How to Fall in Love with Your Finances
Personal finances are far from sexy. In fact, most of the time, dealing with your personal finances lands somewhere between utterly dreadful and horribly boring. But why? Money doesn't necessarily have to be your definition of success, but it does symbolize the hard work you put into your career. So rather than shirk your checkbook or Mint account, dive in with open arms and learn to love every aspect of your finances. You've earned the right to be proud of whatever your bank balance reads. Scroll through for seven ways to fall in love with your finances.
A chic, organized wallet is much more lovable than an old tattered wallet stuffed to the brim with old receipts and expired gift cards. Buy yourself a beautiful wallet—of course make sure this purchase is within your allotted spending allowance—but make sure it's something you love to look at. That way, every time you pull out the symbol of your personal finances you'll get excited. Also, start incorporating a wallet purge into your daily or weekly routine. You should never let old receipts, foreign currency, or expired cards pile up in your wallet.
You made the money sitting in your bank account, so be proud of it. Even if it's a lower balance than you might like, take a Marie Kondo moment and show gratitude toward each dollar (and to yourself for making each dollar). Being proud of your bank statement is a derivative of the glass half empty versus glass half full scenario. You can either see your balance as only a fraction of what you wish it could be, or you can see it as a step toward a greater fortune. We go for the latter.
Some things in life, like organic groceries, cost a mini fortune but are entirely worth it. Other things, like a trip to your not-so-good friend's wedding, cost a mini fortune and aren't entirely worth it. Before you shell out valuable dollars to things other than life's essentials, evaluate your dollar-to-value ratio. For example, if you eat out on a regular basis, your bank account is probably feeling it. However, do even remember the taste or experience of each restaurant meal you had in the last week? If the answer is no, consider budgeting your food by grocery shopping and cooking at home or ordering a budget-friendly meal-delivery service.
Download your bank's app to your phone so you can check on your balance with the swipe of a thumb. Learn to love your bank app just as much as other apps by checking it on a regular basis. Every morning and evening, for example, before you scroll your Instagram feed or check out the latest Snapchat stories, give your bank account a look. Even if you haven't been out swiping your card, it's good to see if any automatic payments, checks, or fraudulent charges have gone through. You should be able to quote your general bank balance every morning, just like you can quote the number of likes on your last Instagram post.
When you lose track of your financial deadlines—everything from credit card payment deadlines to parking ticket deadlines—you end up hemorrhaging your money to pay for exorbitant late fees. This inevitably leads to hating your bank account because every time you look at it you're reminded of the massive amounts of dough you let go because of procrastination, laziness, or ignorance. Free yourself from all late fees by keeping a financial calendar. Log all monthly payments. When you get a parking ticket, put "pay parking ticket" in your schedule, not on your to-do list. If you have a tendency to miss your payment alerts, add alerts for the day before late fees will be applied so that you have a second chance to avoid unnecessary, painful spending.
Rule No. 1: You should always have a budget. Rule No. 2: Think of your budget like a game complete with a rewards system. For instance, if you allot $200 per month for fun "shopping money" and you stick to that budget for three months in a row, give yourself a $50 bonus that fourth month. You'll feel proud of yourself for sticking to your own rules and like you earned an extra $50, even though it was already yours to begin with.
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Are you fond of your bank account? What makes you happy about your personal finances? Share with us in the comments.