How to control money


I have a budget. Every morning I put the previous days expenses into the app Goodbudget, which has categories and shows how much left you have for that budget. But I am so stressed I don’t really look at how much I have spent on what, I just go through the motions.

My income is from renting out a room in my apartment short term and is unpredictable. My savings are very low. I’m really stressed out and anxious and it’s making me loose control, making even more bad decisions about money. Next month I will have an income of two thirds of the budget because I am taking a short basic course in software development where subsidies + loan is payed out. But that’s only for that month. I have applied to various IT-education programs and if I am accepted I will have loans and subsidies for 2 years.

My budget
Apartment expenses (rent, utilities, internet): 523 EUR/586 USD
Groceries: 374 EUR/419 USD
Mobile internet: 8 EUR/ 9USD
Haircut: 46 EUR/51 USD
Gym card: 46 EUR/51 USD
Public transport: 83 EUR/93 USD
Proteinbars: 37 EUR/41 USD
Clothes: 93 EUR/104 USD
Entertainment 187 EUR/209 USD
Total: 1400 EUR/1570 USD

I’ve been using the protein bars as motivation for going to the gym, taking one every time I go there. I have believed it was worth it because I have depression and it worked for me in getting me there. But I guess I can replace it with a protein shake which is a lot cheaper. Can’t cut down on apartment expenses. Could cut down on groceries, I don’t think I have actually spent that much. Getting a haircut every two weeks because it helps my self esteem a lot and helps with the depression. Gym card is a must, could change gym to halve that expense but it would be a crappy gym far away. The current gym is only 2 min away. It would risk the habit.

I’m making quite a lot of money via the rental with a very low amount of work required, which is a problem because you loose the sense of money’s worth. 980 EUR/1100 USD this month. I spend money with the rationalization that I will make them back in the future via the rental. So I’m taking a risk I shouldn’t be taking. I’m not saving any money. If one of the neighbors rat on me the host could tell me to stop, I’m allowed to rent the room but if there are too many guests coming then it’s seen as a hotel business and that is not allowed. I also think it’s okay to be spending money because I could make a lot of money by renting out the apartment and not living there, which is not permitted and could make me loose the contract. Although I have to get a warning first. It’s a lot of money so the temptation is there and I’m thinking about it. But the most income in the long run would be to keep a low profile, not have too many guests coming, and slowly and steadily cash in instead of cashing in a lot in a short period of time but risking the whole income all together. The plan was to only have a couple of guests per month but now I put all future dates free beacause I need the money.

Desperate is a good word to describe the situation. :punchballs: :help::redface:

Matt Warner

Gold Member
Repo has it correct. I think we can muck around too much on the expense side of life instead on concentrating on the income side. A plain old job is better than endless low value courses.

I would seriously consider (if you haven't already) getting professional help for the depression. Exercise and other actual action is an important part, however it should be as well as professional help not instead of it, at least in the early stages.


It is easy!

1. Don't go to the gym. Workout at home. Run in nature.
2. go to a hair stylist once every two months. That is more than enough. Get a short cut.
3. Choose a bike or run instead of public transport.
4. Protein bars are a scam, don't eat that. Useless.
5. You don't need new clothes every month. For God's sake don't you have enough clothes?
6. Entertainment: only go to free or cheaper stuff. Entertainment is unnecessary.

Search a well-paid job fast.

And don't complain that you have to apply the above, you either take action or keep moaning. Your decision.
Good luck!


I worked in IT for 20 years. Coding is a young man's game so bank all the cash you can while you can. Now I'm in my mid 40's and teaching English in China. I don't actually need to work, but teaching a class full of teenagers is much more interesting than sitting in a cubicle for 40 hours a week.

Whether you're fundamentally good or bad with money seems to be genetic or something, I don't think you can ever change it.

I've charted my financial situation since 2000. The major trend is that however much I've earnt each year, I always seem to make a budget surplus.

My key revelation was in 2011, when I pretty much stopped buying, er, everything apart from food. I downloaded movies instead of buying them, and watched the TV more. I made each Call of Duty last a whole year till the next one came out. That's the only game I ever bought each year.

Another revelation was in 2016 when I went all in on investing in stocks and reinvesting the dividends. Compound interest is your friend, especially if you're young.