Christmas is over. I hated typing that sentence! Alas, it is true. We’re still smack in the middle of the holidays until after New Year’s, right? That’s what I’m going to tell myself.

After all the Christmas stress and shopping and parties and more parties and family and gift-giving and eating (so much eating…), it’s no wonder I feel exhausted! Then I also took a look at my bank account and it looks exhausted, too. It’s been a rough month, but I want to talk briefly about finances. Moving out on my own and working at my first “big-girl job” have both taught me (along with my parents) valuable money-saving tips. I have a great habit now of, when I get paid, immediately transferring some money into my long-term savings and then some into my short-term savings (my weekly “allowance”, if you will), and then calculating how much I’ll need for bills, gas, groceries, etc. Because I take a little bit of time each month to do this, I feel SO MUCH BETTER for the rest of the month. Sure, I make lots of jokes about being “poor,” but I don’t struggle. I can’t eat out for each meal or go on shopping sprees and that’s okay with me! I feel so responsible and secure and adult when I plan out my monthly spending habits.

I think learning how to budget and plan for what’s ahead was one of the biggest challenges for me after moving out. I did some budgeting before, but never on a large scale. I also know that my parents would jump in to help me if I ever truly needed them (if, for example and God forbid, my car died unexpectedly), but I really like that I haven’t needed them yet. It’s so liberating to be able to say that I can take care of myself.

I wish all readers a healthy, happy, and successful new year ahead! Don’t be afraid to start your budget–you’d be amazed how much easier it is than you think :).

Money fan