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  1. Basic1 I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    Background: my family had a sucky financial situation my entire life (because they were horrible spenders and sucked at making financial decisions), so I rarely had the luxury to buy more than a couple of outfits/a pair of shoes to last a year.

    Now, I got a job, and for the first time ever, I have money to spend on myself. And I've been so crazy indulgent. I must have spent nearly $80 on clothes the past two months. I've bought a ton of tech, stuff I don't really need, like wireless mice and Raspberry Pis.

    Generally, I feel really guilty as pomegranate. I've been looking online for a graphing calculator (since I don't have one, I've just been borrowing one from the school) and I realized that I automatically gravitated to the newest, sexiest, $140 model, and, that's when I seriously realized: no, I wouldn't have ever thought of this a year ago, I would be content to borrow a calculator from school like I always do.

    It doesn't help that my parents are kinda encouraging me to spend... I suspect they felt a little guilty/bad for not always being able to provide me what I wanted when I was a kid, and it is my money, not theirs, so they aren't really stopping me from getting things I've always wanted to get now.

    Almost all the hours I spend online now are to look at stuff I can buy, and then oscillate between being impulse-purchasey and horrible guilt at the prospect of using money.

    I... I don't know what to do. I'm so worried I'll end up like my parents, these crazy spenders who somehow garnered $750,000 in credit card debt and then had to file bankruptcy. Not to mention the divorce happened exclusively because of said financial problems. (And yes, we're all still living together. Can't afford to live somewhere else. They still sleep in the same bed. It's pineappleing weird.) I... don't have a baseline, don't have any experience to jump off, and I really, really don't want to ask my parents about how to manage money. Seeing how they kinda suck at it.

    So uh. Tell me what to do with my money.

    Um. If it helps to know: I work about 35 hours a week at $10/hr (I get free food and my lunches are paid and I get paid at the end of the day in cash). When school starts I expect that to drop to 16 hours a week. I have a checking/savings account, with a debit card. I'm 17.

    EDIT: Like, what the pomegranate? Why don't they teach us crap like this in school? How to manage money in general, how to get a job (painstakingly, by the way), what the hell a 401(k) is, credit/debit cards, banks, investments, etc. Seriously, I'd feel a lot better if I knew about this sort of stuff.

  2. Nuclear testing facility Straight Male
    IGN: VerrKol
    Server: Zenith
    Level: 204
    Job: Bowmaster
    Guild: LegacyReborn
    Farm: Kolville
    usa

    Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    Make a budget. Figure out how much you're making (after taxes). Then decide how much you need to spend on everyday stuff (gas, food, electricity, water, internet, etc). Then decide how much you need to save.

    Deciding how much to save/spend is the hard part, but as long as you make more than you spend (include some savings for unexpected expenses here) you'll be OK. Just make a budget and stick to it.

  3. Monster Truck Tire Straight Male
    IGN: Triggernometry
    Server: Supports
    Job: TeamSecret
    Guild: BigDaddy<3

    Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    Well it's your first job and your first profits, so enjoy.
    You don't have to feel guilty for that.

    As for managing your money I recommend:
    You need a budget

  4. Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    I've had this problem for so long except my life situation is the opposite. I don't have the worry of not having money even when i personally am broke because of my upbringing. I went to school with a little over 6k and spend more than half of it in a semester. (with no car to have gas expenses, and MS blocked from campus internet)

    I think one of the biggest things for me was learning how to eat which i still haven't gotten down. My sleeping habits result in me staying up until late so often my only options are take out which is horribly expensive (doesn't really help that i love to smoke/drink before i eat). Once you cut out your worst habits expense wise though it's a bit easier to manage income.

    Basically, write down every single expense and income when it happens. When you get into that habit it'll be natural for you to understand where money goes, where it comes from, and whether or not those impulse buys are actually ok or not.

    Also, you don't have to feel guilty about spoiling yourself. You have money, and there's going to be more of it in the future as long as you don't stop working at it.

    One more thing you probably already know...avoid credit cards as LONG AS POSSIBLE. They're probably necessary once you have a salary and need to pay off a space or a car, but until then you do not need a pseudo "get out of any charge no problem" card. I've used my debit card for everything with no troubles so far and you can too.

  5. Sacred cow Male
    IGN: Equi
    Server: Aquila
    Level: 235
    Job: Luminous
    Guild: Pineapples
    Farm: holycow
    singapore

    Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    Or you can probably set aside a certain amount every month as savings and just spend the remainder o_o

  6. Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    Looks like I'll look to setting up a budget then. Thanks!

  7. Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    They're far too busy having you read Romeo And Juliet 5 times over 12 years, and trying to have you understand Shakespeare whether you want to or not, regardless of how useful it isn't.

    Figure out how much money you need to get around between paychecks (food, gas, etc.). Then, determine what you need for bills or anything like that, and put that aside or pay it immediately. I tend to pay bills immediately on my payday so that I don't accidentally forget later, and put myself into a tough spot. If you have any other potential costs or bills, I would put them third, but that kind of stuff changes based on events in your life. For example, do you need new tires for your car? Might want to put some aside for specifically for that. Then, take a set percentage or amount of what's left, and put that into savings. Depending on how much you have, you may want to save more or less. I put effort into saving at least $100 a paycheck, but with my school loans coming in that's not always possible (My end of the month loan is 2/3rds my paycheck + rent + gas = almost all my paycheck, so for myself I can't really save much at the end of the month).

    The less bills you have, the more you can save. Try to put away a lot now, because you never know when you will hit an unexpected cost. For example, cars tend to break down when you can't afford it, I know this from experience.

    I think your problem is that you get paid daily (at least, that's what I got from how you worded it). It seems like a lot less when it's daily. The end result is that it's harder to manage, because it's smaller sums of money. I would say try breaking everything into weekly paychecks. What I mean is that you should immediately deposit anything you earn and not touch it until a Sunday or something, and then do the above. If you tend to spend through your account, put your earnings into a safe spot until a set day when you will deposit all of it into your account at once. When you have to budget for a longer period of time, it tends to become more important how you use each dollar you have. At least, that's my experience. When you get X dollars every day, you probably tend to go, "Well, I'll just wait until tomorrow for [whatever_problem_here]," which is A VERY BAD LINE OF THINKING.

    Everyone here has some decent suggestions, I thought I'd just give my two cents for how I handle my own finances.

  8. Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    You know.. there is a bit of a bright side to your situation. I'm assuming you're still kinda young - at least young enough to be dependent on your parents for support if need be, and I'm assuming they're supportive of you. Correct me if I'm wrong please. But with your last comment that you wished schools taught these sorts of things, I agree - but these days at least in the States schools are not primarily concerned with you managing your life and finances, they're just aimed at getting you to pass and graduate.

    The bright side to your situation is, you're aware, at the very least of your situation, and what the extra money has been doing to your spending habits. Get that money of of your hands, whether it's cash, or a debit/credit card, put it in your bank, and make it that much more of chore for you to use it, especially if you do online shopping. You're in a decent position to make a few mistakes, but don't let them become costly either.

    I think it's worth spending a bit of time to sit down, and read through your bank statements if you have your money deposited to an account, and like literally read it is you spent money on and question what sort of impulse you had at the time you bought the item.

  9. Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    Every time I open my wallet, I am greeted by this message: "Do I really need it?"

    It's just a piece of paper folded into my wallet, but it's helped me quite a lot.

  10. Can of Soup Male
    IGN: ZeroCA
    Server: Windia
    Level: 21x
    Job: Zero
    Guild: N/A
    Alliance: N/A
    Farm: ReneMule
    usa

    Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    You shouldn't feel guilty for wanting things. At least it hasn't gotten out of hand.

    A budget is definitely a good way to manage your money. Try to cut down wherever and whenever you can, but remember it's nice to treat yourself once in a while, as long as it's not overboard.

  11. Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    When I first started getting money from my job, I would just decide on an amount I would be 'allowed' to spend every week/month. If I didn't spend it, it would go into a 'pool' in which I could use to buy more luxury goods later on, if i needed to. The rest of it went into my savings. Basically the simplest budget possible, "spending" and "saving."

    It's worked out pretty well since then, and I never have to worry about not having enough money to buy birthday gifts or something for family ^^

  12. Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    I don't have any advice for you that hasn't already been said, I just dropped by to say that you know you were raised poor when spending $80 dollars on clothes in a two month period is a lot to you.

  13. Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    Really? I've spent probably less than that on clothes in the past 2 years LOL

  14. Eos Scammed Me. Bi Male
    IGN: Ryninagha
    Server: Windia
    Level: 16x
    Job: Dark Knight
    Guild: EmoCorner
    Alliance: EmoNight

    Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    You're not spending too much money. The reality of the matter is you were raised in a setting that made you a lot more conscious of money and what you really do and don't need. Which isn't a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems to have given you a negative connotation towards spending money in general.

    One thing you really don't seem to grasp it that you're young. You don't have a mortgage, you don't have kids to provide for, and your bills are likely insignificant. There are pros and cons to being young. On one hand your jobs are going to suck. You'll make minimal money and it won't go nearly as far as you'd like. But on the other hand you have the benefit of only being responsibly for yourself. In other words: don't be afraid to drop money on a pair of $80 jeans here and there, or a calculator for school if you can realistically afford to buy it and your basic needs are being met. You're young and there is a certain level of frivolous spending that accompanies being young, but as with everything in life, within moderation. Set aside some money every month for a rainy day, pay your bills, and leave some money for fun.


    lol@me talking like I'm an old person when I'm only 21.

  15. Neon Atom Male
    IGN: EliulShad
    Server: Reboot
    Level: 21X
    Job: Shadower
    Guild: Epic
    Farm: StayTru
    usa

    Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    I don't have a "budget".

    I put 400 at the end of every month in my savings.

    Only expenses I have is weekly haircuts, cellphone, and internet, which adds up to about 180$ a month.

    I make sure I always have at least 1k in my checkings so i never feel broke if I want to enjoy myself.

    Could honestly put more in my savings but I don't want to be addicted to it like I use to be (was putting 1k/m in my savings and never had any money to do anything).

    Not even saving it for anything. Probably gonna put it towards a car when I get my license, but it feels great to see my money stacking when I check my bank account. Best feeling tbh.

  16. the Immutable Neuter
    IGN: Stephen
    Server: U.S.A.
    Level: 25
    Job: Sailor
    Guild: USN
    Alliance: VAQ-141 Shadowhawks
    ireland

    Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    ...really? I just paid 50 dollars for a shirt, and I still think that thing was overpriced.
    opinions... everyone has 'em. ._.


    anyways, some goods of thumb I was taught growing up, but I've modified them to fit my life:
    1) Try to set aside at least 10% of your paycheck into a savings account.
    2) Barring emergency purchases and food, if there's something you want, wait two weeks to get it; if you still want it by then you should be able to afford it, otherwise you'll forget about it and move on.
    3) Don't get more than one credit card. (Can't stress that enough)
    4) Never get into any type of financial/legal bind without witnesses and documentation.
    5) When you get your paycheck, after expenses are taken out, withdraw enough to live for a week in cash (gas, food). If you run out before the week's up, adjust your spending or withdraw more (but only if you live in an expensive area)

    As far as specific information tailored to suit you, I would recommend going to your counselor. Talk to someone there (if your school has any (which it should)) about getting some help setting up a budget. Remember, everyone's opinion and advice here should be taken into consideration for your life situations. Like Meta said, everyone views money differently, and has verying amounts of access to it. I myself just had to get a car, and the price of the monthly payments for the loan and insurance will hurt, and it will mean a lot of frivolous things I'd buy from time to time need to be dropped.

    Ultimately, self control is key to managing your money. Wish schools would teach this pomegranate. I guess the logic is Learn from your (and your families) mistakes. Or it's a conspiracy to keep the poor middle to lower classes uninformed so they never breach the poverty line, and the rich bourgeoisie can keep suckling on the teet of yours and our tax dollars!!

  17. Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    I'd disagree on this point, credit cards are great if you have a budget. I exclusively use my credit card to pay for everything, and I pay it off at the end of every month. The money sits in my account longer and I get rewards, which have totaled to over $100 so far this year.

  18. Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    pomegranate guys. You are all very awesome people and I seriously pineappleing appreciate what you all said here.
    I'm definitely going to spend some time to figure out my expenses and save enough to get my first car by this time next year. How much do cars go for, 5k? So I can try to set aside like $450/month for that. I've stopped playing Maplestory (and games in general) so I don't really need an entertainment budget. Probably a clothes one (~$80 a month?) though, for maybe 6 months, since, what the hell, my wardrobe is in need of serious redoing and, like everyone said, I shouldn't feel guilty about it. When I think about it, when a single day's work equals a month's worth of new clothes, I really shouldn't feel guilty. It's totally reasonable. Wow.

    And then that leaves me with like, $70 a month (when school starts) to do whatever the hell I want, guilt free. Hot damn.

    It's going to take some time to adjust to the idea of actually being able to spend once in a while, but... yeah. I feel better, now that I have accepted that I'm doing things reasonably.

    Just went to the bank, so this just happened:

    Feels good, man. Can't wait to go back-to-school shopping. Able to actually get my little brother stuff this year.

    I don't really have to think about credit cards yet (can't apply until I'm 18), but I'll get one the moment I can if only so I can start building a credit score. I don't anticipate having to borrow on credit, but hey, I can't see a year into the future.

  19. Orbital Bee Cannon
    IGN: SaptaZapta
    Server: Kradia
    Level: 225
    Job: Hero
    Guild: Matriarchy
    Alliance: Dominion

    Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    Do you plan to go to college / university in a year's time? Who will be paying for that? Will you have to pay your own living expenses?

  20. Default Re: I feel like I'm spending too much. Please tell me how I should manage my money?


    Yeah, I'm going. I had a college fund, but the funds must have depleted because I haven't heard about it in a long, long time. Mum's trying to save up for some money but it's tough, my dad indirectly told my mum that I was on my own.

    Since we're still way below the poverty line, probably will be relying on grants and scholarships and the finally on loans.

    So I'm pretty much going to have to pay for myself the moment I go to school

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