I can remember being in elementary school worried about opening a bank account, in middle school thinking about my first job, and in high school concerned about my credit score. That, alone, should tell you that my views on financial literacy have always been a bit… unusual, especially for someone my age. Oddly enough, I didn’t grow up in a household that emphasized the importance of money management or financial planning. At a very young age, I recognized the constant disharmony between my family and money, and I decided to learn about finance then and there that I would be the change. With that being said, here’s a fun little list of financial do’s and don’t’s I’ve picked up over the years.
- DO pay all of your bills on time, and, if possible, as soon as you get paid.
- When I moved to Georgia in January, I wanted to make sure that I would never fall into the trap of late/reconnection fees, so I set up automatic payment for all of my accounts, but that is just my safeguard. Typically, when I receive my direct deposit, I immediately push money to where it needs to go. That way, I never spend more than I can truly afford and I am always on budget- which leads me to my first don’t…
- DON’T ignore your budget.
- I’ve created so many budgets for friends, family, and myself and for some reason, no one ever follows it. All of my hard work… just flushed down the drain… but I didn’t truly mind- as a finance nerd, I made budgets for fun. Anyway, with the move, I decided to try this budgeting thing again and I’ve stuck to it. Honestly, it has made my life so much easier. In fact, I look forward to my paydays, not because of the money, but because I get to update my budget and move closer to my goals.
- DO create money goals.
- My absolute favorite part of my budget is my savings plan. Being a Microsoft Excel nerd as well, I used Excel to create my savings plan, but it is super easy! After figuring out that I can afford to save a maximum of $300 a month, I used the RANDBETWEEN(50,300) function to generate amounts between $50 and $300 to save each month. Then, for every paycheck, I have a friend pick a random letter and number between A1 and F12, and that’s how much I save from that paycheck. It’s like savings BINGO! Sometimes it’s high and sometimes it’s low, but it is always exciting and within budget.
- DON’T beat yourself about about your financial mistakes.
- We all make mistakes, with money and in life. The important thing to remember is to learn from them. However, that isn’t the ONLY way to learn. Our goal at Wealthy Habits is to help students learn about finance and help them to prevent them from making these mistakes later. Education should always be the first step.
Until next time, make good decisions!