September 16, 2015
If the first rule about having money is you don’t talk about money, the next rule is to know how to manage yours. Your lifestyle is busy and requires a healthy income to finance it. But even though you’re killing it at work, you find yourself ping ponging back and forth from “I’m so broke, I can’t brunch” to “Shots for everyone!” on a weekly basis.
As you start working your career and making a salary, it’s tempting to blow your income on pleasure principle based purchases. However, knowing how to manage your money will get you more in the long run.
The betchiest personal finance app is by far Mint. It was created by the same people that did Turbotax so we know they have their shit down. Mint’s been around for ages, but if you’re not on it yet, we suggest you download it to manage your personal spending. It syncs up with all your credit cards, savings, investments, etc, and you can even enter in cash spending.
When it comes to budgeting, always allow for overspending. As in, if you budget $50 on groceries for the week, acknowledge that you’re also going to be going out to eat. Separate social spending and necessity spending in your mind by setting a goal of how much you’d want to spend on going out. That way, you know it’s going to happen and you don’t get anxiety when you wake up and look at your credit card statement.
If you have a corporate job, you probably have a 401K and are gently saving for retirement already. If you don’t, setting up a Roth IRA is very simple and dummy proof. You can start with the minimum amount and add to it, or keep your account there and add to it later when you have more to spare.
It’s okay to put big purchases on your credit card to pay off later, like concert tickets, hotels, or flights, but if you should still pay off the card at the end of the month. Basically, you have a month of buffer, but don’t spend more than you’re making or you’ll fuck your credit score up with late payments.
At the end of the day, you’re going to overspend a lot and that’s okay. But once you start tracking your spending, you’ll have a better idea of how to make personal finance decisions. Looking at statements and bills can drive you crazy and give you anxiety even if you’re making money, but if you think of your income like an allowance, you’ll be more likely to hold on to it for something worth waiting for.