Suze Orman will never have me on her show to give financial advice to others. In fact, the only context in which I can imagine Suze and I speaking would be her talk-yelling at me as she examined my latest bank statement.
I am still working out how to be a working person with bills and expenses and my god groceries cost how much?
The cost of feeding myself continues to catch me by surprise.
Each Monday is a chance to have a wonderful week and, on this particular week, our goal is to be financially savvy.
Join us as we attempt to be money-wise this week. We are just trying to be good adults.
- There’s an app for that
My personal savings challenge is, if the money is there, I have a hard time not spending it. And this is not a great mindset to have when you are trying to plan for things in the future, like vacations and home upgrades.
In addition to having a savings account, I also have a financial savings app. There are a couple different types out there now. If you choose to use a financial app, no matter the type, make sure it is FDIC-approved. Just to protect your financials.
I use Digit. And I love it. I am super bad about checking the balance in my checking account. Ignorance is bliss, right?
Not when it comes to your finances.
I love Digit because it texts me every day to let me know how my monies are doing. It is also a smart little app, that Digit. It figures out your spending patterns – when you pay bills, your average daily spends, etc – and pulls money from your checking account into a savings account. Money that it doesn’t think you will miss.
At any time, you can put whatever is in your Digit savings back into your checking account and it will be there in 2-3 business days.
This way, I am saving money without even realizing it and getting a daily report card on my bank account. It also makes me feel like I have a better grasp on how I am handling my money, which is always a good thing.
- Paper, please
I am a huge fan of this digital financial era we find ourselves in. Direct deposit? Um, yes please. Automatic car insurance payments? Sign me up! And yet, by having so much “virtual” money, it can be hard to budget.
The best strategy I have for managing my spending is to ATM.
When you know how much you can spend in a week and still have money in the bank, pull that amount out in cash. That way, you have a tangible representation of how much you can afford to spend on lunch and how much you really need to buy that sweater.
Using credit and debit cards allow for a lot of mindless spending; when you can’t see the money, it’s harder to miss it when it’s gone. Until you have 10 days til payday and 12 dollars and your credit card bill is due. Then you’ll miss it.
Cash keeps you more accountable for what you are spending.
- Fight instant gratification
As soon as you get your first credit card, the world is your oyster. And this oyster world is all about glorious, wonderful consumerism.
When your computer dies or it is time to update your wardrobe for summer, it can be so tempting to splurge a little and charge your purchases.
Resist this urge.
There are so many unexpected bills in life. Car trouble. Urgent care visits. Emergency wine purchases. All of these are necessities. Don’t view your credit card as a gift card.
My laptop died a few months ago and I am chomping at the bit to go to the Apple store and swipe my baby CapitalOne and get me a computer.
But being an adult means having to pay for stuff. And making unwise financial decisions can leave you reeling for months.
Your credit card limit does not determine your spending budget.
Save what you can every week and treat big purchases appropriately.
Your grocery budget will thank you.
Comment below with your favorite ways to keep your spending in check.