Growing up, the only thing I was told about finances was to save money and stay away from credit. Now that I’m in my adult years, I wish I was taught properly about how to manage my finances. It’s weird that this isn’t taught to us in school. We go to school to learn about topics we’re not going to use in the real world, but finances (something that is a big part of our lives) isn’t taught to us? How can we stress ourselves about going to college to have a great job when we aren’t taught about financial literacy? We can have a great job and yet still struggle financially. Some of us are fortunate to be taught at a young age, but many of us are still in the dark. I really want to be open with you all because you’re not alone in this journey. While adulting is figuring it out as we go, we can also share these moments and learn from them together.
I was not fortunate to be taught financial literacy. My parents are immigrants who didn’t have much knowledge on how credit works so when shit went left for them, they put the fear in us that credit is bad. I understand now how they were trying to help however, it held me back. I knew that I needed to save. I knew that I needed to live within my means and manage what money I had from working… but now I realize it’s much more than that. It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I heard of financial literacy and plans on how to pay back my student loans.
Although I gave my student loans to God and Biden (it’s above me now), having a plan to pay off the loan didn’t cross my mind in undergrad. When I got my first adult job, I had to teach myself on how to budget, save, pay bills on time, etc. Chile it was ghetto, it still is. There were moments where I was really really struggling with managing my money. I was behind on some bills, living paycheck to paycheck. I know there’s only so much a person can do if they are not making a lot of money, so I don’t want to discredit that. A person can have a great salary and still mishandle their finances.
So while I was struggling, I had to do some research on how to stop struggling lol. My word for that year was BUDGET. I even recently purchased a budget planner from Essentially Plan to make sure I stay on track with everything. People budget differently, it’s not one size fits all. You will have to look at your income and what financial responsibilities you have to take care of.
I budget my monthly income and make sure I spread out my bills as much as I can. I do this so I don’t have to pay for everything at once, I find this made my life a little easier. So for example, I get paid twice in a month; I pay my car insurance, phone bill, credit card, tithes, get groceries for the month and other miscellaneous bills with my first paycheck. With my second paycheck, I pay my car note, loans and whatever else I had due after I get paid. I split my rent in half and take it out from each paycheck. Then I save whatever I have left from each check.
Budgeting helps track everything so I know how much I’m going to spend in the month, how much I have to save and leave room for whatever comes up – brunching of course! I know some people save a percentage of their check first, then pay bills, and that works as well. Whatever is comfortable with you, do it!
What helped me the most was being vulnerable with my friends and talking about it. Like I said earlier, we’re all going through life figuring it out. Having the right friends around you is like opening a chocolate bar and finding the golden ticket. You never know what valuable advice a friend can offer once you are open about what is going on in your life. My friends were able to point me in the right direction on how to manage my finances and I want to share these same gems as well.
These IG accounts helped me a lot with what I needed to know, how to get my life together and offer free courses and ebooks:
- Clever Girl Finance – @clevergirlfinance
- Tiffany Aliche – @thebudgetnista
- The Financial Diet – @thefinancialdiet
- Lindsay Bryan Podvin – @mindmoneybalance
- My Wealth Diary – @mywealthdiary
- Essentially Plan – @essentiallyplan
These are podcasts that talk about financial decisions and literacy:
- Brown Ambition
- The Ramsey Show
- BiggerPockets Money Podcast
- Paychecks & Balances
- The Clever Girls Know Podcast
- Listen Money Matters
Knowing how to manage your finances can help set you up with saving, building your credit, owning a home, investments (buying stocks, crypto currency, etc.), buying properties and so much more. It shouldn’t be taboo to talk about your finances with someone. There are an abundant amount of resources out here to help us, and plenty of financial educators and advisors that want to make sure we are not stressing about finances.
Don’t feel ashamed about your financial situation! We’ve all been there and we’re learning how to get ourselves out of the hole. There are people who were in huge debt, I’m talking like 10,000 dollars of debt, and worked their way out of bondage. If they can do it, so can you!