Here’s some awesome resources I have found. Some are articles, some are websites, and so on, but this is my list of things I have found to be helpful about getting a grip on my personal finances:
My brother (he’s studying to be an accountant)
Here are some books he borrowed that he and my mom insist will change my entire life and outlook on money:
Anything written by Michael Lewis
Biographies on Donald Trump and Richard Branson
I haven’t read a physical book in almost a year. I should probably do that.
Oh yeah, I hate looking through all those damned circulars to figure out what’s on sale. If you aren’t already using it, dammit get over here*:
*OK they are almost perfect. You still need to compare those sale prices to your friendly neighbourhood local independent grocer’s. For Montreal, I like Marché PA & Akhavan. They are close to me and usually have yogurt on sale for like a buck. I can’t really justify heading out to the Jean-Talon market, cause I don’t drive and it’s not necessarily worth the time and effort to head out there by public transit or bike.
Things that I have not found to be helpful while learning more about money:
Those random slideshows that show you the same 7-20 tricks to reduce your cost of living. Honestly, I find that I’ve been reading a variation on the same article for the last three years.
Sites and articles geared toward women: the vast majority of them have a really condescending tone. As if I should find it difficult to sort out the difference between my savings and chequing accounts!
This bloody thing
The best damned money-tracker you don’t have to buy:
I have the app, and I check it about every other day. It’s pretty slick, I can see where every cent went, and while I should also write up my cash purchases, at least I know when the money was taken out and how long I should make it last. It also tells me how much money I can spend for the rest of the month on stuff like coffee, clothes, restaurants, and at the bars. It also tells me when it’s shocked at my spending. For example, if I normally only spend $35 on my phone bill per month but this month went over and spent $50, it will bring up an alert.
Also, it tells you when you incur bank charges, which I now need to investigate 😦
And finally something I should have done a while ago:
Stopped bringing cash to work. This is bad for my wallet and my diet. Like who the hell is buying an oversized oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookie for $2.50?! I am. Myself and my awful PMS-ing brain have taken me down five flights of stairs to get that stupid cookie. This has happened on more than one occasion.
Now, I am vowing to only bring money to work to pay my monthly coffee tab. At 35 cents a cup, I can justify the daily expense cause there’s no where else I’m gonna get such a cheap (and halfway decent) cup for such a price. I think I spend less than $10 a month on coffee. Unheard of anymore!
Also, due to my awesome acid-reflux issues, I’ve recently had to switch to drinking tea. I have a box of teabags (whatever, a massive box of black tea bags retail for less than $5) in my desk and hot water is free. I’ve been averaging one bag per day because I don’t like it too strong. As long as I have a spoon to fish out the bag, I’m sorted.
Frankly, if I forget to bring a lunch one day, I have a debit card. But it’s almost stupid to buy small snack with a debit card so I just don’t do that. Usually there’s a minimum on the amount of money you need to spend to use your card, and I don’t want to do that if I’m just buying a terrible snack.