While many banks and other financial institutions offer protections, advice and assistance on a wide variety of products and programs, there are a few things we can all do to eliminate paying for things we should be more than able to do by ourselves.
The excitement about becoming an adult is undeniably a stepping stone, but in order to be a grown up, we must behave as one which means taking responsibility. As batman’s anthem reminds us, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” The power in this instance is the weight we carry as adults in society, with our kids, in our communities and for today’s post, with our finances. So why not get rid of the following protection and create a budget program for free as it will force you to be responsible and to do something you should, as a grown-up, already be doing. Take the training wheels off!
1. Decline Overdraft Protection
If you know that the bank will not be paying those businesses you’ve cut a check too without having the funds in the bank, you will be less apt to whip out your debit card or checkbook. And under no occurrence, should you use your credit card to purchase something when you don’t have the cash to cover it in your checking account (I’ve done it before, am well aware of the consequences and have learned this lesson the hard way.)
2. Don’t Pay for a Fancy Budgeting Program
It is unnecessary to spend more money to organize the money you aren’t already managing well. Instead, simply set up a checkbook register in an excel program as suggested by Melissa Tosetti in Living A Savvy Life with simple addition and subtraction functions for each month. At the beginning of your month, enter your paycheck(s), and deduct all of your mandatory expenses (as you would in a calculator). At the end or the beginning of each day, enter your expenses (eating out, groceries, etc), so that you know exactly how much you have in your account. Without getting fancy, you can easily keep yourself managed, organized and your spending under control.
The thing to keep in mind is that we must control our money and not the other way around as Suze Orman reminds us, and as one of my favorite quotes that is pinned to my idea board states,
“I think the nicest thing you can say about a woman is that she lives well and she lives below her means.”
(Suggestion #1 suggested by Suze Orman in her book The Money Class)