Beth O’Brien is a library assistant and book blogger. Born and raised in Atlantic Canada, she lives in picturesque Nova Scotia with her cat Edith. You can often find her rocking double denim with her nose in a book and a craft beer in her hand. Follow her on Twitter @fuelldbyfiction.
I don’t know if you recall, but in a previous post I mentioned that I was moving. Said move occurred two weeks ago.
This is not just any move. This is the move. The I’m-getting-my-shit-together-and-finally-moving-out-of-my-parents-house move.
At first I was hella nervous, packing my things away, wondering how it was possible for one twenty-something to have accumulated so much crap. I was scared that I would end up not getting on with my roommate, that my bedroom would be too small, that the unknown would jump out and eat me, etc. etc.
For the most part, things have been going great. I love the apartment. It’s fairly spacious and in a killer location. I love how close I am to restaurants, parks, cafés, you name it. I can’t get over the fact that people actually deliver food to my apartment. Where I live. (Context, I used to live in the middle of nowhere).
I’ve been loving organizing everything, moving furniture around, adding cute knickknacks to make it feel like home. I’ve been loving taking daily walks around my new neighbourhood and getting to know the area. I may not love cooking, but there is definitely something to be said for having your own kitchen.
But now that things are settling down and the novelty is wearing off a bit (but only a bit), I’ve paused and looked at, ahem, my bank account. Moving is expensive.
As I watched my accounts plummet further each day, I did what I always do when problems arise: I took to the internet.
I came across a personal finance blog called The Financial Diet. I spent over an hour scrolling through their posts and reading them. It’s a surprisingly fun blog considering the topic, really; they have a lot of really good tips and interesting personal anecdotes. One thing that they can’t seem to stress enough is the importance of a budget.
Now, I know that budgets are important and all. I get it. I’ve given them a go in the past. I would get really excited about being productive and smart, making charts and lists, keeping track of all my spending, etc. But by the one-month mark, I’d always peter out. I’m pretty terrible sometimes when it comes to follow-through. Now though, not following through is kind of not an option.
I knew that I needed a budget, but I knew it would be super hard work sticking to it. Then I came across a post on TFD that mentioned the use of personal finance apps. I was more surprised by this than I should have been (there are apps for everything these days).
One that they mentioned in particular is the app Mint. You link your accounts up to the app and it keeps track of everything for you. It shows you what you have coming in, what you’re spending, and where you’re spending it. It categorizes your transactions for you and everything!
I only just downloaded Mint the other day, but I’m hoping that it will give me some insight into my spending habits. I know that many of the purchases I’ve made during the move have been necessary, but I also know that a lot of them weren’t. For example, just because I live three minutes away from a shop that sells killer gelato doesn’t mean I need to buy one every time I walk by.
For the next few weeks, I’m going to try to be more mindful of where my money is going, and Mint should help (and I’m lazy and broke so I need all the help I can get). It gives me a breakdown of the places I spend my money and totals it for each category. Hopefully this will keep me accountable!
It’s so easy to justify that $5 latté when you think of it as a solitary experience. But when you realize you’ve had that same “solitary” experience three or four times already that week, not to mention the week before, it adds up more than I’d care to think. Maybe with Mint I’ll be able to guilt myself into making coffee at home more! As far as dreams go, that’s a pretty obtainable one, right?
I’m obviously still going to drink lattés (what am I, a robot?), but I’ve got some adulting to do, and it ain’t cheap. I’ve got to get real when it comes to the dolla dolla bills y’all, and stop throwing money around like I actually have it. I’ve got grown-up bills now, and, unfortunately, no one else is gonna pay ‘em.
Are you experiencing any similar adulting woes? Have any advice?