Hello Hello Helloooo!
I am Forrest, the newest Blogger and I’d like to share with everyone what I have been working on during these cold, icy days.
Budgetting! Woooooo. NO MORE IMPULSE BUYING.
It is important to always remember to be proactive about your bank accounts everyone.
I would like to spend a few moments and confess that shopping therapy is my favorite kind of therapy during weeks when exams and papers dominate my life. My philosophy is: “TREAT YO SELF” moments are important to remaining healthy and motivated. Going out occasionally for an ice cream or a dinner at the CityVu Bistro (such a nice view of Holland) can really make a rough day more relaxing. However, I am often prone to making these special nights on my own or with my girlfriend the new standard and am tempted, making every night possible a “TREAT YO SELF” moment therefore destroying the special value behind the experience. So here are some tips on how I analyze my spending habits and not have to worry about paying for emergency laptop repairs.
1. USE CASH.
Yeah, simple right? I am pretty lazy and I personally do not like having to go to the ATM to withdraw cash, but I have found that if I leave my debit/credit card(s) at home, I’m forced into a position where I must count the pennies leaving my pocket rather than just swiping the card. You feel the weight of your wallet lighten with each day and it forces you to reconsider whether that 4-dollar coffee from your local coffee shop is really worth 4 dollars (buy a coffee machine, you save so much after the initial cost of purchase). By limiting yourself to a certain amount of cash per ATM visit, you can successfully save 70% of your paycheck for something bigger than coffee and before you know it, you’ll have the purchasing power to pay off student debts, fix your car, buy books, or invest in a personal hobby.
2. CREDIT CARDS.
So, now you are a student, but it is never too early to build your FICO score. Credit cards may have a bad rap, but keep in mind the people that are giving credit cards a hard time probably don’t know how to use one. Credit cards have many benefits to college students, “Discover” often do not require a FICO score and will give 5% cashback opportunities on purchases for gas or office supplies. The only time credit companies will charge you is if you are late on your monthly statement. These “APR Fees” are usually slapped on top of the amount owed and can range between 16-24% so pay those bills on time to avoid the late fee! Keep in mind some credit cards will require annual fees, do not get those. You’re a student; bootstrap your capital, there are plenty of credit companies that do not require you to pay a fee.
Here are some nice tips:
- Don’t get too many credit cards, just stick to one, maybe two as credit companies will become wary about your intentions and it could hurt your FICO score in the long run.
- PAY YO STATEMENTS OFF ASAP
- Do not spend more than 20% of your credit limit within a month
- Just use your credit card to build credit score, it will pay off if there is ever a day you wake up in Botswana and your bank account is frozen and you need to pay for an emergency plane ticket back.
Nerdwallet is a nice website to learn more about credit cards.
3. ANALYZE PURCHASES MADE ON YOUR CARDS
Mint.com is my best friend. I have it on my phone and I check on it every evening before I sleep to make sure I have not overspent during the day. Go ahead and take a look, it’s slim UI helps you budget your spending and attach your debit/credit accounts for free. It also has a cool pie graph to show where your money went.