Revisiting The FUCK YES Budget
A FUCK YES Budget means evaluating your priorities and allocating funds accordingly. By definition, a FUCK YES Budget is dynamic – it changes according to your highest priority or your “FUCK YES.”
The last budget I shared was based on a net income of $4,000, with the following allocation:
- FUCK YES – $2,000 / 50% (#1 priority)
- LIFESTYLE – $1,600 / 40% (the basics: rent, transportation, utilities, groceries)
- EXCESS – $400 / 10% (everything else)
[Related Post: THE FUCK YES BUDGET: IF IT’S NOT A FUCK YES, IT’S EXCESS]
Since then, I’ve received a couple of raises and my net income is now approximately $4,600 per month. The numbers may change when my income increases, but I’m following essentially the same thought process as I did to create the original budget.
- Re-evaluate your FUCK YES. Do I still want to pay off my student loans more than anything else? FUCK YES. When I’m debt free, this priority will be replaced – likely with an emergency fund first and then increasing retirement savings.
- debt freedom – paying off my student loan debt
- Outline your LIFESTYLE. Between rent, groceries, transportation, internet, cell phone, electricity, and insurance, my monthly spending was about $1,500 last year but is closer to $1,700 so far this year. My rent and utilities went up, and I’ve spent about 25% more on groceries.
- Establish an EXCESS fund. My EXCESS spending was more than I had originally planned last year (about $900/month), but most of it was from my tax refund or other additional funds – I still exceeded my FUCK YES goal and paid off $30,000 of student loan debt! This year I’ve already cut my EXCESS spending back to less than $500/month.
- Review your spending from the previous year and allocate it among FUCK YES, LIFESTYLE, and EXCESS. With a large tax refund from tuition credits and retroactive pay for my raise I made approximately $64,000 or $5,300/month last year.
- FUCK YES – $2,900 / 55%
- LIFESTYLE – $1,500 / 28%
- EXCESS – $900 / 17%
- Evaluate your spending and set a budget for the next month. Although last year’s spending was higher, I’m working from a baseline of $4,600 this year – any extra funds will be allocated on an individual basis! My LIFESTYLE category is mostly fixed, so I deduct that first out of the $4,600, leaving me $2,900. I know I want to keep paying over 50% on my student loans, so I’ll allocate $2,500 there, with $400 remaining for the EXCESS category. I’ll need to cut back my current spending by about $100/month to make that happen, but it’s manageable!
- FUCK YES – $2,500 / 54%
- LIFESTYLE – $1,700 / 37%
- EXCESS – $400 / 9%
Now that I’ve outlined the numbers, I want to be clear that circumstances and priorities may change month to month. If I want to take a vacation, I adjust other spending down that month to cover it. If I receive a tax refund or extra cash from selling something or a bonus at work, I might decide to add it all to my debt or I might decide to spend some of it.
Rigid budgets have never worked well for me. I prefer to spend $700 on EXCESS in one month and $50 the next. If I feel restricted, I overspend because I get into a mindset of scarcity and scramble to use that money before it disappears. Having general targets helps me keep my priorities in mind, but I’m not too hard on myself if I don’t hit them exactly. Achieving your financial goals is about progress, not perfection!
Have you ever tried to budget this way? Do you feel more motivated with flexible categories or with focusing on hitting a specific target every month?