Today’s article is a special one folks - you’re getting an awesome article from the one and only Mrs. Keep Thrifty - better known as my wife, Jaime. Going forward, you can expect to see her writing here about once a month as a great way to change things up and get a different perspective. Today, she’s going to talk about how she used to “suck” at money management and how that’s changed. Take it away, love!
When I was a kid, I loved the idea of saving my money so I could earn something I really wanted in my future. At one point I even tried saving for college.
I remember this one summer - I was about nine years old - I had an empty multi-compartment school supply box and a piggy bank full of coins. I decided to label each compartment with a category - College, Toys, Giving, & Spending.
I divided up my precious coins amongst these categories. I was so proud.
By the end of the week, I had dipped into my college savings to buy some candy at the gas station down the street.
My husband and I were talking money the other week. I shared this story with him and he started laughing. I couldn’t have been more different than him. When he was young, he saved religiously.
Spending It All
Fast forward about two decades from that summer, I was happily married and the mommy of three littles.
Life was beautiful, crazy, and stressful. I used shopping as my stress reliever.
In the moment, it felt great. But at the end of the month when I would pay off the credit card bill I would be stunned. How did I spend that much money?
To make things more frustrating, we started talking about our money goals and dreams. We wanted to pay off our mortgage and dreamed of taking a vacation at some point with our kids.
But at the end of every month, there was no money left over to save for our dreams.
I felt defeated.
Tracking Our Spending
Then my spreadsheet guru of a husband pulled out his computer and created a document to track our spending so we could understand our finances better.
I was overwhelmed. How could we possibly understand all of our finances?
Chris believed we could turn around our financial story.
If we put in the work to understand our spending we could succeed
We started tracking and learned how we could adjust our spending. We started spending (and saving) intentionally.
Before long, we were able to start making pre-payments on our mortgage and taking summer family road trips.
Changing My Spending Habit
I sucked at money management when I was nine years old and when I was 29 years old. I would never have adjusted my spending without manually tracking every dollar.
I would have lived with dreams unaccomplished. I would have stayed defeated.
I learned something important when my husband pulled out his computer.
I can change my spending habits, but first, I need to understand where my money is going
That’s step one.
If I’m honest, I hated those spreadsheets. It was a lot of numbers and it hurt my brain to even glance at the computer.
Then Chris created Thrifty. We can track our spending on the go and access our data anywhere there is an internet connection. And not only did he make it easy for me to use, he made it beautiful. I open Thrifty and my brain doesn’t hurt.
I’m still not a saver like my husband, but now I am able to save up for our dreams. No longer do I need to dip into a savings account in order to pay off our credit card bill. No longer do I feel stressed. No longer do I feel defeated.
I feel empowered.
I feel successful.
Our Awesome Tool
I used to suck at money management, but with my husband’s support that all changed. With Thrifty, that all changed.
If you suck at money management - you aren’t alone and you don’t have to stay that way. You can accomplish your financial dreams too!
Sign up for a free Thrifty account. Start tracking your spending today and soon you’ll find your way to the financial freedom you desire.
Were you always great with money? If not, what helped you make the change?