I'm 17 and I have a problem with my spending habit, it's nothing compare to my friends and they see me as a cheap person that's always finding ways to save my money. It may seems true but I have a very big spending problem, for the past 7 months, I have spent 923.10$ on clothes alone, that's way over the limit and I really regret buying a 200$ jeans because my friend encouraged me to buy it, since it looks really good on me... Later, I found jeans that are 30$-50$.
I keep my spending on track with my notebook, and I review it at the end of the month to see what area I need improve, so far, I stopped eating out and start buying groceries and cooking meals at home. I don't know how much I save so far, I stopped eating out for two weeks already except today, I bought Mcdo because I was very very hungry and I lost my appetite at lunch time when a fly touched my meal, I also killed it with my spoon... I hate eating at my dad work place, so much flies flying around.
I don't go out often to hang out with my friends, the activities they ask are very expensive and I don't work anymore, so I have to watch my money, more importantly my savings that I have saved for the last six months, so far, I had around 700$, plus my change that make 420$ (I saved it separately for my future around the world trip that I'll talk about it later), that makes 1120$ in my saving account. I recently went shopping for clothes for my interview today, I applied for H&M, a very trendy store and I refused to work 20 hours/week starting in September, so I got refused to do the interview... I don't care anymore, their clothes are not really my taste anyways, and the hours they asked me to do will take away my study.
Anyways, the point is, when I went shopping, I was only thinking about buying a shirt or two from the H&M store, and I end up buying a shirt, a sweater and some weird looking gloves that I found pretty and cheap, that makes 52.07$. After that, I wanted to leave right away, but the mall was having a BIG sale... I told myself, what the heck I still have 147.93$ on me, I'll only spend 100$ today. I've found some lucky find, like a shirt for 5$ at American Eagle, 4$ tank top from the kids section (I can actually fit them... I was surprise. o.O)... But at the end of the day, I've spent 190.83$, then I realized I have a big problem in this area... I look at my spending this month, the total is 368.77$ in July. I shouldn't have step into the American Eagle store or the other stores as well... Or even go shopping at all.
I am happy with my purchase though, I have a very colourful wardrobe now. I just want to avoid spending too much money at the same time and later, regret about it... So I decide to spend 100$ every three months, to avoid frustration at the end, but I'm not completely sure if I can follow it. I go to the other forum where there's people that are the same age as me, I remembered seeing their wardrobe where they have full of clothes, they said that they have a lot of clothes that they don't wear, but I want to have a full wardrobe too... When I look at mine, it looks empty, and I want to load my wardrobe slowly, I try choosing my clothes wisely when I go shopping, to avoid wasting my money for nothing. If I take my own advice, I'll spend about 400$/ year. I won't shop at thrift store or garage sale... Sorry, I'm not use to the used clothing from other people other than my own family, although, I can't ask clothes from anybody in my family since I am VERY picky in clothes and my mom tried the hand me down, out of ten clothes she gave me, I only accepted one, her other clothes are broken or really not my taste... I feel like I'm a garbage to my mom when I found one or two holes in some of her shirts that she gave me. Honestly, my mom don't know my taste or don't really know me, so she always assume things about me and tell everyone else, when they see me, they claimed things that my mom said and half of it it's not even true or she don't know why I did that. I want to sew my own clothes, but I hardly have any time and money now, #1 : I'm going to college soon, I need to study a lot for the first two terms to get good grades. #2 : I'm going to find a part-time job to earn money for my long-term saving in three years and I don't want to ask for my parents money too often because I feel really guilty always asking them to pay me stuff. #3 I don't have the money for the sewing machine, lessons and any other things... It's going to cost me a lot in the end, but it'll save a heap of money later on because I'll be making my own clothes in my taste, but I'm going to think about later, when I have enough money for my goal.
Entertainment should be no problem for me, I only spend less than 300$ these past 7 months, but I'm planning to do only 200$/year if possible and stop listening to my cousin who's constantly asking me to join her in her expensive activities like seeing a movie every Friday at 10$ at night (Tuesday and Wednesday are only 6$, my local video store have pretty recent movies, it costs 3$ for 3 movies), going to the amusement park for only a few hours that cost 34$ for the entry (I went there 10 times in my life, and all I remember is waiting in line for more than 40 min to get on a ride, I hate that and I don't plan on going back anytime soon, maybe for a special friend , I'll consider it.), going swimming in the Olympic stadium (cost 4,50$ to go in and at my school, it costs 1,50$ for the entry.) and going out to eat two meals in the same day. Her parents give her the money like 20$ every time she goes out. She respects some of my frugal ways like taking the bus, while she's free (Her uncle sell bus card) and I have to pay 1.80$ to take, last time, I suggested going on roller, and she agreed.
Food so far is 379.17 included going out to eat, buying my own food for cooking and... Buying drink once or twice so far in seven months. I've decided to buy my own groceries when school start, my mom usually give me 80$ for my lunch card (cost 76$) for a month, and I think I'm going to stretch my money and make my own lunch from now on... The rest of the money, I'll put it on my long-term goal. yay! If I can survive 22$ in groceries for 2 weeks, I think I can survive 44$ for a month for lunch and breakfast, there's even enough to make two lunches a day for my brother or sister and I. . yay!. I don't know about eating out... It'll be my own expense though. For the past 7 months, I eat out like 3 times/ month...I think it's okay, since I don't go out often, so I don't eat out often either. About 10$ eating out and that makes 30$/ month.... That makes 360$/year. I think it's okay. I'll see if I can follow it.
I don't think I need money for emergency. I still live with my parents. I can't think of anything that's considering emergency for a teen... All the superficial things. Do I need it in case? For what exactly?
Charity money... I don't know what organisation I want to donate my money to. I believe in many things that have to be solve, but the people in Africa always touch me, when I think about it, I need to help things that's more near me like the Aid and other sickness. I remember reading something in a book, to donate 10% of my paycheck or something. It's okay with me.. Any suggestions?
Saving my money... I called it saving money for nothing, since I already save my 50$ off my paycheck weekly to go directly to my savings, I don't know what to do with it, and I'm satisfied with it because I know I have money that I don't need.
Saving for long-term goal ; I want to travel around the world in three years. That's one of my main dream. I'm thinking before I enter University, I take a year or two off and go travel the world with only a backpack with me and traveling cheaply... It's going to cost me a lot, but I really really want to do it, it been my dream to travel when I was six years old and still is. I know it's not possible with my busy scheduled, I'm going to college soon and I can't work more than 15 hours a week... I'm thinking of investing somewhere to watch my money grow, but I don't want to lose my money in the process either, so any suggestions on where I should invest in ?
I think that's all for now...I hope you guys can give me suggestions on my budget or comment on it ._." or even criticize it hehe... I need help with my spending money on clothes the most, I can't seem to tone it down a bit.
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