Happy 5th of July!! Are you nice and awake yet?? WILL ALL THESE CAPS HELP YOU OUT? :)
Seeing how we all just celebrated an awesome day of freedom yesterday, I thought we’d extend the joyous occasion and congratulate ourselves on even *more* freedoms we’ve since come to enjoy now that we’re paying attention to our money :) The “5th of July Money Freedoms” if you will!
Below you will find a handful of money mistakes inspired by Anna from And Then We Saved, an awesome blog which my sister constantly reads over mine (!!!). I want you to review each of them and then tell us how many you’ve kicked to the curb. There will be some you’re still working on, of course, but we’ll leave those for another day and concentrate on the ones we’re rockin’ ;)
Here are some of Anna’s mistakes:
- Spending without thinking
- Impulse buying
- Not checking receipts
- Not opening bills right away
- Failure to review bank changes
- Carrying balances on credit cards
- Failure to review insurance coverage
- Not properly planning for retirement
- Not refinancing a high-interest mortgage loan
- Not keeping tabs on credit score
- Missing out on tax deductions
- Always buying new
- Failure to ask for a deserved raise
- Spending a windfall recklessly
- Falling for scams
And here are the ones I’m doing well on now (Yippee!):
- Not checking receipts — I check/skim every one that goes in my hand! If I wait, I’ll forget.
- Carrying balances on credit cards — Not since June 23rd of 2008! (Unless you count the time we threw our Eurotrip on it for a cple months and then paid it off?)
- Not properly planning for retirement — I’m def. planning for it, but not 100% sure it’s totally the “proper?” way? Haha… Stuff’s being invested! :)
- Not keeping tabs on credit score — I check mine yearlong with Credit Sesame to gauge rough movements up and down, but then get a “real” one when I check my free credit report every year. You can do it here each time for free – and it’s awesome: AnnualCreditReport.com
- Missing out on tax deductions — Never more since I picked me up an accountant 10 years ago!
- Always buying new — Was never much of a problem being raised in a yard sale house.
- Failure to ask for a deserved raise — Used to be too shy to do this, but quickly realized that you have to stand up for yourself because no one else will :) You’re your own #1 fan!
- Spending a windfall recklessly — Nope! 10 years ago I did after graduation (if you can count $1,000 a windfall?), but with my grandparents passing recently I’m proud to say I learned my lesson and banked all $20k of it away for a rainy day. AKA new business adventures :)
- Falling for scams — Not since I thought I was being “scouted” to be a model in NYC years ago, haha… I didn’t catch on until I made it through to the last round and needed to come up with $1,000+ for pictures and an agency deposit ;) And then saw like 100 other people who also made it through and needing to do the same thing! On the plus side, I did feel pretty for a while :)
Now the ones I either suck at, or don’t do on purpose ;)
- Not opening bills right away — I used to be pretty good at this, but sadly I’ve been slipping over the years. Probably because now most everything is automated, and the only bills that come are stragglers requiring a keener eye and work. AKA mailing a check, haha… I’m literally staring at my bill/filing pile as I type this :)
- Not refinancing a high-interest mortgage loan — We did pull this off 2 years ago, but sadly we’ve failed ever since :( We owe way too much on the house and can’t knock it down enough to be able to refi anytime soon. But I continue to fight the good fight!
- Spending without thinking — I actually do this on purpose, but only with small amounts of money. I have an area in my budget called “blow money” ($200 a mo) where I’m allowed to do whatever I want with it. I take it out in cash every month ($200) and sometimes it carries over into the next month, and sometimes not :) It actually helps me out a lot by giving me some freedom from being so hardcore all the time with money.
- Impulse buying — This falls into the same category as above :) I only curb this when an object is maybe $30 and up, and I’ll usually then sleep on it for a night. Though I do slip every now and then so I constantly need to be on alert :(
- Failure to review bank changes — I actually rarely care what my bank is doing because I have some big freakin’ trust with them (USAA). I also don’t rate chase, so even if other place has better interest rates I don’t budge. That stuff stresses me out! I like having everything in one spot where it’s 90% fine and I can keep my sanity. For better or for worse :)
- Failure to review insurance coverage — I don’t do this one either, as it also falls under the USAA umbrella. This is the one place where USAA shines the most, so I’ve never had to look elsewhere (and when I did early on, nothing came close). If I wasn’t with them though, I’d probably review this stuff every couple of years for sure.
Okay, your turn! You don’t have to write a novel about any of them like I did here, haha, but def. drop a line in the comments and let us know which ones you’re proud of for accomplishing thus far.
I GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO BRAG!!
Now I’m off to try and clear that dang bill pile once and for all, stupid thing… Don’t you distract me! :)
Photo by Paolo Camera
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!