July: Budgeting and New Year's Resolution Check In

It’s the beginning of the month, which means budget time! Well, from now on that’s what the first of the month means for me. As I have mentioned a million times on here, I have been working my ass off to pay of my business debt for the last 18 months. And I was on a roll! I’ve paid off over $160k in the last 18 months.

Check out how I paid off the first $123k here.

But now I’ve hit somewhat of a brick wall. (Which I talk about here.) As I was assessing what I can do to keep the momentum going, I realized that I don’t have a spending plan. I just buy what I want because business has been good. But when business slows down, like now, I have no backup plan. Huge mistake, HUGE! *If you didn't say that like Julia Roberts, we can't be friends!*

Because my main focus is paying off debt, I have not been paying myself first. I have no savings, no emergency funds, no 6 months of business expenses saved, etc. I know, I know just slap me now.

I’ve always had to learn things the hard way so why not this too.

Well here we go… After some research, this is my plan for budgeting in July. It's pretty vague because I'm just starting and this is going to be a test month. I will continue to create a monthly budget every month moving forward so each month will gain more depth. 

It’s not your salary that makes you rich, it’s your spending habits.
— Charles A. Jaffe

For me, creating a budget is a little tricky because I don’t have a set salary every month. My earnings are based on what I sell. Because I am starting at zero, I am going to work on saving this month. Then next month, I will budget what I have saved this month. So, next month’s budget will be more in depth.

My Spending Goals for this month are:

  • $200 grocery

  • $75 gas

  • Pay minimum debt payments

  • Pay monthly bills

    • Insurance

    • Cell Phone

    • Netflix & Dish

  • Save everything else

I really want to spend next to nothing in July. I want to see how much money I can save so that I can fill these goals:

  • $1,000 emergency fund

  • Start 6 months of business expenses (~$36,000)

I’m also going to do a “No Spend” Month. There are a few days in July that this won’t work:

  • July 6: 4th of July festivities

  • July 13-17: VA Beach trip to see my mom

  • July 21: Friend's Wedding

All of these events will be minimal spending since we are planning ahead, or they're already paid for. I am using this month as a testing ground to see what I actually spend each month and to really pay attention to where my money is going. I want every financial decision to be made with a purpose.

I will report back in after the month is over to let you know what worked and how I will be budgeting moving forward. 

Let’s talk for a second about our 2018 New Year’s Resolutions. Did you make them? Have you kept them? As I was thinking about my July budget and reflecting on the last six months, I remembered that I did make New Year's Resolutions. And I haven't really thought of them since I made them. Well besides the debt payoff one! You can read my original post about my NYR's here.

I made four New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Pay off my business debt of $260,693.65. July 1 update: I have paid off a little over $25k in the past 6 months. This is nowhere close to where I thought/wanted to be. Honestly this is the thing that I have lost the most sleep over. Have I failed because I am not on track to reaching my goal? I’m going to go ahead and say no. Paying off $25k is still a HUGE deal, and more than I had paid off while my business was operating as a storefront for 3 years. So, instead of beating myself up about it, I am embracing the progress that I have made.

  2. Grow Culley Avenue. July 1 update: Culley Avenue has grown since January, just not to the level that I wanted. BUT… I haven’t spent any time on it. I have been so consumed with paying off debt that I have not focused any energy on anything else. Until now that is. 

  3. Grow my email subscribers to 5,000. July 1 update: Not there yet, nor have I actively tried to work on it. So... if you haven’t signed up for my email newsletter, you can do so below. Starting this month, I will send out a weekly newsletter recapping the week’s happenings on Culley Avenue.

  4. Enjoy every single day. July 1 update: For the most part, I have achieved this resolution thus far. And, in my opinion, this was the most important resolution. I have started soaking in the moment and enjoying more time outside. I also have complete control over every aspect of my day, which makes me extremely happy. 

How are your NYR's going? Do you have any advice on budgets? Or for budgeting when you don't have a steady income? Comment below and let me know!