What does it mean to “Live Your Best Life on a Budget”?

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Hi all! Welcome to Thoroughly Contemporary! Today I want to share with you more about my tagline and what it means to Live Your Best Life on a Budget (if you want to know more about the name Thoroughly Contemporary check out my About page). 

Living your best life can mean so many things to so many people. Maybe it’s being surrounded by those you love, maybe it’s living a life full of travel, or maybe it’s feeling financially stable. Whatever it means to you, and whether you’re living life on a budget or not, I hope I can share something that will help you get to where you want to be. 

What I’m not about…

I don’t think you should have to go to extremes to get to where you want to be financially. I don’t think you need to sacrifice your happiness to get out of debt. 

I have debt from student loans, along with some credit cards I probably never should have gotten. And I went on a trip to Disney World last February. A lot of people would tell me I shouldn’t have taken that trip and I should have used all the money I saved for Disney to put towards my debt. 

But here’s what I didn’t tell you… 

I almost never go on vacations. Most of the trips I’ve taken in my life have either been shorter day trips or where I was able to stay with family or friends. I’ve enjoyed all of those trips, but the only true vacation I’ve ever been on was going to Disney World when I was 5. It wasn’t something we were able to afford when I was growing up. When I went to college, I worked enough to get by but never enough to pay for a spring break or post grad trip. I’m not sharing this to make you feel sorry for me, not at all, I’m sharing to show that I felt like it was time to take a real vacation again. 

(I also turned 30 during the trip, so why not celebrate big?)

So all in all, I worked hard, saved my butt off, and continued to make my regular debt payments. Maybe if I had put the money I saved for Disney toward debt I would get out of it a few months earlier, but taking that vacation was so important to me mentally that I’ll take a couple more months of debt payments.  

Disclaimer: I think you should always pay your debts, I don’t think debt is a positive thing, and I do plan to get out of debt as soon as possible. 

My main point is, I think you should be able to still spend money on things that are fun and make you happy every once in a while. It’s good for you! I think sometimes the importance of good mental health is pushed aside, and I know for myself if I felt like I had to put all of my extra money towards debt, had to do everything to scrimp and save, and could only spend money on myself or fun if it was in a category in my budget, I would go a little crazy. You may have noticed some of these things relate to the Dave Ramsey plan of getting out of debt, which is hugely popular. No disrespect to Dave Ramsey, I think he has good ideas and his plan obviously works, but I want to enjoy my life! 

A big thing for me is that I’m just not good with anything that’s overly strict. I view a lot of budgeting plans as being very strict. The way I do my own budgeting is quite relaxed but it works for me, I don’t end up with having any late payments, and I don’t ever overdraft my account. I’ll share how I budget soon! UPDATE: I shared it! Check it out here!

So what I’m going to show you on this blog is how to do things like travel without going into debt (or into more of it). I’ll share my favorite ways to save money, ways to dress in fun and trendy clothes without spending a ton, and ways to have fun that are free or cheap. I hope you find this to be an inspiring place and take some good out of it, and maybe you’ll find that life on a budget can still be the best! Thanks for visiting!



winter to spring transition outfit with a striped sweater and medium wash jeans

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  1. 6.1.18
    paige said:

    absolutely love this post!! so refreshing to read and i love how honest you were ? definitely agree with you!

    xx paige

    • 6.1.18
      Emily said:

      Thank you so much! I really appreciate hearing that!