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Abbi’s World – Tips for Millennials and Homebuyers

Abbi Cleavinger



Abbi's World

Budgeting 101

I could feel the judgment emanating from his side of the desk to mine as I focused on completing the seemingly grueling task at hand. A purse full of shredded bits of green paper from previous failed attempts and cheeks flushed red with embarrassment, I kept my head down. At this point all I had accomplished was to prove my inability to spell out the number ‘8’. Finally, I had made it to the memo line. I was feeling relieved. This scarring experience would soon be over. If only I could remember my landlords first or last name.

It wasn’t until about a year ago that I had to write my first check. A basic skill that if perhaps I had been born 10 years earlier, would not have been such a challenge. But I wasn’t, you weren’t, and the check will only become more foreign to those who come after us.

Money is undeniably no longer the tangible entity it once was. So, how then do we keep track of what is coming in and coming out of our accounts. How do we “balance our checkbooks” when we are so unfamiliar with the checkbook itself?

I know we’ve all heard the word ‘budget’ a million times, it may even haunt you in your dreams at night, but it doesn’t have to be scary and it definitely doesn’t have to be difficult.

Start by working backwards. Pay attention to your paystubs and don’t neglect your bank statements. Paperless can be great, without it I would likely be responsible for the slaughtering of a small forest on a weekly basis. But, it makes losing track of your spending crazy easy. Make it a habit to review your statements every month and start to look at where you can trim the fat while being real with yourself about what you’re truly capable of cutting out.

You work hard and you should let yourself enjoy what you work hard for, just don’t overdo it.

Making the steps to manage your money is incredibly liberating. You won’t have to wait for the 15th like its Christmas morning because you spent the 1st, 2nd and 3rd dropping cash like Schwarzenegger in a GNC. Take the time to slowly cut some of those frivolous daily spending habits and I promise you’ll enjoy your day just the same.

Abbi Cleavinger works as an Assistant to Laura Brownfield (NMLS #468540) a Loan Officer in our Downtown Columbia Office. Whether you’re looking to purchase a home or are interested in refinancing, Laura would be happy to assist you! View Laura’s Profile

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