5 Steps To Budgeting Your Money

It’s happened again; you just went on an epic shopping adventure, got a bunch of cute clothes, went out to dinner with some friends, and now you’re completely broke. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “if I had a budget, this would never have happened!” But if you don’t know the first thing about budgets, where do you start?

Below are five steps for budgeting your money, from the before you get it to the moment you buy that awesome pair of boots you’ve been wanting for months.


1. Know where the money’s coming from.

First, you have to know how much money you have. How much is in your checking or savings accounts? How much do you get on your paycheck? Figure out, as close as you can, how much money you get each month, from where, and at what times.

2. Know where the money’s going.

Next you need to understand where your money is currently going to. Track your spending for a month and categorize each transaction according to what you buy.

For example, you could separate everything into the categories of food, clothes, home supplies, and cash withdraws. If you’re a student or require things for work, make another category for work/school supplies.

3. Determine where you want your money to go.

Now, decide what you want to do with your money. If you want to save up some money for a car, or you need to pay off your student loans faster, or you’re not putting aside enough money for rent, then you need to make the firm decision to cut back spending in other areas to make room for more important things.

4. Get down to business.

Now it’s time to make the actual budget. According to how much money you have, how much you normally spend in different areas, and how much you need to set apart, write up a set of limits for each area. For example, you could decide to spend only $250 on food each month, that’s a little more than $50 a week.

5. Set up a system

Now you need to set up a system to track your spending and let you know if you go over budget. You can use a spreadsheet, if you know how to use Excell or a similar program, or you could buy a home budget program like Quicken that automatically tracks your spending.


Here is a sample budgeting spreadsheet. To use, enter your bank account balance on the first of the month then add every transaction you make into its proper category. The rest is calculated automatically.

Congratulations! Now you know how to budget your money! Comment below to let us know if it worked for you!


You Are Going To Die

I know, I know. That’s the most depressing title ever. Who wants to read a blog post about death?! Bleh. And why is it in the something old/ something NEW section! Idiot.

Just hear me out.

The ancient Romans used to write “MM” on the bases of statues and tree trunks. The initials stood for the latin phrase Memento Mori which translates, “ Remember your mortality” or “Remember you will die.” This wasn’t meant to be morbid. It was meant to bring perspective to their lives. Hate to be the bearer of bad news but, we are all going to die. Memento Mori was a mental tool to keep them in check. To remind themselves to not fear the unknown and come to terms with their own mortality.

As a whole, our culture fears death.  We are told to eat healthy, take care of ourselves, maybe get a little nip and tuck here and there, all in the hopes of prolonging our lives as much as possible. But as the saying goes, “no one gets out alive.” I’d argue that many fear death because they believe that’s it. Once you’re gone, you’re gone. But I believe that there is a life more beautiful than this one waiting for me once I’m gone and buried under the strawberry plants. Gotta work to get there and God knows I’m trying.

So, what’s my argument? Let’s bring back death. I don’t mean skeleton outfits and zombies. I mean Memento Mori. Remember you are only human. Live life to the fullest. I’m not talking bungee jumping and cheap thrills. I mean really doing every little thing we do with conviction, purpose, and love.

In the commencement speech given at Stanford, Steve Jobs touches on this very topic. “I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” Smart guy.

Let’s do it. Let’s do great things. Let’s love with everything we’ve got, every moment that we’ve got. Your life is a gift from the Guy who made you. Don’t screw it up. Don’t take it for granted.

We are all going to die. Go out with a bang.

So, show me what you’ve got. How do you remind yourself to live in the present moment and be the best human being you can possibly be? Have a great saying, catch-phrase or quote? How do you Memento Mori?


4 Vibrant Trends To Get You Through The Winter Greys

It’s winter! Now, many people see this season as the time to bundle up in drab colors, puffed up outerwear, and wait til spring rolls around to do anything vibrant in the wardrobe department. Maybe it’s because I live in southern California but to that I say… no.

Here are 4 vibrant trends that will keep your wardrobe looking sunny through the winter blahs:

1. Pop Color Coat

When it’s cold out, obviously you need a coat. Why go for gloomy when that coat is the first thing people will see? You’ll be a ray of colorful sunshine wherever you go!


2. Vintage Rocker T’s

Remember that blazer we talked about getting? Try a rock and roll graphic T underneath it. Edgy, funky and hipster in all the right ways.


3. Fruit Colored Bag

Who doesn’t need a pick me up? Especially during a time when there’s less and less sunlight. Try a bright orange, yellow, or red bag!


4. Big Print Shoes

Who doesn’t love a good tribal print? Well, even if you don’t love that particular one, shoes with printed patterns are a great way to spice up a sleek and sophisticated look and be on trend at the same time!


Why Twitter Should Be Your BFF

Oh, Twitter. Where do we begin? Twitter is looked upon in many different ways. Fifty- year-olds see it as just another tool for the millennials to inform the world of their nonsense. Millennials see it as a valuable tool to staying connected with… everybody in existence from Lady Gaga to Danny DeVito. Despite the various opinions, Twitter can be a beyond useful tool for college students and recent graduates. Part of the reason Twitter is full of so much clutter is because people don’t think about how they are going to use the outlet prior to setting up an account. So we end up with a million and one people informing us they are watching Dancing with the Stars with their cats.

In college, I had a career class where we discussed how each of us want to brand ourselves; how do we want the world to see us? What do we want the world to see of us? In our text, Getting From College to Career we learned Twitter is the perfect tool to accomplish branding ourselves successfully and effectively. Since I was focusing on marketing, I researched the thought leaders in the marketing industry, marketing magazines, businesses that market brilliantly, etc and started to rack up my list of people to ‘follow.’ This helped me to eventually connect with people in the industry and ask for advice from professionals.

This doesn’t mean you can’t follow Khloe Kardashian and tweet about your favorite kale smoothie recipe. However, it should recognized that Twitter is yet another tool that we can use to our advantage if we simply take the time to think about doing so. If you are a screenwriter, creative writer, an up-and-coming culinary genius, interior designer or whatever your desired career path is, find the people you would like to most emulate. Follow their tweets, observe what they are talking about, take note of trends, and join the conversation!

It is no secret these days employers use all these social media outlets to their advantage. When countless resumes end up their desks, they look elsewhere besides profiles on paper. They go to Facebook, Google, etc. We have heard plenty of stories where people have lost opportunities due to what they chose to post on social networks. Instead of making a habit out of posting pictures from the latest frat party, display yourself as a reputable, credible, and respectable college student who is worth an employer’s time.

If you currently do not have Twitter account, I highly suggest getting one! Aside from having the potential to effectively brand yourself, many companies – especially newer companies – post job listings and have exclusive contests and deals for the people who are following them on Twitter.

There are downsides to being so ‘connected’ all the time and being updated on news in a ‘timely’ manner, but with some discretion and a little time-management, we can keep ourselves from getting entirely consumed by the ‘tweetosphere.’

Happy hunting and happy tweeting.