I have been moved into my small 1 bed flat for almost two months now. It is the first time I have ever lived by myself, and so far I absolutely love it! I can do what I want when I want, things don't move when I go out, nobody makes a mess and doesn't clean it up except me!
What I am also enjoying about living on my own is budgeting my money. I know it isn't the most exciting of things but I do genuinely really enjoy working out my budget, seeing if I can stick to it and saving money at the end of every month.
My job doesn't pay much, it is minimum wage and not quite full time each week, but my basic hours guarantees me about 35 hours each week. I also do some cleaning, gardening etc for my grandma once a week which she pays me a bit for.
The best thing for my budget that I have done, which I haven't done before, is to live off last months earnings. I get paid weekly and in cash from my job so when I get paid
I put it into my money box until the end of the month. Then at the end of the month (usually after the last pay packet for that month) I open up all the envelopes and put them together to see how much I have to budget with for the next month. I have found this system really good mainly because I don't earn a salary so what I earn each month changes, so it is good to know exactly what I have to work with each month. It also means that I don't have to wait for my next wage to be able to pay bills etc. The money is already sitting in my money box waiting to be allocated.
I have also been using a bit of an envelope system to work out what needs to go where. I use plastic wallets to put the money for rent, council tax, utilities, car, phone and Internet. I also have a purse with two coin sections where I put food money in one side and petrol money in the other. I am attempting to be really tough with myself in that once the money has gone from a category that is it. Even if I have spare in another envelope.
At the end of each month I take my budgets back down to zero, essentially sweeping up all the loose change into my savings, however small the amount. For example, if I budgeted £30 for my internet and it is only £27.99 then the extra £2.01 goes across to my savings.
Because I do love budgeting I have spent a fair amount of time (mainly on Pinterest!) reading people's different budgeting techniques and I have taken bits from them to make my own budget work for me and so far so good. I am not stressing about money despite the fact that this is probably the time when I have the least spare cash because I know how much I have and where it is. I am working on building up emergency funds for life's little surprises and hopefully going to have enough money saved up for a holiday or two this year!
At the end of the month I will share with you my budget so you can see how I allocate my spending, and where I save each month.