Ever heard the term, ” Money doesn’t grow on trees?” My grandmother used to say that to me ALL the time every time I’d ask for something when we were at the store. We’d go shopping just about every weekend for groceries, clothes, or whatever else we needed in the house. My hand was always out for something that was materialistic and would decrease in value as soon as it left the store or I broke it, whatever came first. She used to always say, ” Krystol, you have to learn to only buy your needs and some of your wants but not all of them.” The older I got, the more I understood where she was coming from because I made so many mistakes with my money. I’m sure some of you can relate and have done the same thing or are currently doing it. Now, I am not here to make you feel bad because I’ve made my fair share of money mistakes along the way. But, I will show you these mistakes can be prevented in the future and turn into apprecation overall.
Here are some mistakes that I have experienced and have turned them around for the good. Hopefully they can do the same for you.
- Not Saving Any Money. This is so crucial! I was guilty of this. I was living paycheck to paycheck and only buying more wants than needs. I was a mess guys. Within the weekend I was broke until next payday. My thought process was, ” Well at least my bills are paid.” This is the wrong mindset to have. Saving money is so important now a days especially with this economy. Even if you only save $50-$100 a paycheck. Creating a nest egg in case emergencies happen. For example, 6 years ago I was living in an apartment for $600 a month. The job that I had the time was only paying me $625 every two weeks so that is $1250.00 a month. That is $15,000.0 a year! I was 29 years old. Now let’s look at these numbers. Check out the breakdown.
- Rent- $600 per month
- Cell phone – $75 a month at the time
- Cable -$100 a month (just cable)
- Electric – $60 a month
Total Bills $825
In the hole -$200
As you see I did not have enough money to live. I was not making enough, right? So, I had to borrow the $200 that I was short, plus extra for groceries until I asked my landlord if I could pay my rent bi-weekly as I got paid instead of every month. Now seeing my essentials, I would still go deeper in the hole because I woudn’t pay my cell phone bill of $75, I’d order Chinese food or buy books. I would skip out on cable in order to buy groceries and have toiliet paper or get my hair done becaus I can’t do hair to save my life. I had gotten to a point where I was SO tired of asking my parents to help me out that I ended up making some changes to my income.
- Rent – $300 bi-weekly
- Cell Phone (cheaper plan)- $ 50
- Cable – $100
- Electric $60
Now, look what I did:
Savings: $50.00 – bi-weekly equeals $100 per month
I made changes when I decided I was tired of depending on others when I was a whole grown woman. Now, I know you guys must be asking, why were you making so little? So, I was apart of a program called AmeriCorp where you worked in a low income service based job to help the community. The job lasted 1 year and I ended up getting a better job.
2. Not Creating A Budget. You see the issues that I was having without creating a budget which was another money mistake for me! Wow! I was in the hole and I had to dig myself out of it. Once I was able to see what I was spending and on what, I decided on what I needed to cut back on. In about 6 months of that year, I had cut my cable completely off which now led to.
Savings: $100 a month $50 bi-weekly which totaled to $200 a month.
I saved that $200 a month like my life depended on it because let’s face it, it really did. My parent’s started asking me if I was okay and needed money because I stopped asking them. I said, ” Yup, I’m good, i’m saving money.” Good thing I did save to because the carpet had gotten pulled from under me. My landlord ( I was renting his house that he made into aparents) told me that I had 30 days to move, because he was coming back to LIVE in his house. It was random and I was terrifed! I only had $1000,00 saved in my savings account and I had 30 days to find an apartment, get someone or people to help me move and still figure out if I could afford to live. I looked at my budget and realized that I actually had $2,250.00 (plus the security deposit $600.00 ) for first months and security deposit of a new place no more than $750 a month. I had just started a better job but had not gotten paid yet. Luckily, my Dad and my cousins and uncle helped me move. It all worked out perfectly, but just think I didn’t budget and save money! Yikes!
3. Not Having A Money Mindset. I’m sure by now if you are still reading you are like, sheesh, let me get my ish together because the unexpected can be expected. If you thought that, you are right. Life happens. Just like it happened to me, it can happen you at any time. At the time I didnt’ have a money mindset and I didn’t care until I had to start caring. I expected my parents to always help and pick me up when I fall. Although, they will because it’s what parents do, but why do we have to put them in a positon to? After that experience in my life, I developed a strong relationship with God first, then money. My money mindset is on 1000%, lol. No, but I alway think of the end before the beginning. What if this happened? Would I have the money for that emergency in my life? Also, make sure it’s YOUR emergency and not someone else’s. If you can’t take care of yourself, you can’t help to take care of someone else. I felt some people needed to read that. But, I always think of what if? Just like my experience, what if I didn’t have that money saved to move? I’ve become so frugal and money conscious that I try to be prepared for most emergencies that can occur like car issues, I didn’t have a car then, but I do now. To prepare for car maintenance, I did a little money challange and saved anything that I had left over from paychecks and put it in an envelope, if 6 weeks I had saved $500. Now, I know that may or maynot be enough for a car emergency depending on what it is, but it’s an amazing start. Not having a money mindset can set you up for failure when life happens. No matter how much you make little or small, practice a money mindset. Ask yourself, do I really need those sneakers or those jeans? Or should I save the money I was going to buy those items with. Granted, I am not saying to not have fun or live your life, treat yourself, just plan and budget to treat yourself.
Try this exercise:
If there is something that you want to buy, budget for it. Set aside a certain amount every paycheck until you have reached the goal of the item you want to purchase. If you want to then still buy it, go for it! If not, think about a category if your life where that money may need to go.
Categories of Life (YOu can put a little away each paycheck toward these cateogories and when they are needed, you already have money available)
- Emergency Fund ( It’s good to have at least 3-6 months of expenses(Rent, Electric, Groceries, Gas or Water whatever you NEED to survive in your home) in a savings or checking account. For example, my monthly bills to live are $850. Rent -$750, Electric, $50 and Cell – $50. $850×3=$2,550 $850×6=$5,100. This is in case I loose my job by being laid off, getting fired, whatever. I know I can give for 3-6 months and still pay my bills to live.
- Car Maintenance – Anything can happen with a car. A good started fund for can be $300-$1000, you just never know. Your car can break down, might be a tow, car tags, inspection, brakes, new muffer whatever..
- Christmas – Depending on if you have children or not, or how you raise your kids this can be between $100-$500
- Gifts/Birthdays – Whatver you want to buy people, can be $100-$500
- New Car (Whatever your budget is for a new car whether it’s used or not start putting a little away toward it)
- Funeral – Sadly, people pass away every day. This can be used toward bills after someone passes, their grave site or plot or even life insurance. Other Categories can be: Vet, Medical, Kids, Back to school, Clothes, Date Night, Wedding, New Baby, New Bed, LabTop, Pets, Vacation, whatever your life consists on you can plan for it little by little.
With that being said, I have written a personal budget journal just for you to plan your life and make your money mistakes because financial apprecation! Check it out. You can buy your copy of Amazon for just $25.00. Here is this personal budget journal, you can create your budget, learn how to repay your debt, make a finance vision board and more. Create a healthy relationship with your finance. I introduce to you:
Here is the link if you’d like to purchase it:
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