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Budget, Not Just A Car Rental Company

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Budget, Not Just A Car Rental Company The summer before my junior year in college, I experienced my first internship. As the program described, I was in a position to succeed immediately.

I learned how to:

  • Run a multi-million dollar business
  • Maximize profits
  • Motivate a team of professionals while having fun along the way

Take one guess what my internship was? (Drum roll please). My internship was as a Management Trainee for Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

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While Budget was one of our top competitors in our line of business, I didn't let the competition affect me. Instead, I chose to closely monitor my money. I was able to budget my hard earned dollars so that I would be successful in years to come - that is, exactly what the program predicted, correct?

I was in a position to succeed immediately. When the summer began, I was able to purchase a brand new 2008 Honda Civic. This being the case, I definitely had my hands full of bills between car payments, insurance, gas, and regular maintenance to ensure that this would be a well oiled machine in the future.

And, after putting a large down payment and making my monthly statements, I can say that this was a turning point in my life. With 28 payments remaining on my vehicle before I will have fully paid off my principle and interest, I am certainly happy with this decision. 

I took on a new level of responsibility and I believe this helped set me up for the future. Most 20 year olds aren't financially stable enough to finance a car and take out their own car loan. I made sure to check my incoming funds each paycheck to ensure that the money I was earning was exceeding my expenses before making this decision. As a young adult, this definitely took a lot of planning.

Moving forward, I must continue to stay on this track. It is wise to manage my money because habits established early in life can have a positive impact on my finances. An article which I recently wrote, Planning and Balancing are the Peas and Carrots of Money Management, certainly outlines this.

For someone who completed college not too long ago, I've learned to live modestly and stick to a budget. I've realized that this is more than just making a list of my bills, rather it's a lifestyle. It is necessary that I am disciplined with my finances to ensure that my money lasts. As mentioned in previous posts, if you haven't already started, you need to track your spending habits. Use an online personal finance software like Mint, programs like Microsoft Excel, or pencil, paper, and a calculator. At a minimum, write down all of your expenses.

Some takeaways to keep in mind for the future when establishing a budgeting lifestyle are:

  • Pay yourself first. I mean, you don't have to "pay" yourself, but what is meant is that you need to start saving for your future. Put money in an envelope underneath your bed, open a separate bank account, or speak with a financial advisor to discuss your various options.
  • Minimize your fixed costs. Think about what you can live without. Do you need to have a new pair of sneakers? Or do you want them? It is important to differentiate between your needs and wants.
  • Utilize budgeting tools. Use online personal finance software programs like, Microsoft Excel, or use pencil, paper, and a calculator. Whichever approach works best for you is acceptable, but do something!
  • Plan for fun. Don't eliminate all outings to the movies or entertainment with your friends. Rather, rationalize these activities before you say yes to everything. Your wallet will thank you handsomely.
  • Identify your monthly expenses. Did you consider your insurances (life, healthcare, auto, and disability), car payments, student loans, phone bills, internet access, and other expenses? Make sure that you are aware of your routine bills so that you can budget for the future.

I've learned that a budget is a lot more than a rental car company. Hopefully we've all learned that it comprises more than just a list of bills. It takes time and effort to plan while looking months, if not years ahead into the future. Have you been able to construct a budget for your upcoming year? Please share with me what has and hasn't worked for you related to budgeting.

Related Links:

The "Bowl" on a Budget

Summer Camps on a Budget

Why an Accurate Budget is Important!

Dov Hoffman

 

Dov Hoffman

Dov is a contributing writer for the A Straight Talk on Debt blog. Dov is a recent graduate of Towson University and has graduated with a double major in E-Business and Marketing. Dov shares his college experience writing about student loans, credit cards, budgeting, and other topics affecting recent college graduates who are entering the workforce. Compensated CareOne Blogger. Read other posts by Dov under our Just Graduated & Starting Out blog.

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  • I am happy to find this post very useful for me, as it contains lot of information. I always prefer to read the quality content

  • Very good idea. Concise and to the point. It helped me understand it better. Thanks.

  • This is what i was looking for.

  • landonamelia, jakerichard, and gilesashley - happy to see that y'all read this post helpful and it seems like you found what you were looking for. Hopefully you'll be able to establish a consistent practice of budgeting now, if you haven't already done so!

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