Here’s a riddle. What’s something you work hard to earn, but give away in a second? Yeah, you guessed it. Money.
If you’re like me, you’ve thought about how much money you had in your bank account a month ago, and compare that amount to what’s left now. The internal conversation you have with yourself might go something like this:
What did I spend that much on?! Oh, gosh…please don’t be Starbucks… *shakes head* No, I don’t think I spent that much on sugar water…wait, what if someone hacked into my account and is withdrawing these amounts? *gasps* *thinks harder* Oh, wait. I went to Forever 21 a few days ago–and those clothes needed a home. Oh, and I was craving for a chocolate fudge sundae on Wednesday…and then there was that book that was screaming my name. I couldn’t pass it by!
Yes, guys, I love Starbucks (I’m collecting the cards)…and Forever 21 is my new fave place to go shopping. Also, I feel the need to fill my room with books–even if I’m running out of shelf space. But that’s not the point. The point is, us YAs–we have a lot to learn about handling money.
So, though I’m still learning the ropes myself (as you saw in the internal dialogue at the beginning of this post), I thought I’d share with y’all some of the “money lessons” I’ve learned so far. Let’s get started, shall we?
1.) Reward yourself.
What? But Beatrice, I thought you said “money lessons.” Why are you telling me to spend???
If you already have a source of income, then you know how it feels to get your pay. It’s the one day you actually feel excited to show up at work–believe me, I know the feeling. I learned this one from my Mommah–when you get your pay, treat yourself! It’s important to give yourself a reward for your hard work. *cough* Just don’t spend all of it!
2. Set aside an amount to put in the bank.
Set aside an amount that’ll go into your savings. Keep it out of sight, if you have to.
3.) Actually go and put it in the bank…before you make up an excuse to use it. 😂
This has happened to me a lot–I’ve mentally set aside an amount and told myself “Okay, that’s going into the bank.” *cue in my number one enemy called procrastination* So I’d put off going to the bank until I’d come across a situation where I’d allow myself to use that money for something else.
4.) Track your expenses.
This is to avoid any conspiracy theories. No, there are no aliens hacking into your account from outer space–withdrawing that amount of money. You spent that on Starbucks, remember? 😉
There are free money tracking apps that you can download on your phone, and if that digital tool isn’t your cup of tea, you can always go the old-school way, with a nice notebook and a pen.
5.) Think before you spend.
Sometimes, all you need to do is think. Do I really need this notebook? Am I even going to wear this? That sign says this store’ll have a big sale next week. I can wait.
A lot of regrets can be avoided by thinking things through.
6.) Apparently, you’re not supposed to max-out your card. 😂
Yeah, so apparently, even if you have X amount in your card, you’re not supposed to use all of it. Most banks require a certain amount be left untouched, so…yeah.
7.) Watch your card.
When making transactions with your card–whether it be credit or debit, don’t let it out of your sight. Make sure it isn’t double-swiped, and that the amount entered in the terminal is correct.
8.) Review your receipts.
It’s good to practice looking over your receipt before leaving the store.
It’s also a good practice to learn how to set a budget for yourself. One of the things I learned from one of my aunts was this: Just because you can doesn’t always mean you should.
10.) Be generous.
It seems like somewhat of a phenomenon–when you give, you receive. It doesn’t always make sense, but it works. Generous people are rich people.
Money matters–sure. But it’s not all that matters.
At the end of the day, it’s not what makes you happy. That’s the truth. It’s not what gives you a good night’s sleep. It’s not what loves you–no matter how much you love it, it just won’t love you back. You can have all the money in the world, but with no love, you’re nothing–just something to keep us on the right track. 😉
How bout you? What’s a “money lesson” you’ve learned? Short stories are welcome! 🙂