I'm gonna need more hangers.

step 1 in my wardrobe reform is a clear budget.

here, i employed the 60/40 principle: 60%  living expenses, 40% leisure/savings. big thanks to wikipedia for informing me; i prefer overarching guidelines that i can tailor over pre-detailed plans, which tend to be overwhelming and impersonal. i’ve tried to scale each item’s size based on its percentage within the categories (ie. fiscal significance).

Budget

L: Utilities, Transportation, Rent, Food, Dry Cleaning, Household, Phone || R: Shopping, Creative Projects, Savings

while i love numbers and lists, visuals are the most effective means of motivation for me.  mapping this out, i realize how easy it is for me to lose sight of what’s important (ex. eating great food). this collage will remind me of what really has prominence and where sacrifices can be made if funds need to be shuffled around, given no extra income.

…which i do get actually; i’ve been working a lot of weekends (not by choice, boo). any extra income will go towards the savings, or irregular expenses, piggy bank first, though i can see creative projects absorbing most of it, which is fine.

creating this visual budget is one thing, maintaining it requires an additional system of checks and balances, puns notwithstanding.

1) weekly receipts are the best way for me to keep track of expenses. every sunday, my boyfriend and i try to divvy out what we owe over groceries, so i can use that time to jointly check-in on my own spending. sometimes this gets delayed, but there’s a noticeable void in productivity if we don’t. this allows for me to piggy-back on an already establishing habit, instead of trying to carve out a new one.

2) setting aside leisure savings on every pay day will be a challenge, but it can be done. in this case, its a matter of setting up a reminder on my phone, which also syncs to my laptop. yay apple!

3) have cushion room in the necessities category. i gave myself some generous leeway so if i do scrimp on something, i’ll feel like i saved extra, but if i don’t, its already accounted for.

positive reinforcement is as necessary as a crackdown i say. budget rewards, which can come out of irregular expenses or extra from the end-week, for myself are often activity or food related–a $5 yoga class, a cheap spa day, a succulent slice of cake–as i try to curb my retail therapy ways.

Source: pinterest, instagram(@perzpective, who beautifully photographed our little loft. yes i live there hehe)

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