I graduated from college exactly (give or take a few days) a year ago. Going from being a pretty broke college student to having a full time paying job was crazy for me - money just shows up in my bank account every 2 weeks? Awesome, lets go shopping!
And shopping I went. At least once a week I would be at the mall/Target/online buying something I just needed to have. But I have a job now! I can afford to do this.
Wrong. Although I put a bit into my savings account every month to have a safety net, I always needed it for something. It had started getting to the point where the last few days before pay day I had a pit in my stomach because of the low number in my bank account.
No more. As much as I love shopping, I don't need to get ALL THE THINGS. And at 24.75 years old, its time I start to take responsibility for my financial situation. So I made a budget spreadsheet, and allowing myself $150 a month to go shopping. That includes everything not necessary - random Walgreen runs, quick pop ins to Sephora, and especially the "I saw this online, so I need to go to the mall RIGHT NOW" trips. It may seem like a lot of money, but it is less than I spent month to month on things I didn't always need. Having a spreadsheet hold me accountable for my shopping actions means that pit of anxiety will hopefully go away over time.
Unfortunately for me, I hadn't planned on having a budget at the beginning of the month, so now I have $40 left for the month. I don't need anything, but I can live with buying things within reason. Like this beauty I found last night:
How are you budgeting your spending habits? Do you need a strict guideline like I do, or do you play it by ear?