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“Please, Save My Wallet”: Lessons on Budgeting Those Checks

It’s not surprising to hear that people have a hard time managing their money. I am a 24-year old who—once receiving that glorious paycheck every 2 weeks—enjoys splurging much more than saving.

Honestly, who doesn’t? And though I absolutely enjoy spoiling myself, I know that a week after payday, my wallet is crying.

Every time I reach into my bag for my wallet, it is staring back at me, wondering why Deiona? Why do you need to grab for me again? I am tired of the abuse! Each and every time, I apologize to my wallet but calmly explain that I need her in order to survive; I mean, I got to eat—but I don’t need a new wardrobe every other week.

So with spring here, it is not only the time to clean the body, mind and environment, but to bring some cleanliness to the wallet as well. I want to be able to not have to crawl to my next paycheck and to be more appreciative of the one that I’m receiving.

I cannot tell a lie, I am indeed selfish to my savings account; I’m trying to show it a little more love. In order for my savings account to feel a little more appreciated, these are the few things I’ve been doing to get it back to a healthy state:

The Magic of Savings Apps:

I wasn’t always a believer in apps that are said to “help” you save. Either the app was just taking out too much money at once or I never really reached my goal—I got close but was always a little short. However, a friend of mine recently suggested that I use an app called Digit—thanks Twan.

It’s a super easy app that basically gives a voice to your bank account. I get text messages everyday saying how much money I’ve spent between each day, why any changes have occurred to my account and I can send a quick text back with any questions or concerns. Digit has become one of my best friends.

Automatic Payments:

If you know that you have a certain bill that tends to be the same price and due the same day each month, then just set up an automatic payment. These are the bills you know are essential to your life—like rent or the electric bill—so why not already plan for them every month? If you have payments automatically coming out of your account on days you already know about, you can easily see what else you can do with the rest of your money.

Take Out Cash, Hide Your Card:

One suggestion I’ve heard numerous times that actually helps my bank account look better is taking out cash for the week—Qori, you were right. If I take out a set amount of cash, that is what I am limiting myself to spend for the week; the amount usually is just for food and entertainment. So, not only am I setting weekly budgets for myself, I’m also being strict about not touching my debit or credit card.

The more you leave your card at home, the more you’ll see in your account.

Catch the Expense BEFORE It Catches You:

Another tactic I’ve learned is planning my money before it comes. I have a notebook that has my budgeting and saving from January to June of this year; as June gets closer, I’m already beginning to plan the next set 6 months.

Of course, there will be times that you will go off budget but being able see what I’m about to be faced with is a whole lot better than being unexpectedly slapped with an expense.

Take it a Few Cents at a Time:

What took me a little while to notice was that saving huge chucks of money did not work out for my particular budget. However, what Digit showed me was that just saving a little each day adds up to a lot. Even just doing $0.50 a day, I have watched my savings account get so healthy over these past few months. Every penny really adds up.

Every person is different, so I’m hoping what I discovered helps your wallets grow healthy. It took me some time to find the tactics that worked for me, so how about you try developing your own routine.

Pay close attention to your accounts, to what you spend the most money on and what kind of saving your account can handle easily. If at first you don’t save, try and try again.

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