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Blow Your Monthly Budget? Yep, Me Too — Here’s How I’m Salvaging It

monthly budget - building with woman hanging her torso and head over the edge

I’ve been writing about personal finance for more than six years now. In that time I’ve amassed a lot of know-how on good (and bad) ways to manage money. But those years have made me even better at a more crucial skill: writing about money with authority. I’m literally paid to sound like I (and the sites I write for) have the answers to every money problem.

My professional writing is on point, and I make sure it is. Because I have editors and fact checkers who will kick me in the ovaries if it isn’t, and also my job depends on it.

In the realm of my own money, however, things get a bit…murkier. Messier. Uglier. Because hey, I’m human, and living proof that knowing better isn’t always the same as doing better.

Case in point: going way over budget just halfway through January. Here’s how I blew my monthly budget in just 15 days, and what I plan to do to fix it.


KonMari Your Money: 12 Marie Kondo-Inspired Tips to Tidy Your Finances

Konmari method for your money — a woman holds a stack of folded sweaters

A couple of years ago, my husband Chris went on a big decluttering kick. He’d already been a long-time minimalism enthusiast, so when he came across “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, it kicked his desire to “tidy up” into high gear.

Unfortunately for him, he was stuck with a partner (me) who recently had a second baby and was not in the mood to anything else “life changing,” thank you very much. But he went ahead tidying up on his own, giving me a pretty thorough overview of the book’s philosophy in the process.

Now the popularity of Netflix’s “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” has re-highlighted the appeal of the KonMari method. This program provides a structure to tidying up that addresses both the practical side of cleaning up and the emotions that keep us holding onto things we no longer need.

That also makes this tidying philosophy a smart method for cleaning up and organizing your finances, too.

You can use the principles of the KonMari method to guide a cleanup of your finances. Doing so can get rid of financial clutter, and create a money management system that’s easier to use and gets you closer to your goals. Get started with these 12 Marie Kondo-inspired tips to tidying your money.


How to Manage Money in the New Year to Get Your Sanity Back

Woman sitting calming with coffee, staring at the ocean

Minimizing and managing stress can have a big impact on how you feel and what you’re capable of. Lowering stress levels will naturally help you feel happier, calmer, and more at peace.

But don’t overlook the secondary benefits you’ll reap when you actively manage your stress. When you’re not running on empty, you’ll also boost your ability to make positive money changes in the new year.