I’m not a financial analyst and I really don’t know the first thing about money management. But I do know the mistakes I made. A friend and I were talking this weekend about saving money and how you should have three months of savings readily available but that isn’t always possible. I work paycheck to paycheck but I am able to put into my savings and not worry if I want to go out to eat or buy myself a shirt. I have had a few missteps along the way and I really want to share them with you, so you don’t make the same ones
Living Beyond Your Means
When we first bought our house I contributed a TV from 1998 and a lamp. I wanted to fill it with all of the amazing visions I had that were brought on by Pinterest and Good Housekeeping. Everything from $75 bookends to a $3000 couch, I had my dream rooms but no money to do it. I could have charged everything and put myself into tens of thousands of dollars of debit but we just decided to live without. We first bought a refrigerator and a real television, once we paid that off then we bought our washer and dryer. We worked like that until we had everything we needed. Don’t worry about not having it, you’ll eventually get it, which means don’t put yourself into debit. It’s not worth the stress.
Charging the “Essentials”
Some things are important like groceries, bills, and rent, charging $200 at Victoria’s Secret is not. After you graduate college you need to start realizing the difference between want and need. Sometimes we have the money in the here and now, for me that is typically one day and that day is payday. By the time Sunday hits I’m panicking because I still need groceries but don’t worry I have a new pair of jeans and some throw pillows for the couch. WHAT!? That’s not ok! I’m sorry but we need to take care of the true essentials and worry about what we want later on.
You get a quarterly bonus or that yearly raise and you want to spend it on a leather bag or a new pair of boots. Neither of which do you need but you have the money and it burns a hole through every pocket you own. Take that money and put it into another account or give it to your mom to hold, just DON’T SPEND IT! Because one day you’re going to go in for an oil change and they’re going to tack on another $450 of shit that needs to be fixed. So plan for a rainy day, plan for a bad week, plan for the time where you have to chose where your money is going to go. My bank offers a percentage to add into my account at the end of every month, it might only be one dollar but it’s a dollar I didn’t have before. So look into your options and see what works best for you.
50% off the ENTIRE store! Hurry, deal ends soon! These are all the headlines that adorn my email, which gets me to click, that leads me to the wedsite because I need more Bath and Body candles to add to the 25 I already have. But they’re on sale, so I need to shop now! No honey you don’t. Put away the credit card and think about if you really need it. I’ve taken my credit cards off of all stores because online shopping makes it way too easy to buy things. Amazon for example just needs your fingerprint and they have all your information loaded, you only need to place the item in your cart, confirm your print then confirm your order. It’s way too quick and before you know it you just bought 7 Alex and Ani’s and the Harry Potter collector series.
So save and prepare. Don’t waste your hard earned money on meaningless things. Make of list of things your want and set a budget. Don’t go over that budget. Saving will help in the long run, evening if you’re saving for a shopping trip! Comment below with some of the ways you like to save! I’d love to hear!