It is only when you start living on your own and paying for everything yourself, that most people realise that financial ‘adulting’ is not all that fun! Ghent-based content engineer Sofie Vandenhoven, who had only recently graduated, didn’t take too long to figure that most of what she earned was slipping away too fast. Earning all the money back didn’t happen as fast she wanted it to and wasn’t even half as fun as she expected it to be.
It didn’t help much that her hobby of photography turned out to be quite an expensive one. And, that’s when she found Wallet. “Wallet really helped me become more aware of how I spent my money and on what,” says Sofie, who has been hooked to it for almost two years now. “Now, I am definitely more conscious when it comes to spending money.”
Getting better by the day
Sofie uses Wallet not just to track her money, but also to track her debts, to budget and to save towards her many goals. She loves how Wallet keeps growing and adding more and more features that help simplify money management for people like her.
Her current favourite feature is Goals. “ Earlier, when I saved money, I would just move one large sum of money from one account to another,” she says. “However, I have specific items I am saving for, and which I only want to buy once I’m sure I have this entire sum. So now, I can track what I am saving for and how long it will take to get there.”
With Wallet, saving for her specific goals has become more meaningful, organised and, even, fun, thanks to its interface. She also loves that Wallet consistently notifiies her to track her money. “These nudges are what actually help me be on top of my finances.” Currently, Sofie is saving for “photography gear, travel and games”.
Building a habit
Once she started using Wallet, Sofie had to face some unpleasant truths about her spending. This was the biggest motivation for her to get back on track. It has also helped her get into a healthy habit of tracking money manually. “For me, tracking money is something you need to do manually. If I have my transactions synced directly to Wallet, it would make me oblivious to my spending,” the manual tracking enthusiast says. “Tracking expenses means being confronted with the numbers when you insert them in records. This helped me be more aware of what I was doing with my money every single day.”
Finding a balance
We have designed Wallet in a way that it helps everyone use it to their benefit in whichever way that makes sense to them. One needs to find their groove with Wallet and then things start sailing smoothly. The same was true in Sofie’s case. When she started using the Budgets feature on Wallet, she started out with weekly budgets. “I am a bulk shopper. So I found that I would always went over my weekly budget, even though I was actually saving money during the whole month,” she says.
Sofie soon switched to monthly budgets because this was the information she derived most value from. Although the move was tricky, she is happy that she can now make more sense of her budgets now.
Back to track
“It sounds cliché, I know, but I learned how easy it is to spend money and how long it takes to earn that back,” says Sofie, on her experience with Wallet. The biggest advice she has for those who are just starting out is: “TRACK YOUR MONEY. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll find out about yourself.”
It’s okay to make mistakes, say Sofie, admitting that there have been times when she has forgotten to track. “It’s more about the awareness you gain,” she says. “From feeling helpless and totally stressed, I have reached a position where even if I go a bit overboard with my expenses, I realise it faster and know when to stop.” Now, she agrees that it is not adulting that is hard. It’s not having the right tools to help you navigate it that makes it so stressful!
Over to you
What are you saving for with Goals on Wallet? And, how are you using it to change your reckless spending habits and take the stress out of managing money?
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