3 things I used to do when I was broke…and still do.

by Kristina on February 12, 2014 · 5 comments

Good morning Dinks.  I know I’ve said it a thousand times over the years we’ve been friends, but today I am going to admit it again…I used to be broke.  Less than five years ago after the market crash I was completely broke, jobless and hitting rock bottom in my personal life.  Although my financial situation and mental health have greatly improved over the last few years a lot of my personal habits have not.

Even though I now have a great job that I love, a stable income with a pay check every two weeks and my relationship has never been stronger, I still kept some of my old financial habits.  My financial habits haven’t changed too much now that my money is back on track because I am absolutely terrified of being broke again.  The mental and emotional relief of having the freedom to spend money if I want to without the guilt of knowing that I can’t afford it is relieving.  Being so broke that I couldn’t pay rent and had to eat white rice and soy sauce for days at a time was one of the darkest periods of my life and I am not sure if I could survive it again.

That’s why I didn’t fall back into old habits of overspending and not managing my money.  Now I know every single dollar that comes into and goes out of my account. I check my bank account throughout the day to make sure my money is still there and review all transactions that went through the account.  If I see a transaction that I don’t recognize I immediately call my boyfriend Nick to see if he made a purchase.  I know it’s crazy but I’d rather have crazy financial habits than bad ones.

Tips to avoid overspending, impulse spending and help you live on a budget:

Don’t buy ice cream.  Splurging on Ben & Jerry’s is an unnecessary purchase and it also leads to overspending.  Ice cream is so good and so addictive it will only make you want more.  At $5 a cone I think we can all agree that ice cream should be avoided.

Avoid ATM fees.   I know that I am a former bank employee and I should not be knocking them but honestly $3 to use another bank’s ATM is absolutely ridiculous.  If you are a member of my bank you will be charged $3 by the other bank’s ATM and an additional $2 by your own bank to take out money.  I just can’t justify paying $5 in bank fees to withdraw $20 cash.

Always pay for the bus with change.  I rarely have cash in my wallet because it leads to spending.  I am personally more likely to spend cash over swiping my debit card.  For this reason I always spend the change in my wallet and if I don’t have enough change for what I want to buy I just won’t buy it. Why? Because breaking dollar bills leads to spending.  If you take out $20 for the week and you spend it carelessly you will hit up the ATM again and that’s unnecessary spending.  Make your $20 a week last and spend it wisely.

Photo by DanMoyle

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Barbara Friedberg February 12, 2014 at 2:21 pm

I buy ice cream out, not to save money but to avoid having a carton in the house. If I have a carton in the house, it doesn’t last :). Ice cream is my weakness and I cannot control myself when it’s in the freezer!

2 Kristina February 12, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Oh I am that way with chocolate chip cookies – I can’t eat just one so I never buy them. If they are in my kitchen I will eat them.

3 James February 12, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Kristina,

Why not invest more now that you have more funds? After all, retirement is coming up quick.

Thanks,

James

4 Brock @cleverdude February 13, 2014 at 7:49 am

I dunno If I can trust someone that doesn’t eat ice cream. :)

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