You’re Going To Make Mistakes

dog mistake

As with anything you challenge yourself to, you’re going to make mistakes along the way. This holds true in wealth management, too. You’re going to make mistakes on your journey to financial betterment, and that’s OK.

I repeat: it’s OK.

Sometimes they won’t even be mistakes, but you might read them as mistakes. Sometimes these so called “mistakes” will really be adjustments. Whatever goal you have in your finances, things will come your way that require modification to those goals. You shouldn’t be scared about that or consider yourself short because of them. Most importantly, you shouldn’t close yourself off because of these alterations.

I have had some very obvious mistakes in my finances leading up to the good part of my financial independence and stability, but I honestly believe that those mistakes were needed for me to learn more about how money works and how I can work with the money I have. Even where I am now in my finances (a good place), I still have the occasional hiccup.

For example, this month I am one week away from payday. Time cannot move fast enough. I have been crawling toward the 16th because I had several hiccups in my wealth management.

The hiccup? Well, there were a few.

  • I have not been actively keeping tabs on my spreadsheet. My typical behavior would be to check in on it once a week, but I have not been keeping up with this habit of mine.
  • I got into a minor fender bender, which resulted in an unexpected charge for a deductible and car rental fees. This particular hiccup was out of my control, but had I been keeping track of my spreadsheet better, then I would have been a bit more prepared for it.
  • I got cocky and began shifting money in my bank account from one goal to another. It started off by moving five bucks here, and then maybe 10 bucks there, and before I knew it my monthly goal amounts were all over the place. (For anyone not familiar with my bank, I use Simple which allows goal creation where you can set money aside for certain things like bills, etc. This feature typically holds me accountable for where my money is going, but this month I got a little careless with adhering to those amounts.)
  • I started using my credit card for everyday purchases, which is not what I had originally intended on. BAD HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE BAR, BAD! These little things can add up.

I wanted to share this with you to show that there is room to make mistakes on your financial journey, and that realistically you will probably make some every now and then. I do not have everything figured out because I will always have room to learn more and enhance my habits.

The part that matters in this case is what you plan on doing to fix those mistakes that you make along the way. Don’t beat yourself up over them. Create a plan to overcome them.

In my case, the mistakes are no way dire partly due to the fact that I have been building my money skills for some time now. They are mistakes that I can easily correct this coming month, and in no way do they affect my bills.

If you make some financial mistakes along the way, what can you do?

  • Review what didn’t work (the mistake) and review what did work (what were the strong aspects of your finances this week/month?)
  • Take the things that did work and keep doing them. See if you can apply any of the strong aspects to what did not work.
  • Reflect on how you got to the mistake. Is it likely to occur again?
  • Create a plan. Don’t ignore. (Do you have to shift some priorities around? Do you have to side hustle? Do you have to sit out this weekend round of drinks? Do you have to wait to buy that one thing you initially wanted? Do you have to set up notifications in your bank app to keep track of spending?)

As with anything, allow yourself to make mistakes. Don’t let those mistakes overwhelm you because you are in control of your finances. Learn and remain proactive.

This has been it for your financial pep talk!

I Tried to Open a Savings Account…Hilarity Possibly Ensued.

Remember those money goals I posted about in January? Let’s check in with one of those goals:

I will open an actual savings account separate from my current bank account. This will help me resist the urge to “borrow” from money I have set aside. I have no problem setting money aside, but then end up telling myself that I can always “borrow” from this money if I replenish it the following month. (We’ve established already that I get paid monthly.)

Well, I tried to open a savings account twice this past month, and both times I was declined! All right, all right, you got me. That line is slightly misleading. Did I get declined both times that I attempted to open a savings account? Yes, that much is true. Both times were with the same credit union.

The first time I was denied because I had applied for a regular savings account without having first applied for a “membership” savings account which established membership at the credit union. In my defense, I thought I was already a member! How could I have been mistaken in my membership? Well, folks. This is the same credit union that approved for my first (non-predatory) credit card post-bankruptcy (months later, way later). Since I am a cardholder member with them, they had opened up a non-transaction savings account to establish membership with them. See how easily I made the mistake of assuming I had a membership account already?

The second time I applied for the correct “membership” savings account. Then, I still got denied! Why? Apparently, I failed my own credit history questions. Due to this the credit union flagged my application as possible fraud. I swear those credit history questions are tricky sometimes.

I always had the opportunity to apply yet again! However, failing two times already just made me say, “Screw it. I don’t need to have a savings account”.

It was too much adulting.

It wasn’t until I was going through some old documents at home that I realized I once had a savings account with American Express. Yes, you heard right. American Express offers online savings accounts. I was able to dig up my old information, and wondered if there was a chance the account was still open and active, despite not having had used it in years!

Ladies and gentlemen, not only was this account still open…

but there was money in it! How much money?

$1.25

You read that right!

This was from interest alone, essentially.

You know that feeling when you find a crumpled up dollar in your jeans during laundry day? That’s how I felt when I saw the $1.25 in my savings account. CUE ANY JUDGMENTAL PEOPLE. I’ve already been transparent enough to say I’ve handled my finances very poorly in the past. Did you miss the tagline on this website that mentions I filed for bankruptcy?

So go ahead, you can think to yourself: This girl was/is a financial hot mess.

I’m clearly working on it, and I know there are a lot of other people out there just like me. So, this post is to everyone out there who doesn’t have a savings account, has one but nothing in it, is trying to learn how to save, etc., etc.

Let’s keep moving forward!

FYI, I transferred money from my checking account to my savings account because my plan is to utilize it. So here’s to the first step to meeting my savings account goal! I’ll do a check in later in the year.