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3 Reasons You’re Broke

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Have you ever taken $20 out of the ATM in the morning and at the end of the day had zero cash left in your wallet?  Maybe you constantly find yourself asking where did my money go?  Have you ever just got paid and three days later logged in to your online banking to find next to no money in your account?  I know I have, or at least I used to.

When I was having money troubles I just couldn’t understand why I was broke all time.  I would get paid and couldn’t afford to pay both my rent and my cable bill.  It was weird because I was working full time at a bank making good money, but it just wasn’t enough.  Or at least I thought it wasn’t.

You live beyond your means

This was the major reason why I ended up in tens of thousands of dollars of debt.  I bought things I thought I should have – like a brand new car and I did things because other’s were doing them – like eating at the newest, trendiest restaurants – and I did them all on credit because I couldn’t actually afford to do any of it.  Bad habits.

It took me a long time to realize that expensive meals, extravagant vacations and lots of clothes don’t make me happy. I learned to stop spending on things that don’t matter and start saving for the things that do like retirement.

Paying all your bills at once

I was always taught never to have late bills so when I got my credit card, hydro and cable bills in the mail each month I would immediately pay them in full.  Big mistake.

Since monthly bills usually all come at the same time – at the end of the month this left me with a ton of expenses to pay and very little money to do it with.  I would use my entire pay check to pay bills and then leave myself nothing to live.  So of course I ended up using my credit cards to live until my next paycheck.  Terrible cycle.

Now I split the total of my monthly bills in half and pay each portion over two paychecks.  My bills are still paid on time but I’m not shelling out large chunks of cash each month.  It’s perfect.

Spending on wants not needs

This is one of the worst things you can do for your money.  Spending on things you want but don’t need is O.K. sometimes.  It’s O.K. when you have a little extra money to spend, it’s O.K. if all your other bills are paid and it’s O.K. if you give yourself a spending limit like $40.

Spending on wants is not O.K. if you’re going to use your credit card to do so, if the item won’t actually make you happy and if you’re only doing it just to spend money.

I’m glad that I no longer make these money mistakes because my finances are better for it.

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Originally published on Blonde & Balanced

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Starbucks is NEVER a Waste of Money

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If you’ve ever read a story about spending wisely or setting a budget then you’ve probably been advised to cut out your daily trips to the coffee shop.  Right?  To be honest it’s true.  If you want to start saving money you can cut out Starbucks coffee and stop eating out in restaurants.  You could also become a nun and take a vow of poverty or become a monk and take a vow of silence – but what fun would that be?

As a financial planner I should probably tell you to stop spending money on anything that doesn’t keep you clean or warm, but I’m not going to do that.  Why?  Because I don’t believe in it.  Don’t get me wrong I completely agree that people should plan and save for their future, but I don’t believe they should do it at the sacrifice of their current life.  I mean seriously why would you hate your life now to potentially enjoy your life later?  It just doesn’t make sense.

Enjoy everything in moderation

This is why I don’t think Starbucks is a waste of money.  If you want to pay $5 for an iced latte then go do it, but keep in mind you’re giving up something else in order to pay for coffee.  That’s the key to setting and sticking to a budget.  If you only have $5 and you want to spend it on Starbucks then more power to you.  Just be conscious of what that coffee really costs.

Coffee is an excuse to socialize

I don’t drink alcohol or smoke so if I don’t meet my friends for coffee I probably won’t see them very often.  Compared to after work drinks or a night out at a club I think a $5 coffee and a $3 piece of banana bread is a good deal to spend an hour or so with friends.

It’s a reason to get out of the house

I work online with my side hustle and I can work from home with my 9 to 5 job.  If I didn’t convince myself to buy a treat every now and then I would never leave my house.  I would become one of those crazy ladies whose eyes can’t adjust to daylight because I would be stuck in my home office 24 hours a day.  I definitely don’t want to become one of those ladies.

The price doesn’t matter

I truly believe in paying for something you want.  However I also believe in getting the absolute best deal on everything.  Why pay $400 a night for a hotel room when you can pay $100 for the exact same accommodation through a discount website.

The same thing is true for Starbucks.  As long as you aren’t ordering a $5 coffee, taking a sip and throwing an almost full cup in the garbage then expensive beverages aren’t a waste.  If you enjoy it then it’s money well spent.  That being said I will pay for expensive coffee if there’s something in it for me – other than enjoying a delicious beverage. I am a Starbucks loyalty member which means I get free beverages, exclusive deals and discounts on products.

 

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Originally published on Dinks Finance

 

 

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Were you jobless after graduation?

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Yesterday my colleagues and I were in our weekly team meeting and our boss announced she’s hiring a summer intern.  She said she’s happy to give a university student an opportunity to get real world work experience so she can find a full time job after graduation.  That’s nice.

Another member on my team said “That’s great because the average time a recent university graduate looks for a job after graduation is five years.”  I’m new to the team so I was in  no position to question what she said.  I have absolutely no source to back up this information, but doesn’t five years seem like a long time to go without a job?

It’s a different time from when I graduated

When I graduated from university back in 2005 job offers were pouring in.  Mind you I graduated in Economics, I was already working full time for an international bank and it was before the market crash.  I think the market crash of 2008 changed the world, not only the world of finance but for all people – students, graduates and experienced employees alike.  The job market is very different today.

I had my pick of jobs back then because having a university degree was an asset.  I couldn’t imagine graduating and having to move back to my parent’s house because I couldn’t find a job.  Doesn’t five years seem like a long time to go without a job? I think it’s a long time, not just for a recent grad but for anyone.

So what do you do if you can’t find a job after graduation?

I guess there are a few options if recent grads can’t find a job straight out of school they can go back to school or look for a job outside their field.  I didn’t know this but I guess the days of employers lining up outside a university graduation ceremony are over.

That didn’t happen at my university graduation, but it did happen on the day of my financial planning exam.  Recruiters from banks were waiting outside the classrooms, handing out their business cards to the 2007 class of new Certified Financial Planners.  Yes I guess the job world is very different today.

Pursue a higher education

I chose to continue studying after I graduated from university, but I did it as I was working full time not as an alternative to finding a job.  I think getting an MBA (or any type of post secondary education) is an asset because education is always a good thing, but is accumulating more debt if you just graduated with student loans a good idea?  I’m not sure.

Get a part time job

The five year statistic has me wondering if students today are just being too picky with their job searches.  I think it’s unrealistic for graduates to expect to find their dream job fresh out of school.  It probably won’t happen and who wants to peak in their career at 22 years old?

The concept of starting at the bottom and working your way up may be completely lost on today’s generation of young workers, but it shouldn’t be.  That’s how the world works and if recent grads need to take a job that’s below their expected standards then they should be open to do so.  After all a part time job is better than no job at all.

Did you get a job right after graduation?

Originally published on Blonde & Balanced

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