(Closed) Any advice on becoming financially responsible? (sorry…. LONG)

posted 5 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

It is amazing that you dont have any credit cards or other loans!  In that sense you are already on the right track. 

I think the most obvious thing is stop spending ANY money on DVDs, books, and junkfood.  Are you borrowing money from your fiance or family for these things while you are unemployed? If so that definitely has to stop. 

It seems like you start to save, then are tempted by the money in your accounts and end up blowing through it.  Is there a way to set up an account that makes it very difficult to withdraw money? 

Post # 4
Member
6207 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

First of all, I think that in light of only having $40, a nice card would suffice for your FILs’ birthdays and fathers day, especially the fathers day present which you can keep on the back burner for after you have a job. Really, in order to save money you need to have money coming in, so the best thing for you to do right now is to find any job, and then establish a plan for yourself to pay your FI back the money you owe him (can be whatever you can afford-$20/week, etc) and eventually he will be paid back.

In terms of cutting your junk food habit, you need to try to phase it out. Do you find that you buy it when you go out for other things? Or do you make specific trips to get it? When I was in college and I would go out to visit a friend or to go to the gym, I would not bring money with me so that I couldn’t stop for junk food at the 7-11 on the way home. Maybe you can replace your expensive processed snacks with things that are cheaper and better for you. One cheap snack that is kinda like junk food but really cheap is popcorn popped on the stove. 

Being financially responsible is mostly about self control! You have to say to yourself, “Do I need this?” before every purchase. If you find yourself answering “no” even a little, put it back on the shelf. 

Post # 5
Member
8042 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@Jacqui90:  Well first thing would be to try to find a job. And I might be flamed for this, but it bugs me when a couple who is headed towards marriage “owe” each other money. If you’re getting married, it’s YOUR money as a couple. Of course, as a couple, you need to agree on how it will be saved/spent, but it’s the same pot.

Next thing – the account that you don’t want to touch needs to be un-linked from debit. Make it as hard for yourself as possible to access that money. If you need to make a trip across the city to take $20 out of it, you probably won’t.

I’m not the best at managing money, and I know that. I let my bf manage the money. We’re on the track to marriage and still don’t have any shared accounts, but he helps me budget. If your FI is good with money, you might consider letting him manage the finances. This doesn’t mean that you become totally ignorant or what your finances are, but in my case anyway it’s nice to know that I have X amount each month to spend on clothes, etc.

I’d normally suggest getting a credit card – they’re so useful when you know how to manage them, and more secure etc. etc., but in your case, I think I’d hold off until you’re better w. money.

Good luck. Really you’re not doing so bad if you have no debt!

Post # 6
Member
1043 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

One thing that’s worked for me: pull out XX of dollars each week and limit yourself to spending only that money on non-necessities like junk food, clothing, etc.  Once you run out of cash, that’s it.  Think of it as your allowance.  πŸ™‚

And as far as wine for your FILs, go get a nice cheap bottle with a pretty label.  I find that you can get cheap bottles of organic wine at natural food stores…

Post # 7
Member
1856 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Well you have no credit cards or bank loans so that’s a start.

Firstly, getting a job will obviously help in terms of rectifying your financial situation. You’re living beyond your means if you’re spending money when NOTHING is coming in.

Some tips:

– keep a money journal, where you record every single cent you spend in a week. A lot of people are shocked by how much is actually coming out.
– Unlink the account you don’t want to touch and make it so that you can only withdraw from a bank teller. If you make it a hassle to use the money, you’ll be less tempted to do so.
– Stop buying books and movies. Get a library card – most libraries carry a lot of great films and you can access lots of new books that way. If buying these things tend to be your biggest spending problem, this will save you money.
– Make your FILs and your dad some nice cards. You have $40 to live on, and unfortunately presents are not in the budget. They know you’re unemployed, and I doubt anyone will be offended.
– Start using cash only for purchases if you’re not already. Take out a set amount per week (presumably when you have more money coming in…) and don’t go beyond that.
– Straight up, stop buying junk food. It is a HUGE expense. Find other cheaper snacks you can prepare at home – popcorn popped on the stove is great (it’s cheap and much healthier than microwave, for example), make your own potato chips by thin slicing potatoes and seasoning and baking (or make spinach/kale chips if produce is cheap where you are).

It’s not hard to learn financial responsibility but you really have to commit to not spending beyond your means and to working with what you have. I used to spend fairly freely but realized I was living paycheque to paycheque. I wanted a good cushion of savings, so I stopped buying books (my guilty pleasure), I stopped going to Starbucks or buying chips when I ran to the store for something else, and started keeping very close track of my spending. I earn relatively little per year in income, but I save over half of my income after taking rent and school tuition out. It takes practice but you can do it!

Post # 8
Member
1252 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

@Jacqui90:  For you the first step is to have some sort of income.  It may not be your forever job or a path to a career, but if I was unemployed with no money in the bank I’d be cleaning houses and flipping burgers if I had to.  Any paycheck is better than no paycheck.  Where ever you work pack your lunch and bring coffee from home, eating out (and Starbucks) is costly and unnecessary.  The added benefit is that every hour you are working is an hour you are not tempted by shopping.

The next step is to establish a budget and define your financial goals.  Put all the necessary inflows/outflows on a spreadsheet – include only necessities like rent, gas, insurance.  Include repaying your FI on that – $20 a week will get him repaid within a year.  Set an amount you want to save – I suggest trying to get to 10% of your income, but depending on what your living expenses are it may not be feasible right now.  Whether you are saving $10 or $100 a month, have the money automatically transferred to a separate savings account.  You’ll want to build up a 6-month emergency fund there. 

Once you’ve covered your necessary expenses, repaying your debt, and building some savings, you can figure out how much you have left for the “extras” – clothing, entertainment, gifts, junk food.  Once you know what you have to spend, stick to it.  Review your budget regularly and if you are able, increase the amount you are putting into savings.

Post # 9
Member
1030 posts
Bumble bee

I’ve started saving £600 a month and honestly I have no idea how I even allowed myself to spend all of that in a month!

The first thing I did was cut out buying food. I bought breakfast cereal in bulk and have it every morning. Lunch is a sandwich only, which I bring into work from home. I bring it all in and make it at work so I don’t have the excuse of ‘oh but I ran out of time this morning!!’

Then I do one grocery shop a week and buy no more.

I leave my purse at home so I can’t use it (give it to your FI).

Its hard adjusting to the change in eating habit but believe me, after week 2 I didn’t care for snacks at all. And those 2 bottles of wine I bought a week? That’s £520 a year! Think of what I could spend that on for my wedding!!

Gave a goal you want to save for. For me, knowing I need £2k by November to buy myhoneymoon flights is a huge incentive for me and I love seeing the number in that account get higher each month.

Post # 10
Member
7431 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

One of the better budgeting tools I use is the J.A.R.S. system. Once you get a job you can implement it.

Many of the PP offered great suggestions. One thing that works wonders for me is A) having bills paid automatically every week straight from my bank account, via e-payments.

B) Get a internet banking savings acccount.  My paycheck gets automatically split by percentage between my debit/checking account (to pay bills) and my internet savings account. I’ve managed to save up a pretty decent amount in relativiely quick amount of time. I don’t have to “think” about it. Every week my savings account builds.  And if I do need to dip into it, which I now rarely do, it still takes 2 days to move the money over. I don’t have an ATM card for easier access. 

Post # 11
Member
4194 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

Suze Orman has some great resources- get one of her books from the library- “Young Fabulous and Broke” could be a good place to start.

Post # 12
Member
10563 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

@rebwana:  I find Suze offers quite a bit of advice that doesn’t work outside of the US.  Personally, I prefer Gail Vaz-Oxlade and most of what she says can be applied to any country. (Just based off of what I have seen from both of them on tv).

OP, maybe you can find an Aussie financial ‘guru’ who’s advice resonates with you.  You are kind of stuck until you get a job though (unless you’re getting some money from the government or former employer) as you do need some money!

Post # 14
Member
10563 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

I just came across an article about Fiona Lippey’s $21 Challenge.  I’ve never heard of her before, but it’s a place to start to see if her ideas will work for you.

Here’s her site:

http://www.simplesavings.com.au/

 

Do not pay for anything!  Many financial gurus sell spreadsheets, etc. on their websites.  You can make your own and there are free ones out there too.  When it comes to books, check out the library.  These gurus are still out to make $$ for themselves πŸ™‚

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