Personal Finance, Now + Beyond

Post grad life threw me into a financial crisis but this is what saved me

It is possible that I may have gone a little out of control with regards to clothes and make-up, I like pretty things, sue me.

I’ll start this off by admitting I am terrible with money. Absolutely awful.

Growing up we didn’t have a lot so I was never taught to save because there was nothing to save. I got my first job at 17, at a retail store and it’s sufficient to say I loved having my own money. It is possible that I may have gone a little out of control with regards to clothes and makeup, I like pretty things, sue me.

Whilst studying, I worked and pretty much spent everything I earned without thinking. It was just so refreshing to have money to spend in the first place; I felt like I deserved all the treats I got myself.

And then I graduated, became a fully fledged adult and realized that actually, I’d gotten pretty deep into my overdraft. So maybe it was time to pull back on the spending, get myself out of debt and focus on practical things: like buying myself a car that wouldn’t be classed as a death trap.

I may have gone a little out of control with regards to clothes and make-up. Click To Tweet

I set up a savings account and felt slightly more in control of my life. After each payday, I’d just transfer half my wage over and it should have been that easy right? Well, I transferred money over and then when my current account ran out, I’d just transfer the money from my savings account back. It literally made no difference to my awful spending habits.

So I decided to do what I always do when things go wrong, consult my wise, older sister. We sat down and she told me I needed to create a budget plan, look at how much money was going out and on what and see what I needed to cut down on. I agreed and decided to act slightly more responsible and do my research. I know myself. If I sat and wrote everything on a piece of paper, chances are at some point I would have thrown that piece of paper away and pretend like it didn’t exist. I needed some more help. So I decided to look at spending apps.

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The first app that I came across was OnTrees Personal Finance. This app basically did everything for my lazy ass. I signed up and connected it with bank accounts and it gave me an overview of how much I had and owed. It also broke down how much I spent every month on different things, i.e telephone services, pet care, groceries, eating out etc. I could see all of my shameful spending laid out. I could also personalize these categories; if I knew that a certain amount was going somewhere for a particular reason.

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It was at this point where I realized that it wasn’t enough to just put money aside. I’d have to pay more attention to where I was spending the money and if it was necessary. Additionally, this app is colorful which makes no difference to the effectiveness of the app, I just like colors.

The best bit about this app was that I could create budgets. I’m not going to lie creating these made me feel so adulty and proud of myself. I would look at every aspect so firstly my bills and how much would be necessary to leave my account. Then things like petrol and groceries that I could calculate to make sure I didn’t overspend. The nerd in me loved having everything organized and laid out for me to look at.

The nerd in me loved how @Ontrees organised my finances and laid them out for me to look at. Click To Tweet

It took me a while to adhere to the budgets and discipline myself to actually look at my finances. But, having the budget plans helped because I’m the type of person who likes to work towards something, so sticking to it was easier then I would have thought.

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Once I’d gotten my finances slightly under control and into a routine, I downloaded Money Box, Saving Goals to get myself a better idea of how to save money for the things I needed. Money Box is a savings app which allows you to set up a saving goal. You add how much you need to save and whether you want to do it weekly/monthly etc and it calculates how much you need to save every term. It also sends you useful reminders so you don’t forget – which I really did need.

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I can honestly say that I’m so much better with my finances than I was a year ago. On the downside, I am now unemployed so I can’t use these apps as frequently as I once did. I’m hoping that when I have a regular income again, I will be able to be much more organized and responsible.

Mitta Thakrar

Mitta Thakrar

Mitta Thakrar enjoys writing everything from articles to poetry and short stories. She is a Law graduate from De Montfort University, and she's passionate about immigration, feminism and mental health.

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