There...I admitted it to myself. I'm not going to lie, it was a little difficult to type those words. I consider myself a very responsible, organized person, and admitting that I am completely clueless about money management makes me feel like the complete opposite of that. It shouldn't. But it does. Or, I guess I can now say that it did.
Ever since I graduated high school, money has literally controlled my life. I worked my way through college, and I learned really quickly that there never seems to be enough money to cover what you need to cover. 99% of the time I would not have enough money to take care of my monthly expenses, and when I did miraculously have enough, I would have $0.75 left in my account to last me for a week and a half until my next pay day. That's not a good feeling.
After college graduation, I landed my first full-time, all benefits included job. I thought that would for sure be the end of my financial hardships. I just knew that I would be on the road to fortune. (Okay, maybe not fortune...but what would feel like a fortune to me.) Imagine my surprise when I found myself having just as much, if not more difficulty paying my bills than I did before. Sure, I was making more money. But I had also accumulated more expenses, especially after I went through all of the doctor's appointments and surgery for my gallbladder issues. I eventually found myself in a pretty deep hole. I was worried. I was tired. I was completely sick of being worried about money.
It took me entirely too long to realize that I needed help in learning how to point my income in a positive direction. As I have mentioned a couple of times, I have finally done that. Over the past couple of months I have been learning how to budget. I have been learning how to save. I have been learning how to pay off debt. And you know what? It's working! It's really and truly working.
When I logged into my bank accounts today, I noticed that the balance in my checking account had dropped drastically. Last week, I wrote checks to pay off nearly $1,000 in medical debt. Normally I would be upset to see that so much money had left my account, but I actually got excited. You know why? Because I had paid off a good chunk of debt...and I still had money left in my account. Not only that, but right below my checking balance was a really comfortable savings balance...the first savings amount that I have EVER had. That was a truly great feeling.
I am taking control of my money, and by doing that, I am also taking control of my future. A giant weight has been lifted off of my chest, and I am so excited and motivated that sticking to a strict budget is actually becoming an easy thing to do.
Now, excuse me while I go celebrate.