In college, I was an idiot (I’m sure no one else can relate to that statement). While it was “great to be a Miami Hurricane,” it was also super expensive. Basically what had happened was…I had no idea how much money was in my bank account (or rather probably didn’t want to know) until my debit card got denied at a sushi restaurant. Past Tess had expensive taste-what can I say? Anyways, once I actually looked at my balance, I found that I owed $900 in overdraft fees.
Rule #1 of financial freedom is being fully aware of your financial situation and not sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich however painful that may be.
Personally speaking, I now keep track of every penny I spend. However, I realize that the average millennial is not as neurotic as me, so I have compiled a list of recommended categories for tracking expenditures:
1. Bills (rent, utilities, car payment, etc)
2. Essentials (Grocery and gas)
3. Discretionary (clothing, restaurants, bars, entertainment, weddings)
4. Savings (this is important too)
Honestly, you would not believe how much money a month you spend on food.
There are lot of apps and software you can download to help you keep track of these things, but honestly I swear by my homemade spreadsheet. (Seriously, its really good. Email me at email@example.com if you want me to send you a copy.) If you spend at least 37 seconds a day on a computer, a spreadsheet is super easy to keep up with coupled with online banking.
Don’t be like college Tess. Check your balance.