It’s been just about a month since I began my Money Diet. I have learned so much since I started and am on a great track to financial recovery, stability, and all around happy place. I’ve realized that I actually enjoy Money Management when I am not in financial crisis. It brings me a sence of control, and I’m an inherent control freak so that is positive.
My accomplishments/lessons so far include:
- Transferring my highest interest credit card balance to a new card that has 0% APR for the first year. Even after that year is up the interest rate is significantly lower that the previous card. This saves me about $150/month in interest payments over the next year.
- I opened a 401K with my job, finally. I have been eligible for a while now and never got around to it. Now it is open with my employer matching my monthly contribution. It may slightly decrease what I bring home every month, but with the employer contribution matching I’m ultimately making money. Charles Shwab, a popular financial services institution, just covered this very topic for their Post Grad readers.
- I have different savings accounts for each financial goal. One for moving, one for emergencies, one for a new car, one for a new computer. I can build up each one as I need to and see exactly how close I am to each goal.
- I set up one particular goal with a “Way2Save” plan offered through my bank. This way any time I use my debit card $1 is automatically transferred to my savings account. It makes me feel less guilty about the spending I have to do, and you don’t realize how often you use a debit card until you see the savings add up.
- Money is only as scary as you let it be. Getting all my information gathered put me into another freak out. My debt was staring me down hard. But after I had all my information, it was easier to handle and plan out an escape.
- Let those who are older and wiser help you. Whether it be a parent, family friend or even a boss, they have likely already been through this and will have some pointers. Financial advice is actually really expensive, so if someone is offering to help for free, at least listen to what they have to say.
I hope my Financial Freak Out can help some of you avoid your own. We have the tools to accomplish goals we set ourselves, we just have to use them. Or learn how to use them. Either way, our futures are in our own hands.