Sunday, February 15, 2009
Money management and me
Now that I'm thirty, it seems as good a time as any to improve my money-management skills. I'm not great at saving or even scrimping, and my past budgeting efforts have generally lasted about a day. I kept track of my spending for a while in the fall of 2006, primarily because I was making less than $10 an hour at University Book Store (which, by the way, is good pay for a bookseller -- I don't mean to make UBS seem stingy).
Anyway, I've decided that since 2010 is the last year I'll get a check from the inheritance fund my father left me, it would behoove me to commit myself with unprecedented vigor to the fine art of making and following a budget. I wrote a note on Facebook asking for people's advice, and as usual my friends came to my aid, recommending not only the zine pictured above, Punk Rock Finances, but also Mint.com and Quicken Online, both of which seemingly aspire to be the Facebook of Money Management. (That is: Each boasts an easy-to-use, visually pleasing interface, both are free, and both aim to turn something most people would rather die than do into something kinda fun.)
I've given Mint a quick whirl, and I like it so far, but Reed says Quicken is better. As for Punk Rock Finances, kudos to any publication whose goal is "understanding our relationship to money and how we can survive in a capitalist system while making deliberate choices to involve ourselves in it as little as possible."