If you are anything like me, setting and sticking to a budget comes as a challenge. In fact, a survey from Ipsos Public Affairs shows 61% of people don’t have a budget or have difficulty sticking to one. Seriously? That many people are just as financially awful as I am? Not that it’s right, but I was more than happy to find out I wasn’t the only one who panics when it comes time to check their bank account balance.
Sure, I have had my fair share of embarrassing financial moments; I’m talking everything from getting my debit card declined at Taco Bell to paying for gas in nickels and dimes. You could say my idea of a budget was ending the month without over-drafting my bank account.
I knew the first step in my journey to getting “scoreable” credit was changing how I spent and managed money. In college, I could justify my poor spending habits on the fact I was a “broke-college-student,” with a part-time job. After four years of living on inconsistent pay, my financial organization looked a lot like the five-dollar DVD bin at Walmart—chaotic and all over the place.
A close friend of mine, who I consider to have their “financial life” together, recommended that I get a budget app. Out of the different apps and sites I found, Mint.com turned out to be the best financial resource for what I was looking for. I wanted something that updated daily and would manage all my accounts. Mint had both these features, plus a mobile app to help manage my financing on the go. What I love most about Mint is that it pulled in my transactions and categorized them. Since my next step in building credit is to apply for my first credit card, I know the Mint app will be helpful. Not only because it will help me manage my new card, but it will also remind me of when my payments are due.
So, this weeks “Pop Quizzle” (aka something I learned this week) is: “The inches we need are everywhere around us.”
This is just one of the 19 ISMs I learned more about this week at my ISMs in Action Day. As part of the Quicken Loans and Family of Companies orientation, every new team member attends the event at least once. Chairman Dan Gilbert and QL CEO Bill Emerson speak about the ISMs (the things we live by), culture and company success. I can apply “The inches we need are everywhere around us” to my recent budget change. By downloading the Mint app, I got an entire financial breakdown of my expenses and I was able to create a worthy budget. The opportunity to make a difference is in the little things.
Bethany’s Breakdown is a series. You can catch new posts on my credit journey every Saturday on the Quizzle Wire. If you would like to see how it all started, check out my first post Bethany’s Breakdown: What they don’t teach you about personal finance in college?