Hello, everyone, it’s Krysta again. I’ve fallen behind in my posts meaning I’ve got quite a bit of news to tell you about, so it’s story time. Gather around, my lovelies….
So you know how people usually start college the fall after they graduate?
Yeah, that might not be happening this time.
Thanks to one of the bumps on the rollercoaster that is my life, I missed the opportunity to start college on time this year. Now before you start “le gasping”, let me assure you I’m still going to college. Maybe I’ll start mid-fall, maybe I’ll start in January, I don’t know right now. But I do know that I’ll be paying for my education myself because my parents can’t do it all themselves. After all, I have five other siblings who need their attention and, frankly, their funds. That means I have to start working ASAP because apparently universities don’t accept Monopoly money.
Which brings me to my next point: a job. Now a few weeks ago, I’d been thinking about just working at a place like CVS or Wal-Mart, but then I got offered a nannying job by a friend who had just left said nannying position. Basically, a couple–I’ll call them the Stevenson couple–needs someone to watch daughter Stevenson (and the neighbors’ daughter) until Mr. Stevenson gets home from work. I’d actually have to pick them up from the bus stop (which is a foreign concept to a homeschooler) and take them to the Stevensons’ house. Now I won’t go into all the details of the job, but my friend tells me the girls are both fans of One Direction, which means I already love these kids. The details have been all worked out and the family likes me enough, so I’ve officially got the job. This is amazing, considering my mom (who came with me) somehow managed to talk more than I did, making me seem shy and codependent. Nevertheless, I’m employed. Huzzah.
Unlike most people I know, I’m quite excited about having a job. And not only is this one relatively easy–I’m not Mary Poppins or anything, but I have a lot of experience with kids (raised/raising five siblings)–but it pays $75 a week, which is a lot when you’re always broke. I mean, that’s $300 a month…as in $300 more than I get now. (You can probably imagine how pumped I am about getting my first paycheck soon!)
But as you employed folk know, there is a downside to money–budgeting it. Now that’s something you can’t avoid–even if you really want to. I’ve been trying to come up with a good budget plan, but I don’t have one yet. So far, I’m thinking of just altering the suggestion Bethany gave me to make room for tithing by decreasing the amount needed for what we call “involuntary expenses”–things you consistently have to buy for yourself. Involuntary expenses are, as you know, not to be confused with that pair of shoes you just have to have, or the smoothies you’ve been craving for two weeks. Those are voluntary expenses and they’re in a very separate category.
Now most of you employed folk may know all about what I’m going to do here, but I encourage those of you who don’t to stick around and read this. Not to say that you have to follow this to a T, but looking at everyone else’s budget plans really helped me to develop my “prototype plan”, even before I needed one. I think it’s a good idea to see what works and what doesn’t and then try to make your budget plan to fit your life. So unless you’re way ahead and have already looked into budget plans (or have your own), here’s your starter package: my prototype plan. Now I’ll probably make some adjustments once I have a consistent cash flow (and another job), but I’m thinking of separating my paycheck into five parts:
- savings- 65%,
- short-term goals- 5%,
- voluntary expenses- 5%,
- involuntary expenses- 10%,
- tithing- 10%, and
- emergency funds- 5%
Savings is taking up more for me than it will for most of you, but that’s only because I have to meet the deadline before it’s time to fly across the pond. I hope you don’t feel pressured by this to save up more than half your paycheck. My short-term goals are just things I need or want a lot (e.g. my own laptop, a smartphone, new earbuds, etc.), preferably before we move to London. Voluntary expenses are just spur-of-the-moment things I want to buy–like a second dinner just because I’m out with my friends, or anything I want but don’t need that I haven’t saved up for. Tithing is what I put in the offering basket when I’m at church, mostly to support missions trips and other great things my church does for the community. Emergency funds are just what they sound like: money for emergency purposes only. I put that in italics because it’s important. I used to call everything an emergency and just spend $30 on food, which would be nice if I didn’t eat all of said food in only one sitting. (Talk about expensive taste. Ba-dum-tsss….)
So I think I’ve covered everything I wanted to cover (and then some). Sorry if you’re confused.