Fearless Friday: Babes on a Budget

I was raised equal parts you can't take it with you, and smart saving.  That's why those who know me know that I'm an agressive saver, but am not afraid to buy a new dress... or 5 new books... when the occasion calls for it.

So this song goes out to all the ladies (and gentlemen) out there who are following their passions while trying to build a future. First (after you've determined your income), find out what your necessities are. The basics like rent, bills, and groceries. If you drive a car, factor in insurance and gas. Then, figure out your non-negotiables. This could look like trying out a new restaurant each week, ballet tickets, live music. What activities make you happy, and are deposits into your bank of life?

Here's where it gets tricky... sometimes the necessities leave no room for your non-negotiables. For example, I can't wait to try qui but August was a big month for me: rent, car insurance, and my final (!) tuition payment. Obviously qui is on the back burner, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a new meal. Thanks to the internet and library (seriously, thanks), I have a few new recipes that will be sure to surprise and delight the fiance. 

While these financial tips are nothing new to any of you, they are solid reminders to think outside the excel sheet. You're all-stars and have great ideas, so put them to use in your financial life. I put my aggressive saving to use and collect all the loose change I collect. I'm honest with myself in knowing it will probably go towards my J. Crew habit, but there is the potential it'll go towards my garden. I've also started riding my bike so much more often. The benefits include my daily sweat sesh, awesome parking spots, and I spend less on gas.  

Let's work together! What are your tips for saving dollars and having fun while doing so?