To get a handle on your finances, de Leon suggesting breaking everything down into three categories: Bills and Life, Future and Goals, and Fun and Bullsh*t. "I literally have a debit card on me right now that's linked to a 'Fun and BS' account. When somebody's like, 'Hey, do you want to go out and have pizza and tequila shots?' I'm like, 'Okay, let me check my allowance. No, no. You can come over though, because there's no money,'" says de Leon. "This is what I do to protect myself from myself. And I recommend bifurcating your spending to all my friends.'"
"This is what I do to protect myself from myself." —Paco de Leon, founder of The Hell Yeah Group
Even if spreadsheets make you want to climb up the wall, you can definitely figure out the sum of your bills with an online banking login. After adding up the basics—rent or mortgage, electric, gas, and Netflix (but not Hulu because you have your ex's roommate's mom's password for that)—you should have an idea of how many funds that you left over.
Let's say each month your take home pay is $4,000. You spend roughly $1500 on bill and things, $300 on groceries, and $200 between the gym and therapy, $500 on loans and debt, and want to save at least $1000 a month. That means you can direct $500 a month into your Fun and BS account for all the little Treat Yo'self things.
One of the hardest parts of being financially empowered is taking the first step. And creating a separate account for Fun and BS is an easy budgeting tip to start with. It's an easy way to make sure your essential expenses get paid in a way that doesn't suffocate your social life. As de Leon puts it: "It's a good gateway drug to caring about your money."
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