This post is sponsored by EveryDollar™ through Acorn Influence; all opinions are entirely my own.
When I found out that I was pregnant I knew I would have to redo my budget. I expected to have a few more months to plan things out and prepare myself for time off work and the added expense of a baby. I’m self-employed, and I wouldn’t be able to work immediately after the baby was born; I have no sick days or vacation to use. There’s no maternity leave when you run your own business. I thought I would have more time to set money aside in preparation for our family expansion. By the time that I was 6 weeks pregnant, I was vomiting 7 or 8 times per day. I was diagnosed with a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum; it is a fancy medical term for ‘she is pregnant and vomits all the time.’ I had several bouts of dehydration which required doctor’s visits to receive IV fluids. Very few of the medications prescribed to keep me from vomiting worked; the medications that did help with vomiting made me feel terrible. I watched my checking account quickly dwindle while I paid co-pays and I realized that EveryDollar™ counted. Today I’m discussing personal finance and how I’ve started using the EveryDollar™ app to help get myself on the road to personal and financial recovery.
I thought that when the hyperemesis resolved, I would be able to pour myself into work. Ten days ago, I started having some new symptoms and I realized that I wouldn’t be going back to work as soon as I hoped. Three emergency room visits, close to a dozen prescriptions, and two major health scares in a week would mean a serious financial set-back. Medical bills add up quickly and you can’t pay for them if you aren’t working. My husband handles the bulk of the household bills, but that doesn’t ease my financial fears. I had worked hard to try to gain financial independence over the last several years and I saw all of that quickly slipping away. I realized the only way that I would be able to overcome my current financial situation would be to tighten my bootstraps and work on a stricter budget using EveryDollar™.
How do you keep track of your finances? Managing your incomings and outgoings can often seem overwhelming at times, but ultimately it is crucial to stay on top of your money if you want to avoid going into debt or running the risk of filing for bankruptcy. No one likes to think too much about the possibility of having to file for bankruptcy. However, if you need more advice related to filing for bankruptcy, you might want to reach out to a Bankruptcy Attorney in San Diego. Bankruptcy can be a complex process and therefore it is vital that you seek legal guidance when dealing with your debts. Furthermore, technology has changed the way we do so many things, and keeping track of your personal finances is no exception. When my husband was in elementary school his class went on a field trip to one of the local banks downtown. He remembers the trip vividly, being locked in the vault behind the cage, and even the noon meeting on the square between the two local banks to exchange checks drawn by their customers. Technology replaced those quaint meetings with the electronic clearinghouse operated by the Federal Reserve. Now that most of our transactions are conducted electronically by credit and debit card, the checkbook register is almost a thing of the past. My husband embraces technology to help solve problems, but he may not be quite up with the times. He takes pictures of his checks and receipts and enters them into an electronic ledger to make sure there are no surprises.
He hates surprises. That’s probably why he’s only had one overdraft charge in his life—and it was ultimately refunded by the bank. About 20 years ago, he established a retirement account to begin squirreling away his nest egg. Part of that process required submission of a check with the initial deposit, and to create the monthly automatic contribution. The check cleared his account as expected, and he reconciled it in his register. Then, about two months later, the overdraft notice and associated fee appeared in the mail and on his account statement. After being told he would have to pay an hourly fee for the bank staff to research the problem, he reluctantly agreed. After about an hour of work, they reported back that they had found the problem—the check had cleared not once, but twice. The company had submitted the original, and then for some reason elected to submit a photocopy of the document a second time. The sad part of this story is that the bank honored the photocopied check, even though the number had already cleared in the same amount previously. The bank admitted its mistake and restored the fees. He’s been vigilant about monitoring his accounts ever since, and it’s proof that it can happen to anyone.
We use technology to keep track of the temperature in our homes, the pressure in our tires, and the packages we are expecting to be delivered. Shouldn’t we be taking equal care with our financial health? Information is power, and the best way to carve out some extra dollars for your next project or adventure is to set some budgetary goals and begin keeping track of where your money is going from month to month. A self-employed mom has to be careful to watch the nickels and dimes—they will add up to a first car, a college education, or a fantastic family vacation some day. The EveryDollar™ app can help me create a firm budget and help reinforce sticking to that budget.
It takes less than 10 minutes to set up your first budget using EveryDollar™. You can manage your money and track spending simultaneously. The app can be synchronized across multiple devices and platforms to encourage couples to work on a budget together. EveryDollar™ also has a EveryDollar™ Plus feature which allows you to connect your bank accounts by paying a yearly fee. The EveryDollar™ Plus plan also allows you to create unlimited budgets which comes in handy when you’re planning for different financial scenarios such as unpaid time off work for sickness or injury. Self-employed income isn’t steady and I have to plan for a worst case scenario when I have minimum income. In completely honesty, between my hyperemesis diagnosis 7 weeks ago and now, I’ve only had a few hundred dollars of income. My financial situation certainly didn’t help my physical health and well-being.
Since discovering EveryDollar™, I feel like I have more tools to financially prepare myself for a new baby and my planned time off work. I can set realistic goals for myself and track expenditures such as food, gas, medical bills, and prescription co-pays. I know that I won’t be able to save up a lot before the arrival of our new addition this summer, but I will try my hardest to save as much as possible.
How do you keep track of your financial goals? I’d love to hear your examples of how technology has changed your household financial management. I hope you’ll check out the EveryDollar™ app and use it when working on your monthly budget.