my news from the internet anyways. I’m down for reruns and I get to discover a bunch of stuff I never knew I’d like. Plus, when I had satellite TV, I was paying almost $70 a month for basic channels. But I spent 9 hours at work and getting to and from there. About 7 hours of sleep and another 1.5 hours getting ready for work. So 17.5 hours I wasn’t even getting my money’s worth during the work week. Damn. All that money down the drain. Now, I get to keep that dough.

But I’m budgeting with a plan in mind. I know why I’m budgeting and what I’m doing this for.

So, you know what you’re spending now in greater detail. Maybe some of those monthy subscriptions to stuff you don’t really need. Look over all your expenses and see what you do without for your ultimate goal in mind. I’m sure it’s worth it.