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Sticking to a Budget is Harder Than I Thought

By Erik Folgate

I am fairly new out of college.  I got married straight out of finishing my undergraduate degree.  I was fired up to start saving money and buying wisely with my new found income which about tripled after I finished school.  This post is all about me being real with myself and those of you that read my blog.  This is not a surprise to any of you, but it was a lot tougher than I thought it would be to stick to a strict budget and save up for big ticket items. 

The toughest thing about being fresh out of school is that you do not have much.  In my case, I drive a hunk-of-junk car that breaks down every few months.  It makes me feel like I put more money into it than it is worth.  But at the same time, I don’t want to be like the other young people at work by going out and leasing a car in return for a $250 payment and still not owning a car!  My wife and I also did not have any furniture.  We moved into a furnished place, but now we are buying a condo so we need furniture.  We have been getting good deals on websites like craigslist and the classifieds, but the furniture still costs a decent amount. 

We bought a dog when we first married.  As we all know from various personal financial blogs, pets are more expensive than you think!  You get attached to them and then you end up spending $200 every time they get sick!  Let’s see, we had dental work that needed to be done, because neither one of us went to the dentist much while we were in college.  By the way, I strongly suggest you pay the $80 bucks per visit every 6 months if you don’t have dental insurance while in school.  It will pay off later on in life! 

Anyway, the point of this post is not to whine and complain, eventhough I probably did a great job of that.  The point is that unforeseen things happen that break budgets.  I need to start thinking ahead of the unexpected and saving up enough money to handle these expenses.  Luckily, I can say that my wife and I have not used a credit card since we have been married.  We have reduced our credit card debt by about $3,000, and we have stayed current on all of our bills.  Overall, we are doing pretty well, but I know that we can do better. 

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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Comments

  • http://stepbystep.savingadvice.com/ annab

    I just bought the You Need a Budget Software, and it seems pretty good for that kind of thing. Good luck!

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