Welcome to my newest series! The Budget Diaries pays homage to some of my favorite blog post series, the Money Diaries of Refinery29 and Cosmopolitan Magazine. In this series, I’ll be interviewing fellow bloggers about their budgeting habits, giving us a small peek into their financial lives.
This week’s guest will be Bob from The Frugal Fellow, personal finance blogger at thefrugalfellow and one of the friendliest personal finance bloggers on Twitter.
Hi, thank you for agreeing to this interview! Will you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hey, I’m Bob Haegele and I run a blog called The Frugal Fellow. I started my blog after finishing my student loan payments. I attended a private university which meant that college was rather expensive – I was nearly six figures in debt by the time I finished. As a result, I decided I wanted to share my experience, the reality of attending a private school, and provide some tips for others.
I have some other ideas and the blog could be changing focus slightly, but for me, student loans have really been a huge part of my life. I know I’m not alone in saying that.
Do you keep a consistent budget?
I actually don’t. I guess the reason for this is that my weekly expenses are relatively simple at the moment. I don’t have kids, I am healthy, and I don’t tend to spend a lot on things that aren’t needs (and that is the inpsiration for my blog name).
That’s interesting! Why not?
Most of the variability in my expenses comes from food, and I don’t feel that is quite enough to justify a budget. If things start to fluctuate more, that’s when a budget would come into the equation. It will probably happen eventually.
So what’s a typical week of expenses for you?
Since rent and auto payments aren’t weekly expenses, I guess this would come down to food for me most weeks. And that probably ends up being around $100 including things like snacks, coffee, and all of my meals. In reality I could probably lower this number somewhat, but for now, it’s not hugely concerning.
If you throw in the few extra things like toiletries and whatnot, you can probably add around $15-20 per week. So again, not that muc
As someone who doesn’t keep a budget, what do you think is the hardest thing about not budgeting?
It’s probably the thing that is most-often [sic] mentioned as a reason to have a budget: not having one makes it more difficult to identify items I can potentially as a way to reduce my expenses.
Having it in front of you makes it that much easier.
What advice can you give to anyone who’s interested in budgeting?
There isn’t any one way to budget correctly, so find what works best for you. Many people in the financial independence community use YNAB. I do use Personal Capital to get a basic overview of my overall expenses.
However, if you are more old school, you can always go for the more manual process of using a simple Excel spreadsheet. One of the biggest benefits of doing it this way is you have much more control over how everything looks.
If you are brand new to budgeting, try out some of the tools and see what works best for you.
Budgets Are Sexy has a good list of budgeting resources (spreadsheets included).
Anything to say to our dear readers?
Remember that reducing your expenses isn’t the only way to improve your finances. Of course, budgeting should not be ignored, especially if your expenses are much more variable than mine.
But if there is any way you can increase your income, that can go a long way, too.
Thank you so much and may you always lead a financially free life!
Thanks – you too!
Follow Bob in his adventure at The Frugal Fellow:
If you want to check out the other posts in this series, take a look at this link right here.
Have something to share? If you’d like to be a part of this series, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I’m looking forward to having you here!