Finance Fridays: My Money Habits
Personal finance is something I’m always trying to learn more about. It’s important to be aware and in control of your money, especially now with things so up in the air. I thought I would create this series of posts for people to talk, debate, and learn from each other. Talking about money still seems to be a taboo subject which is an attitude I think needs to change. To kick off this series, I thought I would share my money habits – both good and bad.
Checking accounts often
I check my bank and credit card accounts several days a week, sometimes daily. Checking to make sure transactions I’ve made have gone through correctly, and that there aren’t any discrepancies. I also like to keep aware of what my balances are.
Savings goals in cash
I currently only have one savings account (my emergency fund which is my overall savings), and if I have a specific goal in mind, I pull out cash and set it aside. This isn’t ideal, and I’ve been debating for a while exactly where to open a second account (either at my current credit union or elsewhere). I’m very curious about Ally Bank, but I’m very nervous about it being completely online.
Spotty expense tracking
Tracking my expenses always starts strong at the beginning of the month, but I get too lazy halfway through. Last month was the first time I was successful in completing an entire month. I believe it’s because I broke it down by paycheck, and I’m hoping I can continue to repeat this success.
Paid in full
Since paying off my consumer debt, I’ve been able to pay off my card in full each month. I haven’t had to pay interest for a credit payment in about 2 years I think. But I try not to spend over a certain amount so that’s it’s easy to keep up with the balance (some weeks are more successful than others).
Cash only catgories
For any food purchases, I like to use cash only. I give myself a set amount each paycheck and that’s what I have to spend on groceries, restaurants, and anything else that falls in that category. Anything left from the previous pay period, I carry it over as an addition to my budgeted amount. This comes in handy if I decide to go out with friends and then I can splurge a little. With the pandemic, cash is mostly discourage. If I have to use my card, I’ll deposit cash back into my account to be used for a card payment.
Hoard or splurge
I try to stick to saving my money, but there are some times where I just go on a spending spree. These splurges usually always occur when I’m feeling particular negative and retail therapy is my typical reaction. There’s another pattern as well: I won’t buy something I really want, it sells out and I have regret, and that repeats until I just go on a shopping binge. This is a habit that I would really like to work on, because this could lead to very bad financial decisions if not kept in check.
And there we have my most common habits when it comes to personal finance. Learning about money and how to handle it is something you’ll be learning basically your entire life. Having good habits early on will (most likely) give you an advantage later on. I don’t believe anyone is perfect when it comes to personal finance (no matter what some stories try to sell you).
I hope you enjoyed reading the first of this series!
Til next time ~