A WMAC Annual Review: Finances

I like money. But I don’t like cash.

Cash is bulky, is easy to lose, and if lost–is gone forever. At least a debit card lets you freeze your account. It’s also possible to break amounts down to the cent with electronic cash.

The downside, however, is that the use of a debit card requires much more self-control than many of us have or think we have. To keep tabs on my money up to now, I’ve used my bank’s daily text service: which sends me my balance every business day. I’ve downloaded Mint and used that to help form a kind of budget, and I’ve adapted an Excel budget that was given to me for my uses.

That’s the good.

On the downside, I’ve been unable to manage the dollar amounts I have had to deal with this year. With my internship this past summer came a sudden influx of income directly to my bank account every two weeks. But I wasn’t able to properly manage that money, and in turn, had less of it at the end of the internship than I expected to have had. Couple that with the removal of my wisdom teeth and the purchase of a car that I badly needed, and I’m finishing the year off with a dent in my finances.

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But look at this car! Ees so preeeety! 😀

Come January, I will have a change to restore everything to a more even keel, and knowing more about personal finances than the average bear will help me recover with less pain than others.

Till then, I want to work on a few things:

  1. A fully functional budget: January and February will be dedicated to testing and fine-tuning my budget and processes, but come March I will have a budget system ready to use. One of my main flaws is that of sloth. I get lazy. So I want to have a budget form that is quick to fill out and that gives me lots of data after the numbers are plugged in. While that means that I have to put a lot of work in early to get the numbers that I need, it also means that once its created I should have a better, more versatile look at my financial position and may even have the ability to predict the impact of certain situations on my financial standing for the month or year.
  2. The growth of my business: I founded my own business my Freshman year. Clarus Vending is a coin-operated vending machine business. But with the change of address to on-campus apartments this year, it has been harder for me to upkeep my current assets and place new ones. By February, I will have replaced one of my current machines with a brand new one, and I will have placed a new machine in a new location by April. Ideally, I would like to place two machines and sell one by May.

Those two things are the main projects I have for this year. While I’ve covered through the end of the Spring semester in this post, once I see the progress in the springtime, I will have a clearer path forward for the summer and fall months of 2014. As always, learning how to keep my means stable and expanding will be important in my path towards personal growth.

For my self-review on love, click here.

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