Another day, another person’s money to snoop around in! Haha…
And this time along with some nifty MONEY NOTEBOOKS! The budgeting method of choice from our featured reader today – Amanda – which I just love for a number of reasons. First, anytime you *physically* track stuff it tends to sink in better!, and second – it’s always nice to see a snapshot from someone early on in their journey and not a millionaire success story that we tend to feature a lot here ;)
When I found out that Amanda used notebooks to track her finances I asked if she’d be kind enough to snap some pics for us, and she not only did that for us, but also included some of her backstory as well.
So here’s the backstory along w/ the pics!! Gotta love that cheetah one, rawr!
Attached are the pictures of my money notebooks. The purple one was the first one and the animal print one is the one I’m using now. I’ve included pictures from my first month of tracking and the current month. It’s amazing to look back and see how far I’ve come over the last 7 years.
When I started tracking my finances, I was living paycheck to paycheck with about 3 grand in credit card debt. Today, I have $17K in my checking account, $40K in my $401K, and I’ve paid off two cars since October 2012.
I know this doesn’t sound like a lot to most people, but considering I only make about $33K a year, I think it’s pretty phenomenal! I have been side hustling all along as well. I’m proud of myself! I’m so thankful I found MMM’s blog and yours! They’ve both taught me a lot and keep me motivated to continue saving!
And she should be proud!! That’s a lot of growth w/ a salary of that size! Some people can’t pay off jack with three times that, so good on ya Amanda… Here’s to the next 7 years of kicking ass!
Amanda’s finances circa 2012:
[Click to blow up bigger]
You see all those savings funds???
- Vehicle fund
- Emergency fund
- Medical fund
- Gift fund
- Baby fund
A total of *5* for a whopping $400 every single month!! And again, all the while living off of a $33k salary, and probably even less since this was 7 years ago… (although the more I dig in the more I realize that rent isn’t included in there anywhere?! Maybe she’s pulling a “live with mom and dad to save mad money” deal there? A great one that I approve of during that stage of your life… Else you’ll turn out like me and waste away your money those first few years out of school! Haha…)
Amanda’s Expenses – Sep, 2019:
There’s the house payment! Lol… And not too shabby either at $500 – nice! We pay over three times that right now and that doesn’t even include the extra we throw against the principal… I wonder if she has roommates/partners she’s splitting the mortgage with?
Amanda’s Income – Sep, 2019:
Lastly, here’s a snapshot of her income thus far in Sep… About $2,000 it’ll look like she’ll net by the time the month’s over, which is more than enough to cover all those expenses already listed and then some… Like those 5 savings funds if she’s still rocking them 7 years later?! They’d be pretty plump by now barring anything crazy!
Anyways, another great way to track this stuff if it fits your personality, and if it doesn’t here’s a list of some other options you can try as well if you still haven’t found one that clicks –> List of free budgeting spreadsheets and apps. There’s also that calendar method we featured here the other week as well –> A reader’s review of CalendarBudget.com
Hope something here helps!! And would love to see YOUR way of budgeting if you’d like to spill your numbers/screenshots with us?! ;)
Addendum: The $498 house payment is the *entire* monthly mortgage payment plus house insurance and property taxes! Amanda apparently lives in a super low COL area (“where gas is $2.19 per gallon right now”) and she tells me all her savings funds are still in full effect too, though now combined into one main “emergency fund”… Go Amanda!!
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!