Budgeting Life

A question I get often is like 

"How do you afford to travel everywhere and go to school and live like you do"

The answer is pretty simple: good budgeting. Not even good budgeting, because sometimes I'm stupid when I have money then when my accounts get low I get mad at myself for being an idiot, but I understand how much my monthly living fee is and just make sure I make more than that to survive. 

There comes a point in your life when your parents cut you off. Some people see this point when they're like sixteen, some see it when they're twenty six. For a lot of people, getting cut off financially comes in phases. I guess it did for me, too, but it taught me how to be a real person.

I could have named this a hundred different things like "living on $1500" or "Act Rich Be Broke" or like "A lot of internet kids look rich but are pretty broke trust me I've seen it first hand" or like "there's no way kids live in New York without their parents money" but you get the point. 

Or I could have made it "WHY DO PEOPLE GOOGLE MY NET WORTH" because in 2017 the phrase "ohkaychris net worth" was googled 1,021 times. I don't even know my own net worth stop asking Google. 

But anyways : Budgeting Life. 

A lot of people get money from their parents. That's called being financially fundedIn high school your parents don't make you pay rent (go thank them for that), you don't pay for utilities, most of you didn't buy your own car, and some of you probably get allowances for gas and food weekly or whatever.

But one day you're going to step out into the real world and you aren't going to have your parents credit card anymore. And most of you, at first, are going to freak the fuck out. Excuse my language, but I hat to italicize that one because the first time I realized I was financially on my own I was like "I'm FREAKING THE FUCK OUT". 

But life isn't as expensive as you think. Well, it is, but it's managable. You just need to understand the idea of personal budgeting and how to prioritize your spending. 

Life works a bit like this: 

Money you make - "Monthly Living Fee" = Money you have to spend

So the first major rule is understanding how much money you need to have per month to live. By live I mean pay for essentials. Everything you make after your base "Monthly Life Fee" is what you can spend on fun, travel, good food, clothes, all that. Like if you make $1000 and only have to pay $200 for food a month, then you have $800 to spend on stupid stuff like Fortnite Skins and Juul Pods because you're probably a teenager who doesn't pay rent. For me, my monthly life is look a little bit like this 

Phone Bill - $130 a month

Rent - $600 a month

Utilities (like gas, water, all that fun stuff for the house) - $70 a month

Food - $100 a month

So those are the things I need to pay for in life. Like there's no other option. So that's $900 a month. Most of the time your phone bill will be due when your rent is due so one day you'll have tons of money in your account and you'll be feeling like you own Big Baller Brand then the next day $800 magically disappears and you're like "I'm FREAKING THE FUCK OUT". 

First we can break it down on like a boring people working minimum wage job point of view. Ovbiously not all college kids have start ups and their own source of income so they have to get a normal person job when they're in school.

$900 a month means you need to work 75 hours a month  

Break that down into 4 weeks, you're making burgers for like 19 hours a week. 

19 Hours a week isn't bad, considering you can work like 6 on Saturday 6 on Sunday that leaves you with 7 hours a week to work in between school and stuff.

But wait, big disclaimer, if this is your budgeting plan, don't ever think you're living in New York Fucking City. Never in a million years. My friends who live in NY all have to pay $1500 a month each for rent and they live in a shoe box. Meanwhile I'm paying $600 to live in a beautiful place in Chicago with all my friends. That's why I don't live in New York. At 19 years old I seriously cannot afford to live in NY, party, travel, and invest in my business and stuff. It just can't happen. So if you want to move to NY make sure your parents will pay for your rent. And if they do, call them all the damn time and please tell them you love them. 


So it's doable. Granted I only put $100 for food a month because I have a meal plan at college and I make food at my house and can easily survive on $25 real dollars a week on groceries like milk and prepared meals and stuff (they're like 5 for $10 it's a big flex). I stay eating at the dining hall because it's kind of monopoly money and it comes out of my college funds and stuff. 

Now let's say I do a job or throw a party or work on a project and make $2500. At my age yeah 2500 is a lot of money but most projects you work on for big brands or agencies or any sort of real world thing will land you with like 1k - 2.5k cash. 

Fire. You just made some money. Twenty five hundred hit your account and you want to go get some clothes. Or you wanna go on vacation. Or you're stupid as hell and you want to go flex in the club. 

You can't jump and spend all of it. You might not be making another 2.5 for a month or two. So you need to set it aside.

You need to understand how much it costs you to survive each month. For me it's $900, $1100 if I want to be eating good. So all of that money goes right into a seperate account, the account that gets $130 yanked at the end of the month to make my iPhone work properly, and the same account that magically misplaces $600 for me to live in my apartment. Do I like paying for these things? Absolutely not. That's a new pair of Balenciagas every month! But guess what. Life hits you sometimes with the whole "hey man grow the fuck up and pay for your own self" and you just need to listen to it. 

So every month you just need to put the money aside and plan accordingly. 

The first big step is understading how much it costs you to live properly. 

After you budget, you still need to be smart with your money. 

Going to the club in the city and spending $400 on a bottle of Vodka (which costs $25 at the local store) might get some people to think you're cool, but it's going to make your bank account want to punch you in the face. Then when you're on Grailed reselling your Raf shoes at the end of the month to avoid being evicted, you'll remember how useless that club alcohol was. 

You need to spend your money wisely. 

Life is a lot like monopoly if you think about it. You have X amount of money and you need to make more of it while spending wisely. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you lose some. Find a way to bounce back. 


Like BAM one day your car needs new breaks. Take $400 out of your bank account when you pass GO.

Roll again.

It's that time of month, phone bill, $130.

Roll again.

You go out to dinner with your friends and it's at a nice place, you spend $35 with tip on your meal. That $35 could have gotten you 15 frozen meals which last two weeks.

Roll again. 

You make a hoodie and sell 40 of them for a total of $1,000 profit. Good work.

Roll again.

You put $600 towards this month rent and use the other $400 to make new hoodies. You just did all that work making and shipping the hoodies and all it got you was 30 days of being able to sleep in your house and a new run of hoodies. You can't even celebrate, because you really didn't make any money off that, you just bought yourself 30 more days of life and some more pieces to try and market. 

Roll again.

You get a good gig and you make $400 being a part of an interview for some brand or some company. You get to keep all of that. 

Roll again.

You go to LA for a weekend. The flight is $200. Uber to the airport from your house, then the uber from LAX to your friends house is $45. You're there for 3 nights and spend $100 on food the whole trip. You buy a shirt at Round Two for $55 and spend $40 on partying in total. You now had a great weekend but you get home and have to spend another $20 on uber back to your apartment. You spent $60 more than you made. 

Roll again.

You sell 4 hoodies and profit $160 in total. You were $60 in debt from the trip after the $400 brand deal. You now have $100 to spend off the online sales for the week. That goes to your food for the next few weeks. 

You get the point? Like life isn't that expensive unless you're being outrageous. 

I have a lot of friends who spent a lot of money. My best friend lives in New York and she spends like $8,000 a month. Granted her apartment is $1500 a month and her parents give her money but it's like - she doesn't live much differently than I do. 

When you become financially independent, you understand the value of a dollar. When you gotta pay for everything in your life yourself, you understand how important $500 is and you stop buying $500 shirts and start putting that money towards rent. 

Spending your parents $200 on a fancy dinner then another $300 on drinks on a Friday night. I'm sure that's nice. But that $500 could go straight to investing in your company, or paying rent and phone bill, or go towards anything else. Because guess what, hopefully your true friends in life will be the ones who are on the same page and pay for their own stuff, and you can easily spend $10 on dinner and $20 on partying and have a friday night that you quite possible can not remember. Keep in mind Four Loko is only $2.50 a can. Some bars have dollar beer deals on weekends. Like life is very fun and very cheap if you just figure it all out.

Maybe you'll get blessed and your parents will pay for your apartment and your phone bill and you can spend your money on good food and whatever else you want, but if that's not the case then you certainly need to learn what it's like to have make your money last. 

So just understand that there's going to be the point in your life where you're going to need to pay for everything. And like I said time and time again, part of you is going to be like "I'm FREAKING THE FUCK OUT", but just remember all you need to do is calculate how much money you need to live for a month, make more than that, put the money aside, and have fun with the rest. But make sure you make the last rest, because when you're in college it's not every week that you can make $2500 on a single project or sell 100 hoodies to pay for that month's rent. 

And last but not least, my net worth might be adequite and impressive for a nineteen year old college kid, but I spend my money wisely and pay for every single thing I do, every flight I take, and every meal I eat. So at the end of the day there's not much money in that bank account. Just enough to live comfortably and afford to be happy.


Good luck with life, fellas.


chris brownComment