Mint. Adaptu. HelloWallet. All great budget and spending apps.
I will still keep all my physical receipts, manually input my expenses, and plan out my budget through the good ole Excel spreadsheet.
Why though? Why make an extra step in your weekly routine to do book-keeping?
Because I want to literally be hands-on with my money when I keep tapping my cards. Apps are great because they compile everything for you in a nice diagram to see where you are spending the most. However, when handling receipts and logging it in individually yourself, this truly gives you the pain of how every little purchase adds up.
When everything becomes digitized, it is much easier to be disconnected from your cash flow. Looking at every receipt from my purchases that week forces me to revisit regretful purchasing decisions and think before another impulse buy. Editing my spreadsheet keeps personal finance top-of-mind, and prevents me from having a passive attitude towards it.
And another one bites the dust.
I never thought that I would be able to say this. Now, there is only $3,600 remaining of my $28,300 student loan!
My goal is to pay it off by my 24th birthday in March, making the payback period a little less than two years since I graduated in June 2016.
This journey has honestly not been smooth sailing. I remember moving back home from university, after an unsuccessful recruiting season (AKA not finding a full-time, salaried job), and being incredibly overwhelmed by the sheer number of it. Even when I started working and paying it off, it seemed like no matter how much money I chucked at it each month, the number never went down significantly. $28,300… $27,200… $25,800…
I was upset, thinking that I was not getting ahead or living my fullest life in my early 20s. Seeing classmates and friends moving out of their parents’ house to live downtown or travelling to amazing adventures made me incredibly envious and resentful. On top of that, I was, and still am, commuting almost four hours a day from nowhere to get to work, in order to save money on rent. Knowing that a large portion of my paycheck was automatically locked up each month is not a pleasant feeling.
Eventually, I came around to figuring out what I can do to make me happy and enjoy the journey. Still didn’t make it any easier, just a little more enjoyable. Finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel has never felt so satisfying.