The No Spending Month- My Personal Savings Crisis and How I’m Conquering It

I created the No Spending Month money diet for myself because in February I will be turning 18, getting my driver’s license, and will be in the process of buying a car.  Not only do I blow through my money the second it hits my bank account, but I put it at the back of mind and don’t think about my money spending responsibly.  So, I’ve created a budget of sorts that is tailored for young adults and teenagers with a low paying job, that caters to their specific needs.

The first thing I did, was create and write down some personal rules that address my weaknesses.

  1. Allow 5$ a week that can be spent on non-essential purchases.  For example, let’s say I am early leaving for school and I want to stop for donuts but I already have plans to go out the coming up weekend with a friend for coffee.  I have to weigh my options and choose which of my wants is more dire.
  2. Can’t upgrade any food to a large. (Do you really need to make your fries and drink a large?  The Answer is no)
  3. Cant buy myself food while I am working!  This is one of my greatest weaknesses because it is so easy to be at work drooling over all of the food and talking myself into buying something because I went straight from school to work.
  4. Books rules! Anyone who has met me should know that I am a huge reader and a book fanatic. Books are my guilty pleasure!  So I am only allowed to get books if…
    1. I am buying them from Half Price Books
    2. I am only using money that I have left over from the five bucks a week, and have saved it up for a certain book
    3. I have already checked to make sure the library and none of my other friends own the book

My four rules are pretty simple.  They cater to my specific weaknesses and limit only purchases that are non-essential.  The guidelines are not made to limit all of my money, just my extra spending.  That way, I am still able to buy school books and day to day needs without worrying about spending my five dollars.  Although these rules are specific to me, the intent for bringing this topic into my blog is so that I can encourage others to take on a similar challenge! If there is someone out there who knows that they need to be saving money this post is for you. Check out my plan, and make your own kind of budget that is specific to you and follows the general idea of my own.

I started this budget on January 9th.  It’s only been two weeks, and it has been a much harder struggle than I thought it would be!  I feel more understanding to what my life will look like when I tackle college and enter the years when I will be regarding myself as a “broke college student” then I ever have before.

The first week, I spent my five dollars one day after school on the way to work.  Let me tell ya’, it was a miserable weekend not being able to go out with friends for a Saturday night out.  The second week, I did everything I could to not spend my money until the weekend.  I avoided Chick- Fil- A at all costs (my FAV), begged my friends to hold my wallet when we walked into Target, and keep me away from Harry Potter merchandise at B&N.

Somehow….. I made it! Not only did I get to the weekend without spending my precious 5 bucks, but when I did end up going out I did everything for free!  I hit up an old friend to get free movie tickets and I used coupons when I went out to eat.  So now, I have double the money to spend for next week!

I’ve begun this process and already I have started to get used to it.  In a couple weeks I will update on where I am! Two weeks down, three to go.

 

Texting! Don’t Let It Smother The Fire In Your Relationship

hands-coffee-smartphone-technologyTexting has grown since the beginning of the 21st century from a hobby, to an excuse to hide our faces and personal thoughts behind a digitized screen. For most, texting is no longer just used for planning dates, it has morphed into the entire relationship. Young adults and teenagers spend hours texting the people they are infatuated with, wanting to spend every waking moment chatting. The reason so many find their relationships dying after a couple weeks is because a couple cannot spend that much time talking to each other. You will get sick of one another! At the end of the day, who wants to come home and sit down to have a conversation and not have anything to talk about? The answer is, no one. To avoid this predicament, below are six rules about texting and relationships:

  1. You do not owe anyone a response! If you are going throughout your day and you get a text from your sweetheart, feel no obligation to respond. Perhaps you do want to talk to them but just don’t have the time. A ,“Hey, I’ll talk to you later tonight. Really busy right now!” never hurts. If they cannot deal with you having a life outside of your relationship, they are asking for you to give up yourself as an individual and that is too much.
  2. Use proper grammar. Who is attracted to someone who uses an infinite amount of bad grammar, to the point that you cannot comprehend what they are saying?
  3. Be flirty. You want to keep your companion engaged! You don’t want them to get over you before you have even truly begun to know the other person. Let’s say you meet a cute girl in the local coffee shop and you swap numbers. You do not want to get a couple texts in, and then she is already getting bored with you. Keep the conversation light and bubbly. Ask her about her day but keep it short and sweet, you don’t want her to become desensitized to you.
  4. Keep the conversation refreshing. If it is far enough along in the relationship (or you are just choosing to ignore ALL of my fancy worded, wisdom filled advice) and you are comfortable with the person you have spent a couple dates with, then it is okay to send a message with the purpose of more then just plans. However, make it refreshing.  No one wants to respond to a dull, one worded text. And for goodness sakes, don’t start a text with a simple “Hey”. How unexciting is that? I know that personally when I get a “Hey” text, I almost always look at it and don’t respond. Keep it intriguing by asking a couple questions. For example, “Hey Zach! How is your day going? Btw, I rocked that presentation this morning, just like you said I would!” Short and sweet. Yet it shows that you truly are interested in the other person’s life. Don’t freak if they don’t respond right away.  A text like this is worded so that if they don’t receive it until late, it isn’t a big deal and can still be answered the same.
  5. Take the hint.  With all of this in mind, be aware of the context in the texts you are getting back. If you are getting one or two word texts, take the hint. If the other person is not spending the time to text you thoughtful messages, they do not care that much.
  6. Follow the three day rule. I live by and have avoided many unhealthy relationships with this. If you feel unsure of a person and where your relationship may go, then try this. Don’t text back for three whole days. I know that it feels like forever, but if the person you have been going on dates with doesn’t text you and see how you are, then they most likely do not care as much as someone should care about you.

You deserve the best out of any relationship! Take this advice and do something with it. Do not let anyone treat you like you are anything less than the magnificent beauty you are!

About My Little Blog & I

My name is Mattie Brooke.  I’ve traveled around the sun 18 times and every year I grow more in love with reading and writing.  I am awkward in a conversation unless it consists of books or music, and I am quite un ashamed of my nerdiness.  I gained my love of reading at a young age, starting off with Magic Treehouse Books and Judy Bloom masterpieces.  This love for reading grew into a love for writing with the encouragement of many role models who saw me as the inspiring writer that I am.  My blog´s purpose is to voice my personal words of encouragement and advice for teens and young adults.

Dating Does Not Have To Equal Boyfriend and Girlfriend

To have your heart broken by somebody you love may be one of the most common types of heartbreak. We offer up a piece of our heart to someone in hope that they may be our future and that they will savor this bold sacrifice.  But at the end of the day, more than half of the people we give our hearts to will not be the person we are destined to be with.

There are so many different views on dating, especially circling within the teenage world. However, one thing that teenagers just do not seem to understand is that going on dates does not mean a couple has to be boyfriend and girlfriend. The point of dating is ultimately to find the person we want to marry and more importantly, who God wants us to marry. In between all of the heartbreak and almost lovers that we will encounter, we must open our minds and hearts to new possibilities and seek God in all of our relationships.

above-all-else-guard-your-heart

In the Bible it says to guard your heart, and because of this, some people think that dating is something to be feared and that we cannot have a solid relationship with God, in the midst of an earthly relationship.  I myself struggle with this. So many think that if God has someone picked out for us, we have to sit and wait, lonely, until one day this person walks up to us and declares, “Hey! I was praying and God told me that you are the one for me. Ready to get married?” Relationships do not work like that. God wants us to follow our heart and listen to Him along the way.

We have to date people to find out who it is we are destined to marry! When I say this, I do not mean every weekend go out with a new guy/girl and decide in that one moment whether or not he/she is the one. We are in high school and college and are just figuring out who we are. How can we find the person we want to marry yet? How will we ever? The trick is, to listen to your gut (Aka, the holy spirit working within you). If you feel a pull toward someone and you have a good time talking, take them out on a date. Go grab some coffee, chat, and see how you like the person. Figure out their interests and how they see the world. If you like talking to them, go out again. If you are on your second date and you realize that this guy/gal is really not the person you thought they were, then you have just gained insight on one quality (or several) that you DO NOT want to see in your husband/wife one day. Maybe they have values that are different than yours or they aren’t the true Christian you thought they were. Or maybe they just smack when they eat – ew – and have no respect for women. Even if you are not a Christian, this could apply to your dating life as well.

Talk to God and listen to what he has to say, what scriptures He is putting in your heart. Two of the biggest ways God has always answered my prayers is through my God fearing friends and family, and through writing.  I have been praying upon this subject lately, unsure if I should open my heart to someone whose presence I enjoy.  As I was praying, I felt God put this idea for a post in the palms of my hands; and I knew I had to write my thoughts down.

Dating is intended to be light and fun. It should not be a chore and you should not have to be afraid of getting your heart broken every time you go get pizza with the opposite sex. Enjoy dating! Have fun with it and remember that no relationship is a waste of time.  All are bringing you to the person you will be with forever!