“Money is the opposite of the weather. Nobody talks about it, but everybody does something about it.” – Rebecca Johnson
The never ending, continuous problem that everyone faces throughout the majority of their lives deals with finances. There is even an article called “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Marriage and Money” !!
I am only 24 years old, so I am still fresh out of my undergraduate degree. My college class load was always too large for me to get a part-time job. Some people can swing it, while others – like myself – cannot mentally handle it. So relying on the “college refund check” was a necessity. However – did it do more harm than good?
When you are used to spending, spending, spending, and not taking in any money… it kind of sets you up with a bad financial habit. At least that is what a college refund check did with me.
How do I change a habit such as this one?
While researching online, I found a few starting steps to take:
1. Grow tired of living paycheck to paycheck.
2. Set goals – but start small, obtainable goals. Don’t let your first goal to be “I’m going to save $5,000 this month”. The goals should be along the lines of, “My paycheck is $900 every two weeks. After I pay my bills and buy groceries, I want to save $100 before the two weeks is up. Usually I don’t save any money and struggle days before my next paycheck.” Once you achieve that goal and make it a habit, add in another $100 to that and every two weeks you will have $200 saved.
3. Make a budget. If you have a GMAIL account, there is a application called “Sheets” and you can create a monthly budget! Everything is already formatted, so all you have to do is plug in the titles and numbers.
4. Do not deprive yourself. If you need something, buy it. If you do not need something, pass it up. I think a good exercise to start would be… Let’s say you are out shopping and you come across a nice shirt that you could see yourself wearing (even though you are on a budget). The first ten times you feel this way when you are out shopping, look at the price and instead of buying the shirt, place that price aside. Over the course of a few weeks if you continue to do this, you will realize how much money you spend on things that you don’t necessarily need.
These are a few of my tips over the course of two years that I have been trying to stick to on a regular basis. Some months are harder than others, but getting into a routine definitely helps.