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I’m not a financial expert. I’m not even a financial amateur. I’m whatever comes before financial amateur – financial newbie? My budget journey to get my finances under control is fairly recent. Actually, to be perfectly honest, it’s still in its infancy as I started a couple of months ago (January 2019).
So far, I’ve found it to be overwhelming, stressful, and frustrating. Of course, I’ve never taken a class or met with a consultant or financial planner. All my efforts to take my finances in hand comes from research I’ve done online (predominately YouTube and Blogs via Pinterest.
I’ve always paid my bills on time so I’m fortunate in that respect. I know that there are lots of people who struggle with that aspect because of limited funds, resources, unexpected expenses, etc. But since my debt is so large, I didn’t think I’d ever make a dent and therefore just paid my minimums.
I don’t think debt is inevitable. Unlike many, I’m okay with having debt. But between my credit card bills and my student loans, we’re talking six figures worth of debt. The longer I thought about it, the more anxiety it gave me.
In January 2019 I decided to start my budgeting journey. And to make it extra stressful, I also decided to document my journey on YouTube. I thought it would be easy since I don’t budget the way that most people do since I didn’t have a lot of money to throw towards debt, savings, sinking funds, etc.. Be that naivete or arrogance, I’m not sure. Quickly I realized that I would need to have a more structured budget. That’s where my problems and anxiety really went into overdrive.
In early March 2019, I really, really struggled with this. I think part of the problem was information overload. I follow quite a few people on YouTube who do budgeting videos and I was trying to emulate their styles and methods. Tried to remember how THEY did things and then tried to make MY numbers fit. There was even a video that I posted where I had a bit of a breakdown (a bad combination of being tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed). Fortunately, 1) I really want to get my finances in order and 2) I had such overwhelming support and encouragement from the YouTube community.
YouTube ‘Meltdown’ video:
The entire process of how to make my budget work for me has been constantly on my mind. I know that a budget is a living thing and does/can change as things come up. But I also think that having some kind of structure is important if just to have SOMETHING to work off of from month to month.
For March, I’ve done my monthly budget kind of late because I was still figuring things out. But going forward, I see how I can set it up for the new month and then work on it periodically throughout the month so that it’s worked real time. Check out my video on how I set up (and will be setting up) my Monthly budgets.
YouTube Monthly Budget Video:
Free Monthly Budget Printable
Because it was SUCH a trial for me, I’ve also included a Free PDF printable template of how I’m setting up my monthly budget. It’s simple and straightforward and for now, I think is exactly what I need but this could change and I’m okay with that. It’s not pretty or decorative and that’s okay for me. Being a Happy Planner, I have tons of stickers to do that but I just really needed to make something that was functional.
Having done some test print runs, I think if you print this at 85%, you could cut off the excess and this would fit a classic Happy Planner (printing at 100% would fit the Big Happy Planner). Printing this at 70% should fit your Happy Planner Mini but in any case, you’ll definitely want to test this out.
Hopefully, this will be helpful to you and you won’t go through as much stress as I did. I’m new to all this: Budgeting, blogging, and YouTube so this whole thing has been new and scary and exciting. I hope you decide to join me on this journey!