How I did it: Find a system to balance your accounts. Find an app that works for you. Other people like Quicken or Mint. Neither one of them worked for me. I found the accounts app for my ipod. I love it!
Track every transaction you take out of your accounts. I started taking cash out every payday for spending money, groceries and gas. You use the money you have and you don't have overdrafts. If I do use my debit card I keep up on entering it. If I have a free moment at work I will update my accounts app.
I was putting money in my savings account as soon as I got paid and withdrew my spending money. But I was cutting myself short and kept getting overdraft fees. So now I leave money in my checking account until the next payday and then I move money over.
I got my paperwork in order. I put together a will, a power of attorney,a living will and an advance directive.
I would consider contributing to your retirement as part of this but I have been doing that for quite a while.
Read how I did it… 19 months ago
I only have one thing left to do to finish this goal. I have been having issues trying to schedule a time for my witness and I to do this together.
Sign my will and advance directive, with a notary.
-Go another month without overdrafts(I have had a few in the last few months but nowhere near as many as I used to)DONE
-Wait until the next paycheck to deposit remaining money in savings. I have been putting money in savings as soon as I get paid. The downside is that I sometimes run out of money before my next paycheck. In order to keep cutting myself short I will wait until the next paycheck before I deposit the remaining money. This will help me keep my spending down because I want to save as much as possible. DONE
-Finish $1000 cushion.DONE 19 months ago
There are a couple more things for me to do to finish this goal.
*Sign my will and advance directive, with a notary.
*Go another month with out overdrafts(I have had a few in the last few months but no where near as many as I used to)
*Wait until the next paycheck to deposit remaining money in savings.I have been putting money in savings as soon as I get paid. The downside is that I sometimes run out of money before my next paycheck. In order to keep cutting myself short I will wait until the next paycheck before I deposit the remaining money. This will help me keep my spending down because I want to save as much as possible.
*Finish $1000 cushion. 20 months ago
I had left over spending money from my vacation so I have used that to pay off the last balance of my credit card. What was left over I put in my maintenace and repair fund which almost brought it up to $1000. It will be done next paycheck.
Credit card: paid off for the very last time.
Maintenece and repair (small emergency fund): almost fully funded. 20 months ago
I have organized my accounts:
Travel/fun fund: I will throw some money in that every paycheck
Opportunity fund: This is my take a year or two off or heaven forbid lose my job fund. I want to have at least 2 years of living expenses. I have changed auto deposits from my travel fund to this account.
Maintence and repair: I am treating this as my emergency fund. If something comes up I can get to it very easily. This is for actual emergencies. I will have $1000 in it at all times.
I have given my credit card to my roomate and asked her to hide it where I can’t find it because whenever I put it away I always went back to get it. After awhile I may just cancel the account.
New paycheck new opportunity to start tracking the money I spend. Tracking and knowing the difference between a want,a need and do you even know why you are buying this. 21 months ago
I am not doing a good job this month of watching my spending. I have done well with not having overdrafts but quite a few times I have shuffled things around to avoid them. The good news is that I avoided them, the bad news is I shouldn’t be overspending like that. I am still working on a way to keep my reciepts organized. I know I have a mini accordian folder. I should try that for cash and reciepts. :) 21 months ago
I finished a living will, a living trust and a power of attorney. I made sure to include that I wanted to be a tissue donor in my will as I have had it on my licence for years. My family is aware of my wishes for donation as well. 22 months ago
I came across this quote while reading “The Happiness Project”.
Money is a good servant but a bad master.
It reminds be of the borrower is the slave to the lender. 22 months ago
My computer got sick and my car needed some help too. So I now how a balance on my credit card again. I dont want to take any more money out of my opportunity fund becuase the balance is getting uncomfortably low for me.I really want to build it up so I have two years worth of living expenses in it. The good news.. is that I have finished saving for my trip and can start putting the money I was putting toward it toward the credit card and my opportunity fund. I am also setting up savings accounts for “maintence and repairs”. 22 months ago
I checked my credit report and score. Everything looks really good. 22 months ago
I have put my credit card away and have paid the balance. My checking account is balanced. This paycheck should take care of the majority of my vacation spending money.
I need to track my spending cash still. That will be my focus this pay period.
After getting my spending under control the last step in this goal is to write a will. 23 months ago
I have been keeping my checking account balanced but I am still spending too much money. I have been using my credit card too often lateley. So I am going to put it away, get organized and rein in my spending even more. 23 months ago
Personal finance is 80% behavior and 20% knowledge, so the answer to
your money problems will be found in your mirror.”
I have not had an overdraft since December. The accounts app is really helping me keep aware of what I have in my checking account becuase I can update it everyday. I have to work on tracking my spending cash a little more. I was doing well for the first week or so and then I did not add entries right away. Then you forget where your money went. I will be diligent about keeping reciepts and adding them to the app at the end of the day. From what I did track I know that I eat out way too much and that is from poor planning.
So planning my lunches and snacks are my next action step to not only help with this goal but also to help with taking care of myself physically. 2 years ago
Downloaded a new app to keep track of my money. I have used it a little bit today and it looks promising. I like that I can track my spending cash on it as well as my accounts. 2 years ago
I am so tired of overdrafting and truthfully I am still trying to figure out how I did it. From now on after I pay my bills online it is going to be cash only for me. I now have something more to look forward to with this goal. Not only will I finally stop overdrawing but I have the goal of saving for a trip to Paris. 2 years ago
I have always been the responsible, employed member of my family. Every member of my family has always expected me to help them out when they needed it. Even though they could have easily avoided the situation. Over the years I have helped them out because they are my family. I wanted us to be close and support each other. The thing is the support was very one sided. Today I had a family member call me because she needed rent money or else she would be evicted because the other family member living with her did not pay his part of the rent. She has know about him being unreliable and yet she has done nothing to stop it. AND she expected me to take care of it. I could have taken the money out of my EF but she would never ever deal with the consequences of her actions/inactions if I don’t let her deal with it and I would always be the back up plan. It was really difficult but I told her no she would have to figure out what she had to do. There was some drama and some poor me statements to guilt me into it. I recognize the manipulation from other instances. I stuck to my guns and said no. I think she was shocked but accepted it. I felt so much lighter afterward. This is a huge step in keeping my money straight because I won’t feel guilty about saying no when I really cannot afford to say yes. 2 years ago
Sometime within the next month I will be changing schedules and will be getting a free bus pass from my job. I am thinking of getting mimimum insurance on my car and only driving it for long distance trips. This will save me money on insurance and gas. 2 years ago
I found a checkbook template in google docs and I am going to start using this. I like it because I can access it anywhere I can access my e-mail. If I take money out while I am at work I can go straight to my desk and adjust the spreadsheet. 2 years ago