Welcome to episode 2 of my low Budget Income series. This edition will be a closer look at my 2018 expenses. That’s right, all the details (well as much as possible). This episode is important to see just where the hell my money went in the first place. So, taking a stroll back through all my statements (January to December) to what was spent on my debit, nor just bills, I’ve been able to come to a decisive conclusion.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial expert or accountant. I am on the road to financial freedom like many others and decided to document my journey.
As always, be sure to click the links throughout this post for related posts and links to purchase items/similar styles featured.
The Process of Reviewing my Checking Account
At the top of the year I was fortunate enough to receive a $1000 bonus from my corporate job on top of my salary. So to say I was starting off 2018 with a bang and finally getting into a groove with my finances would be an understatement. Everything was current.
Still, instead of taking my bonus and saving it – I spent it. Problem of all problems for me. If there’s money, I spend it. It’s like an itch I have to scratch. I would say I’m a compulsive shopper. When I’m out I have to buy something, anything. My shopping criteria is on a higher level these days, thankfully, so hopefully my savings will begin to reflect that.
At the end of 2017 I went through every one of my debit transactions. Between food and planning – I spent A LOT on fast food. A whole lot. I used to meal prep, but I got lazy and fast food took all my coins. Hell, I passed them right over with a smile at that.
I decided to do the same thing this year and I broke my transactions into 5 categories:
Month by month I went through and crunched the numbers. I was happy to see that all my bills were paid and that fast food, planner, and miscellaneous expenses were not extremely lavish.
What Went Wrong
In July I was hospitalized for a week due to mental health reasons. I then made the decision not to return to work for the remainder of July. Thankfully my boss was understanding and I received my full salary.
When August rolled around, I really thought I was ready to jump back into the demands of my corporate role. Boy, I was wrong. I went back to work on a part time basis which cut my salary in half. Still, I was able to make ends meet, but the current status of my bills fell to the wayside once I was hospitalized.
Due to my mental illness, I decided to leave my corporate job to focus on my sanity. You can’t pour energy into a business when you’re empty. Leaving behind my salary – an amount I knew I’d be getting every month, I had to quickly readjust. I went back to babysitting, something low key that would pay the bills for a fraction of the hours I previously worked.
Still, unlike corporate where I’d get paid days off, that’s not the same with babysitting. I get paid when I work and the hours tend to fluctuate. All that has to be taken into account when I budget.