My Money Makeover Part 2 (by Alicia D. Dervin)
Editor’s Note: This is Part 2 of a 2 part series. Read Part 1 here.
With just a few changes to my budget I was starting to accumulate more money and I needed a way to ensure that I could keep it. I already had a savings account with my financial institution but I wasn’t utilizing it. There were a few dollars placed in it when it was set up. It wasn’t enough to collect interest and it wasn’t something that I was monitoring on a regular basis.
I began to pay more attention to the money I was saving through wise budgeting and started to do monthly transfers to my savings account. They weren’t large transfers at all; ten dollars here and five dollars there at random times throughout the month. In addition to a traditional savings account, I enrolled in a service provided by the bank that would transfer one dollar from my checking account into a new savings account with each purchase I made using my debit card.
Collectively, and within a matter of months, those accounts were able to provide an additional source of financial comfort. In the event of unexpected expenses, I could now use the funds available in those accounts as opposed to tapping into my checking account and without altering my budget.
Once I’d outlined my budget and was successfully sticking to it and after establishing and managing additional accounts, I had to get one more thing in order. I needed to get my spending under control. In college, shopping was everything. It didn’t really matter if I needed something or not. If I really liked it, I purchased it.
After college, my thought process changed. I started to look at purchases as investments. From electronics to clothing, whatever I purchased had to be something that I could use for long periods of time. I no longer purchased merchandise for instant gratification. Clothing that could be used from season to season was all I shopped for, and I only shopped based on necessity. I began using coupons on grocery and toiletry purchases. I bought in bulk to avoid frequent trips to the store.
In less than a year, my entire financial perspective had changed and grown. While this is an ongoing process, I know that my initial steps are leading me to a secure financial future. I realized that I don’t have to be an expert to properly manage my finances.
While there are financial consultation options that are inexpensive and sometimes available at no cost, it’s often easier to start on your own. No one knows your spending habits or your financial goals better than you.
Alicia D. Dervin is the author of “Sex Isn’t Enough” (Createspace) available on Amazon.com and AliciaDDervin.com. Follow her on Twitter @AliciaDDervin