When I was a Youngster, I started a savings account to help teach me about banks and personal finances. At the time I thought banks were an important part of everyday society, like Pokémon Centers.
For those of you who don’t know, pokémon centers play a major role in pokémon society and culture. They are a place where trainers bring their pokémon to restore their health, store excess pokémon, offer areas for trainers to connect and all for free. Every town or city, no matter the size, has at least one. Some are even located outside of towns on routes and near caves.
In my mind, banks were a lot like pokémon centers. They kept our money safe, made trades easier, helped our finances stay healthy, everybody used them and they were free!
Before heading to college I opened my first checking account. Over the following ten years, I slowly learned that banks are not pokémon centers. Yes, they both provide storage and make trading easier, but banks are actual businesses. They can only heal our finances so much for free and they all offer different services to do that.
Budgets are like pokémon. They are great tools to help us through our journey and reach our goals. This four-part series takes a look at my budgeting history and my journey to finding my current budget.
In part one, I shared my experiences of how my budgeting developed over the decade before moving to New York City.
In part two, I shared the challenging battles from my first year living in New York City and my wins and losses.
In part three, I walk through my process of breeding a new budget with better stats.
After a year of knowing nothing about personal finances I recognized my downfall and started to do research. Thanks to the internet I discovered a lot of information. I even started following my first financial blog Budgets Are Sexy.
My personal finances were in need of a well-balanced financial pokémon team. Being an Ace Trainer I knew that one method to building a strong team is to start with a strong base pokémon. By the end of August, I decided that my budget would be that base pokémon. September determined how I wanted my budget to function and how I wanted to breed my budget’s stats.
To my long-time readers, you may remember me mentioning my relationship with my credit cards once... twice... three times a ledyba. To my newer readers, I will probably mention it again, but feel free to frisk my bag pockets anyway. When it comes to my credit card relationship, its frustration has always been much stronger than its return.
I received my first credit card when I turned 18 years old and moved to college. I thought of credit cards as the opposite of layaway. I could use the credit now and pay off the credit over the next couple of months.
I had heard stories of college students getting into trouble with credit card debt and I did not want it double, so I decided to use it only for emergencies. It was a good plan, but what I considered an emergency was not technically an emergency. My emergencies felt urgent and were necessary purchases but I didn’t have the cash at the time. These included doctors’ visits, trips home for holidays, a computer replacement and car repairs with few small purchases. In grad school, I added YOLO to the list when I visited a friend in Japan and spent $300 at Tokyo’s Pokémon Center.
After I moved to New York City, my struggling budgeting skills led me to use my credit card in new ways. I used it for cash advances, daily small purchases, and I even got a second card. As my budgeting began to improve I thought my credit card relationship would naturally follow. I was wrong. I maxed out my American Express within 6 months of having it.
Welcome to March which means that it’s time for February’s Review and Net Worth Update.
For those who are new to The Grown-Up Pkmn Trainer, each month I write a financial review to xatu my net worth by writing down my thoughts on the previous month. Here I share these summaries so everyone can get an insight to my personal finances and my thoughts behind them.
I started tracking my net worth to measure my progress, inspired by Budgets Are Sexy, which has helped me pay closer attention to my personal finances. I have been tracking my net worth since January 2015 and writing monthly financial reviews for myself since 2016. I recommend tracking net worth because it has been such a helpful tool to see my personal finances stat changes all in one place.