I Started Budgeting And It Has Completely Freed Me

I Started Budgeting And It Has Completely Freed Me

Spending guilt is so easy to avoid.
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I've never particularly enjoyed looking at my bank account and checking my latest transactions. During college and graduate school, I sort of just flew by the seat of my pants most of the time and prayed that I wouldn't overdraw (which I actually did only once or twice in the span of a couple years). I tried to keep my spending to the necessities when I needed to and purchased something I wanted when I felt like I could. In the past year, I started actually swallowing my pride and reviewing my spending habits. It has been life-changing.

I've been reflecting on why it was so hard for me to actually log in to my banking app. I think I experienced something that I like to call spending guilt. Anyone else experience this?

Honestly, I never wanted to look at my bank account because every time I spent money, I felt like I was spending money I didn't have to spend. This made me feel guilty and avoid looking at my bank account. This is the exact opposite of what I should have been doing. Not looking at your bank account or spending regularly just ends up becoming a vicious cycle of spending money you don't have and not wanting to check your bank account at all. The best thing you can do for yourself is just suck it up and see what your balance is. A glass of wine helps.

In college, I had a little more freedom with money because I had a great scholarship and student loans take care of the rest. My parents have always supported me as well (#privilege), and I've been lucky that they've always been there to pick me up when I need it. They continue to do so to this day. In graduate school, I took out no student loans and made very little money each month. I had an assistantship and got tuition covered, which is the only way to do grad school, but I was also paying monthly for a place to live for the first time (unlike undergrad).

I also spent a lot more time out with friends rather than just hanging out in a dorm or a quick Walmart run. My student loans were still in grace, but I was only paying interest payments on a couple of them to keep that cost down once they got out of grace. I was constantly stressed and worried about money in graduate school. Once I graduated, that all changed.

After graduate school, I finally learned how to construct a budget. I finally made a spreadsheet that showed me my monthly expenses. I started actually using my Mint account. With the help of a friend, I was able to decide how I wanted to categorize my spending and after a month or two figure out what my monthly spending habits were. I am so much better off now because I have an idea of how I'm spending each month. I don't feel guilty when I check my bank account anymore because I have already designated where my money should go.

I know I'll have the money for things I need or want because I plan ahead. That's what budgeting is- it's a tool to decide where your money goes, not necessarily depriving yourself of things. I think that's a common misperception that comes with budgeting. You simply prioritize your interests and translate that into what that looks like for fixed and discretionary costs. The hard part is you have to find a system that works for you, and not everyone has the same system.

If you already check your bank account regularly, good for you. If you have a tool for budgeting, good for you. If I could give my eighteen-year-old self-advice, it would be to start taking more control over how her money was used. I promise- you can completely avoid that spending guilt.

Cover Image Credit: Sharon McCutcheon

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11 Things Only People With Texting Anxiety Will Understand

Did I respond too quickly? Ugh, auto-correct! Why is he taking so long to respond?
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Some lucky humans were blessed with the social confidence that others can only dream of. These divine individuals can text anyone--their crush, friend, boss, ex, you name it--without feeling nervous. How do these demigods face those three evil dots which signal an incoming response with such blatant disinterest? It's as if they know the response will be in their favor! Either that or they are so utterly courageous that even the possibility of rejection fails to strike fear into their hearts. Whatever magic these bold humans use, not everyone is as lucky. Here are some things that those without texting anxiety just won't understand:

1. Over analyzing punctuation and phrasing.

Via College Humor

I hear Ye Old Cafe has an awesome lunch menu!

2. Predicting a rejection and assuming the worst.

Via College Humor

Great, he hates me! He thinks I'm a total weirdo and is probably mocking my very existence right now.

3. Auto-correct embarrassment.

Via College Humor

Don't seem too eager... PLEASE LOVE ME! Dang, I think that was too eager...

4. Those three little dots of dread.



Via Jerk Magazine

Wow, your response time is impeccable... NOT! Just say what you need to say!

5. Assuming the worst when someone doesn't respond.

Via Tastefully Offensive

She has probably been attacked by zombies...and I was too slow to save her. Oh god! What if she's still being attacked? What do I do?

6. Feeling like a bother when you text first.

Via Pinterest

Hey! Oh dang, I'm probably annoying her...I take it back!

7. Trying to decipher the exact meaning of excess letters.


Via Confessions

"Funnyyy!" OK, three y's, that means he thinks I'm actually funny? No, he's definitely mocking me.

8. Deciding on a context appropriate emoji.

Via DailyMail

OK, to use the eggplant emoji or to not use the eggplant emoji...

9. Immediately regretting a text and wishing there was a way to undo it.

Via Pinterest

"LOL, you're sooooooo funny :)" OH GOD NO, that sounded way too eager! ABORT MISSION!

10. Wondering what you did wrong when someone is online but ignores your text.

Via Diaries of a Blonde

Great, that status was probably about me...she could at least say it to my face!

11. The fear of misinterpreting a text.

Via Life Hack

He didn't use a smiley face...that means he's mad at me! Or is he just busy? Or maybe he just didn't see it...should I send it again?

Cover Image Credit: Corri Smith

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Phoenix's Largest Electricity Provider Anticipates A Price Decrease For Customers

Yes, you read that right, a decrease.

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Bills are never exciting to receive, and Salt River Project, Phoenix's largest supplier of power and water, knows that. In hopes of giving back to its customers, this not-for-profit company is proposing a lower billing price to its elected board of directors.

Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons

According to Salt River Project Media Manager Scott Harelson, SPR is planning a price decrease of 2.2 percent on the overall average annual amount. The plan was first created over a month ago, and if it's approved, the new utility prices will appear in the May 2019 billing cycle.

"We have been able to save a lot of money with our fuel expenses, and we pass those savings on directly to our customers," Harelson said, but how else is a not-for-profit company able to decrease prices? SPR's website has the answers:

"According to SRP General Manager and CEO Mike Hummel, SRP has been able to keep prices stable for the past four years through prudent operations and management, strategic resource acquisitions and taking advantage of market conditions that have allowed SRP to generate a greater share of energy using lower-cost natural gas."

SPR serves more than 1 million customers, and customer growth will continue to benefit prices and plan options. You can find more details on this good news on SRP's website.

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