How to Make a Budget

When I first set up a monthly budget, it was a game-changer. Before taking that step, my spending was frivolous. Now, I have a financial structure, a plan to follow, and an idea of where I’m headed. I love being able to clearly see where my money is actually going.

Of course there are a million ways to set up a budget but below are the steps I would recommend taking to get the process started.

I break my monthly budget spread into three main categories: income, essentials, and non-essentials. This can be done on a computer in excel, but I like to use my bullet journal!

  1. Income

First, get really clear about what you actually make. Write down your monthly income. This can be from one or more sources. Try to be realistic, and don’t overestimate! You want to give yourself some breathing room.

2. Essentials

Second, write down your monthly spending that is essential. This could include gas or public transportation fees, car insurance, phone bill, groceries, utilities, loan payments etc. Then, go through and write an amount that you are expecting to spend for each category that month.

3. Non-essentials

Third, write down your monthly spending that is non-essential. This could include eating out, clothes, beauty products, “fun money” (grabbing drinks, going to the movies, etc.). Again, write an amount that you are expecting to spend in each category.

Sometimes I add a fourth section for any extras that may be going on that month (a special trip, someone’s birthday, a holiday, etc). This allows me to continue to stick to a budget even when something out of the ordinary is going on.

After all your sections are complete, add it all together so you are able to see your total projected monthly spending. Take that amount and subtract it from your projected income. This leaves you with a number that is left over. Any left over money can be used for saving (trips, a down payment, retirement, etc.)!

Happy budgeting! 🙂

Do you stick to a monthly budget? What tips would you give?

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What to do in Glasgow, Scotland

Let me begin by saying there is A LOT to do in Scotland. We were there a week and only visited three cities because that’s all we had time for. There is so much more that we would have loved to see and do (#1 being to see more of the countryside and the beautiful Highlands. Also, riding on that Harry Potter train? Yes please.). I could have easily stayed two more weeks and not run out of things to do. However, what we did have time to see and do, we absolutely loved.

University of Glasgow- This is a beautiful, old gothic-style university. Some parts of it looked like it could have come straight out of Hogwarts. One of my best friends (and the reason we went to Scotland in the first place) is completing her doctorate there so it made it even more interesting to me to see the amazing place she got to do her studying!

Kelvingrove Park- This is a beautiful park we walked through on the way to the University. It almost had a Central Park feel. And So. Many. Dogs.

Mar Hall- I don’t know if this could actually be like a place to just stop by and see but it happened to be where the wedding reception we attended was held and it was gorgeous. If you are able to check it out I would definitely recommend. It has a beautiful interior and even more beautiful exterior. The views were amazing.

Buchanan Street- This street definitely has that New York City feel. It reminded me a little of Fifth Avenue. If you want to go shopping, this is the place. I loved getting to see the U.K.-only stores.

If you’ve been to Glasgow before, are there any other places you would recommend?

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DIY Sugar Scrub

I love a good body scrub. Especially one that I can make in just a few minutes using items I already own. A few years ago, I started trying out some different recipes and came up with this one. It is so simple and quick.

Ingredients:

  • Brown sugar
  • Coconut oil (You can totally use another oil but I prefer coconut oil. It smells amazing!).

You can also totally add an essential oil or another ingredient to reap some added benefits. However, I prefer to stick with just two ingredients and keep it as simple as possible!

How to:

  1. Grab something to store it in, preferably made with glass. I have used both Pyrex containers and mason jars in the past and both work great.
  2. Mix the two ingredients together. I just use equal parts. That’s literally it.
  3. Enjoy! 🙂

I love using this scrub to exfoliate my lips, but obviously it could be used pretty much anywhere. This would make a great gift as well! Store it in a cute jar and put a little bow on it and you’re good to go.

Have you ever made your own sugar scrub? What would you add or change to make this recipe even better?

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Weekly Reset Routine

I love being organized, staying on top of things, and making the most of my time throughout the week. But sometimes it gets hard to keep up with. I love the idea of having a weekly routine, carried out on a Saturday or Sunday, to get done all those little tasks I put off throughout the week, prepare for the week ahead, and show myself a little extra care.

I’ve seen this done a lot of different ways but for me it seems to make the most sense to break it into categories. My priorities are to clean, plan/reflect, and physically take care of myself. I also like throwing in a little miscellaneous category in there for all those tasks that don’t fit so nicely in those previous categories. These could be extra things that I would love to get done but aren’t absolutely necessary.

It helps to have a quick, 5 minute “brain dump” before getting specific with the tasks that need to get done that week. Each week will be a little bit different and taking the time to write down what’s on your mind will help you make sure you don’t miss anything.

Before jumping in, I make it a point to light all my candles, turn on my salt lamp, and diffuse some essential oils. Might as well make it as enjoyable as possible, right? I grab a big glass of ice water and get started.

Here is what that usually looks like for me:

Clean

  • Empty the trash
  • Sweep the floors
  • Wipe all surfaces
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Wash, dry, and fold laundry

Plan

  • Write out my work schedule, workout schedule, and any other important events in my calendar for the week ahead
  • Do a financial check-in, go through receipts, update my budget
  • Meal prep my lunches for the week ahead

Self Care

  • Go to the gym, take a walk outside, stretch, foam roll
  • Take a shower
  • Wash my hair
  • Paint my nails

Miscellaneous

  • Grocery shopping
  • Clean my car
  • Write thank you cards
  • Drop off donations

Do you have your own version of a reset routine? What helps you feel prepared for the week ahead?

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Where to Eat in Edinburgh, Scotland

As I mentioned in my Where to Eat in Glasgow, Scotland post, the food in Scotland is amazing. And Edinburgh is no different. Here are places we decided on and I can honestly say that I’d recommend them all!

  • Greyfriar Bobby- This just happened to be our favorite restaurant of the whole trip, hands down. It had AMAZING food and such a great atmosphere. It was just the kind of restaurant I expected to eat at in Scotland. The restaurant has a really cool story behind it as well. Apparently, Bobby was a dog that visited his owner long after his death at the cemetery behind the restaurant (which just so happens to be the same cemetery that J.K. Rolling got her inspiration for many of the names that appear in the Harry Potter books!). I got some kind of vegetable pie dish and it was So. Dang. Good.
  • Pret A Manger- We ate here again one morning. Oops. It’s just so fast and easy!
  • King George IV’s bar- Another great place we went to after a day of exploring. We hadn’t eaten since that morning so when we were walking into the restaurant after 4pm, we were hungry. I got a salad and sweet potato fries (if I see them on a menu, I can’t resist). I also got an amazing mojito to sip on.
  • The Royal McGregor- Another yummy place along the Royal Mile. My boyfriend and I got bruschetta to start (THE best bruschetta I’ve ever eaten) and I got a quinoa salad as my main. I also sipped on some prosecco.
  • Tigerlilly- The most Instagram-able restaurant I’ve ever seen. Absolutely beautiful interior. I got avocado toast. My boyfriend and I shared some waffles.

This last place isn’t in Edinburgh but I didn’t want to leave it out!

  • Nicky Tam’s- The cutest hole-in-the-wall straight-out-of-a-movie pub. There was literally only one server/bartender and about 10 feet of space in the whole place. We stopped in here after exploring the Stirling Castle and loved it. It’s only about an hour by train from Edinburgh. I got a delicious vegetable soup and garlic bread. I also sipped on a gin and tonic.

Have you ever been to Edinburgh or Stirling? Are there any other restaurants you would recommend?

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