Recent Experiment Proves Millenials Capable of Budgeting, Utilizing Buddy System

 
Illustration by Lindsey Ashley

Illustration by Lindsey Ashley

 

So you blew your budget on swimsuits and a bottle of PatrĂ³n before your vacation even started because you #ballsohard. We get it. But now you're destined to spring break like a #peasant, and you're suuuper bummed about it. Don't fret! Your fairy finance mother is here to teach you how to broke-girl vacation step-by-step. I brainstormed and executed the following strategy this weekend and didn't blow my budget ONCE! THERE IS NOTHING SO EMPOWERING; LET ME TELL YOU.

Step 1: Plan your itinerary. This inherently makes planning for spending WAY easier, plus you get the added bonus of not having to waste precious vacation time deciding the fate of said vacation. 

Step 2: Gather some supplies. You'll need a writing utensil, as much cash as you plan to spend (plus 20 percent of that number if you're able) in small bills, your tongue, and a few envelopes -- three will PROBABLY do. Don't get those big-ass envelopes; get the ones that are the same size as... money. See where I'm going here?

Step 3: Prepare one (1) container with enough liquid to cover a 3"x2" object. Submerge your debit and/or credit card. Place container in freezer.  Affirm that you will stick to your budget by chanting, "I am a fiscally responsible adult," as you spin around with your forehead on a bat.

Step 4: Remove your bullshit hat. I am 100 percent serious. Grab it by its invisible rim and set it on your invisible table. Shit's about to get real. If you think this sounds ridiculous, just remember that a second ago you were spinning around on a bat chanting about how fiscally responsible you are.

Step 5: Find a Buddy. Budgeting by yourself is hard and not fun, but budgeting with a buddy makes it all bearable. Walk your Budget Buddy though steps 1 through 4.

Step 6: Decide together how much you're going to spend on each activity. Your numbers should all be the same bc this is a BUDDY SYSTEM. You will stick to your guns more if you've got a friend sticking to theirs. Grab two envelopes each and write "S.O.S." and "Travel" on them. Put that extra 20 percent of funds we told you about in those envelopes. NOTE: TEQUILA ONLY COUNTS AS AN EMERGENCY IN THE LAST 24 HOURS OF YOUR TRIP. Lick those envelopes shut!

Step 7: Divvy up the remainder of the cash between the last two envelopes, and write on both of them how much you're allotted for every activity. Don't try to thrift evenly across the board -- you'll be more likely to stay on budget with only $20 at the bar tonight if you've got $40 to blow at brunch tomorrow.

Step 8: Once you get there, lock that cash you're not using in a safe, and have a great vacation!!!

How Does Apartment Hunt?

 
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Oh, the apartment hunt. If you're lucky enough to finally (and hopefully, permanently) be moving out of your childhood bedroom, you don't feel like it. EVERYTHING costs more than you anticipated. The cost of living is through the goddamn roof. There are fees for EVERYTHING. You can't afford to live without a roommate. You have to make absolutely certain that this roommate relationship will work. There are a million and a half things to  compromise on and a million and a half more that you know you're forgetting. From my own recent experience, here's an exhaustive (and exhausting) list of things to keep in mind.

  1. The Roommate Sitch/Some important questions to discuss openly: What is your financial status? If something bad happens, how many months can you afford rent without an income? When do you go to bed? When do you wake up? Are you a light sleeper? What is your biggest pet peeve? What do you think is your worst habit? Are there any chores, like vacuuming or taking out the trash, that you absolutely hate doing? Is there anything that is a hard "no" for you (guns, pets, guests, one-night-stands, drugs, horcruxes, crucifixes, garlic)? 
  2. Neighbors: If little noises drive you nuts, or you are a light sleeper, you should probably live on the highest floor. Neighbors above can almost always be heard walking, vacuuming, and fucking. How often does management receive noise complaints?
  3. Crime: Find out what the crime rate looks like for that area.
  4. Bad Days: What's the place look like at night? Is there some shady shit goin' down? Is that shit poorly lit, and therefore LITERALLY shady? Do the grounds or parking lot flood when it rains?
  5. Management: What are the reviews of management online? Are they hit-or-miss? Is the property under new management?
  6. Priorities: Know what they are! Are you hell-bent on having a washer/dryer in the apartment? How much storage space do you need? Do you want a lot of natural light? Extra counter space in the bathroom? Ceiling fans? A bidet? A walk-in pantry? A patio?
  7. Internet: What is your phone signal like there? What is it like in one of the models? Ask if they have a particular internet provider that they work with. DO YOU HATE THAT PROVIDER?
  8. Amenities: Do you give a shit about amenities? Would a gym on-site be a game-changer for you? Is the laundry facility on the other side of kingdom-come? Would a walking trail be great? A dog park?
  9. Location: How far away is the grocery store? Do you want to be near a Whole Foods or Fresh Market? A bar scene? Schools? Public transit?

I've been apartment hunting for months, and I never imagined how tricky it would be finding the ~perfect place~. Hopefully, this information has made your process a helluva lot easier!