Financial literacy is something I'm extremely passionate about.
After I graduated with my Masters degree I struggled. Granted I had it FAR better than many others do, but I found myself 25k in debt, living on my own making $14.50 an hour, and wondering if I had just made a huge mistake. I had to put my student loans into forbearance and it wasn't until about 3 years after I graduated where I could finally afford to start making the minimum payments.
Now, thanks primarily to the added income I received from this blog ($1,838 last month!), I consider myself to be extremely financially successful. I still don't make as much as most people would say is necessary to be wealthy, but I've found my income to be more than sufficient to exceed all of my needs and build up a healthy emergency savings fund. This year my total income from teaching and writing is about 32k, and I have lived alone 11 months of that year (so no one to split bills with!) and I was still able to save up two months of living expenses should I ever need it by adhering to a few simple financial rules:
- I rarely buy things I want, only things I need. It's amazing to me how many people don't know the difference between these two terms!
- When I do buy things I need I buy the best I can afford. Mom taught me this years ago and it really pays off in the long run! For years I went through a trashcan a year almost when I'd buy the cheapest one's available. After my tax return a few years ago I splurged on a $50 trash can that is still in perfect condition and I'll probably have for another decade.
- Get into the habit of saving. For years the most I could save from every paycheck was $25. When my payroll was deposited I'd transfer over $25 every two weeks. After a few months I'd have a couple hundred dollars saved. That would inevitably be depleted thanks to random cat, dental or life emergencies but I was always grateful I had the money to spare to pay for those emergencies! Now that I'm in the habit of saving I still transfer over as much as possible every paycheck. Pay yourself FIRST.
If you'd like to start taking some action NOW to make 2015 a financially successful year for you then check out Capital One 360's Black Friday Sale. Now is the time to set intentions for next year and stick to them before you get caught up in Holiday shopping! This holiday, to encourage consumers to stay on track with their finances, Capital One 360 is decking the halls with deals you can bank on, including new account bonuses, referral bonuses and closing cost credits. Deals like getting $100 bonus just for opening a new savings account! If you've been saying for years now that you want to start up an emergency fund now you have the chance to make money off of doing so.
Do you have an emergency fund set up? Or any 2015 financial goals? Are you good about sticking to a Holiday budget, or do you suffer from January financial hangovers?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.