I did not like vegetables when I was a youngster. I saw vegetables as a sign of maturity and adulthood. I thought that if I liked vegetables it meant I was a grown-up. Even when I got to college I resisted eating vegetables. On Facebook, I made it clear body clear in my about me section that my diet was meat, grains, fat, and cheese. However, if the vegetables were hidden in my food, like in pasta sauce, I would endure eating them.
As I started to actually behave more like an adult by started cooking for myself, I continued tricking myself into eating vegetables. Whether I made spaghetti, enchilada hot dish or pizza, I found a way to shadow sneak them into the dish. Yes, I knew they were in there and that I was going to eat them, but playing along with the facade helped me not feel like a grown-up. Tricking myself into eating vegetables helped me eat vegetables at a time when I found it hard. Today, I understand that I am a grown-up and I eat salads for lunch almost every workday. I enjoy vegetables as a regular part of my diet.
My personal finances are similar. My financial pokémon team tricks me into doing the things I know I should do but can’t quite do on my own. Its tricks make sure I pay my credit card minimum payments, splits up my money, hides money in secret bases, absorbs extra interest, and steals money for saving.
Substitute Minimum Payments Trick
My budget doesn’t appear to account for enough money to pay my minimum credit cards payments each month. I even created a section a couple of months ago that I call leftovers to visualize how much is not accounted for. Yet, my budget makes sure the minimum payments still get it paid each month. It accomplishes this by using bill payments for other services to assist in paying my credit cards’ minimum payments.
To help illustrate, I’m going to use the following example. My budget has $75 assigned for my cell phone bill. Instead of paying that portion of the week’s paycheck directly to my cell phone company, I use my credit card to pay the bill and immediately pay the $75 to my credit card.
The first part of this trick is that the $75 payment counts toward my minimum credit card payment. It doesn’t necessarily move my battle against credit forward, but it does encourage the habit of paying my card right after using it.
The second part of this trick is that my budget assigns more money to my cell phone than what is due. Back when I first started my budget, my budget needed to assign $105 for my cell phone. But over the years I have reduced my bill and is currently at $68 each month. By having $75 assigned for my phone bill, the $75 is used for nothing else. So, as long as my phone bill is less than that $75, my credit card gets any of the extra money to put towards other debts.
This trick is a way that my budget accounts for not always being able to make my minimum payments. I still try to pay the minimum amount due each month aside from this trick, but I'm not always successful.
Money Splitting Trick
My financial pokémon team has a saying, “Out of sight, Tojo doesn’t know he has it.” My team uses this mantra to limit how much money I think I have by splitting it between multiple accounts. I have a main checking account, a food checking account, rent savings account and an emergency savings account.
My main checking account receives my income, and other deposits, and pays my bills. Once everything clears, whatever is left is available for fun spending. My second checking account I use to set aside money only for groceries and food. My third account is a savings account where I stockpile rent money from each paycheck. Then at the end of the month, I spit up my saved rent money to pay rent. My fourth account is my emergency savings account where I save money in a completely separate bank.
This trick is my budget’s way to prevent me from spending my grocery or rent money on fun stuff. It may mean I end up using credit instead, but with my credit card pp in play, I have to acknowledge if I can truly afford it or not.
Secret Bank Trick
My financial pokémon team hides my emergency savings in a separate bank. If I ran low on cash in college, I would just simply move some from savings. Now, it takes approximately two days to move money to and from my other bank. By storing it there, the transfer time deters me from spending it spontaneously on a whimsicott.
In the case of a real emergency, I will automatically be relying on credit cards anyhow. There’s more available credit on my cards than money in my emergency savings. In the event of an emergency, I theoretically should be able to wait the two days to get money to my credit card.
This trick is my financial team’s way to hide money in a secret base. Keeping it hidden and hard to access protects it for when I really do need it.
Focus Interest Trick
My team has set up a nice little trick with my rent savings account. All month long I build it up with money intended to spend on rent the first day of each month. My statement date is at the end of every month, which is also when I collect its interest. With this trick, I fill my account each month just to collect interest on it before emptying it out.
This trick’s simplicity is why I enjoy it. As part of my June sludge wave clean-up, I have found a high-interest money market account I can use to pay only rent and gain even more interest than my current account.
Savings Sipper Trick
Stealing money from my checking account when I am not looking is a sneaky way for my savings to grow. It uses digit and my bank’s program Way2Save. Digit takes money that its mind reader robots know I won’t miss and stores it for my future use. Way2Save counts my transactions each day and transfers a dollar per transaction at the end of the day to my savings account. If I don’t have enough funds in my account, neither of them steal anything.
This trick is my financial pokémon team’s passive saving technique. I don’t have to think about saving the money, manually save it or worry about it stealing money I actually need. It speed boosts my savings all by itself.
I have no problem tricking myself into doing things when I know it’s for my own good. Sometimes, all I need is a good trick room to make my slowking-self move a little faster.
Let’s chat: What are some of your tricks that you or your financial pokémon team use?
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