Road Trip to Financially Fit: March Challenge

12:30 PM

Big news: I just paid off my first student loan!!!!

Like many of my millennial friends, my early 20s were weighed down with a decently large sum of student debt. I don't want my mid 20s to follow the same course.

So what's a gal to do?

After examining my finances, I realized that a budget could maybe, potentially, possibly, kind of be beneficial to my financial fitness. If that doesn't sound like commitment...

Due to a few career changes, I don't expect March to be steady in terms of income. Yes, I realize setting goals isn't the same as establishing a budget, but I do want to make my finances more secure before sticking to a set plan.

Diving right in, here are my goals to help me become financially fit this month.

Fix #1: Spend Less on Food

Uggghhhh! My life without Grubhub and Eat24 is incomplete. I easily spend $40 on food delivery each and every weekend. (As I sit here eating food delivered by Eat24....) Yikes! This month, I will do my darnest to end this habit to rein in on my spending.

Not only do I spend a good chunk of change on delivery each week, I also buy my lunch at work every. single. day. I know that bringing a homemade lunch isn't a realistic possibility for me, but I am still ready to look into cheaper options. Since I work in the Loop, I'm giving MealPal a try which will cut daily lunch costs by about $3/meal for 12 days. $36 back in my pocket? Oh hell yeah.

Additionally, I've become accustomed to buying a grande iced coffee from the Starbucks at work every morning. While this isn't a huge pain on my wallet, my goal is to cut these visits down to twice a week for an added savings of $3.07 per coffee-less day.

Fix #2: Nix Online Shopping

I'll be the first to admit that I hate shopping. As a  human of this world, I still need to buy things on a fairly regular basis. I wish I could say that I only buy the essentials, but online shopping is just too easy. I mean, one doesn't even need to put on pants to shop via the internet. From the countless emails about new products and sales to the virtual window shopping, it's very easy to be coerced into buying products you don't necessarily need. I, myself, am often a victim of these budget crimes. During this challenge, consider this cord cut.

Fix #3: Increase Income

While I work full time in ad tech, the pay from this endeavor is rather limited. To supplement my income, I freelance, often working an additional 10-20 hours each week. My goal for March is to complete 18-20 billable hours every single week. Per usual, the net income from first 10 hours will be put towards my fixed expenses (and boy do I have enough of them), while the remaining amount will be split between savings and paying the remainder of my student loans.  #Baller

So there you have it, my March plan to begin my road trip to being financially fit. Have any ideas on other strategies? Share them in the comments below.

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