Some people think that if you pick up bad financial habits in your teens and early adult life then you will always be bad with money, but Cat from Budget Blonde is living proof that people change their financial ways. Keep reading to see how Cat went from broke to budget and lived to tell the story.
College students make money mistakes and that’s ok
Cat wasn’t always a good saver. She admits that she let her credit card debt get out of hand when she was in her early 20s. She was in debt and didn’t have an emergency savings fund to dip into. If Cat could go back and give herself some financial advice in her 20s she would go back and tell herself “not to take out so many student loans and not to rent such a big apartment!”
This is a common financial mistake made by many young students. They don’t know that there are alternatives to student loans to help pay for college such as grants, bursaries, scholarships and working part time during college. One of my friends actually lived in the dorms as a residence advisor to help save money during college. She was a resource for younger students, and as payment she received free room and board, which is one way to save a lot on living expenses while in college.
It’s never too late to make financial changes in your life
If you don’t have the perfect financial track record and if you have more debt than you can handle, you may feel stuck in your rut with no way out. But don’t worry! As a financial planner, I can tell you that it’s never too late to make changes in your financial life.
Cat decided to make changes in her spending and saving habits when she hit rock bottom. “There was one horrible month when I was completely out of money. I tried to pay for my groceries, and two of my cards got denied in a row. I was so embarrassed.” Many of us have been in a similar situation, and I think that we can all agree that once you decide to make the change to become financially responsible you don’t ever want to go back to being broke and unable to pay your bills.
Don’t look back–look towards your financial future
It’s important to learn from our mistakes. When you make a change for the better, the old bad habits make us who we are today. However, if you really want to start a new financial life, it’s important not to dwell on our past mistakes. We have to accept the fact that we made them, make a positive change in our financial habits, and then move on.
Cat makes sure that she continues to save on a regular basis so that she can maintain her emergency savings fund and continue saving for retirement. “I’m a big believer in saving money at the beginning of the month because if you wait until the end, there won’t be anything left,” says Cat. She also saves towards her short-term goals in a high yield savings account.
Do you want to change your financial habits? Join SaveUp and earn rewards for your good financial behavior to keep you motivated and track your progress!
This post was written by Tahnya Kristina, a Certified Financial Planner and professional financial writer. She enjoys helping people manage their daily finances and become debt free. You can follow her on Twitter @TahnyaKristina.