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Lauren: Hi, I'm Lauren.

Maya: And I'm Maya.

Lauren: And we are...

Together: The Financial Diet!

Lauren: And today's video is all about how you can keep yourself from becoming or rise against being a financial hot mess.

Maya: These are simple yet effective ways to start eliminating forgetfulness and encourage yourself to be more organized, which is something I've struggled with a lot. So let's jump right in, our first tip is to buy a calendar. I know calendars have sort of gone out of vogue, smartphones have kind of taken over. But for me it really helps to write down my deadlines on the calendar. I like to write down when my rent is due, when my utilities are due, when I need to invoice people, when that random deadline that I'm going to forget about is. I like to put it all where I can see it on the calendar.

Lauren: Number 2, set alerts on your checking account so you're aware when it drops below a certain balance. So most banks have a number of different alerts available to you and you can choose to be emailed, called, or texted about them. So for me, I've set up an alert on my checking account to let me know when it drops below $200 because I do have some recurring payments set up with it, so I want to make sure there's always some wiggle room and a safety net for myself. But keep in mind that these alerts will look different for everyone. 

Maya: Step 3 is to organize you key chain. Keep everything you really need on it and get rid of the additional junk. I used to always be one of those people that will be standing in line at the pharmacy and I get to the end of the line and they'd be like "Do you have your card?" and the honest answer was "Yes, I have my card somewhere..." but I had no idea where it was because my key chain was so heavy that it was unproductive, it was a complete mess. So, what I did was I went through my entire key chain and got rid of everything, so now when I get up to the line at CVS I have like, CVS, one other pharmacy, a supermarket, and a library card. That's it! 

Lauren: Number 4, make a list of the automatic payments that you have set up. It's really important to make sure that anything that you have set up for automatic payment is organized and you know exactly what account it's coming out of. Keeping an organized list of all the payments that you have set to automatic will ensure that you're never in danger in over drafting on any of your accounts. 

Maya: Number 5, buy a file box and label the sections. Labeling the sections of the file box is really helpful for me because I feel like I can put in receipts, pay stubs, anything like that without even having to think about it. For awhile I was an absolute mess about receipts. I would throw them in my wallet or put them in my purse and be like "Yeah, I'm totally going to write this off!" But they would never actually make it into the right folder because by the time that I got around to organizing them, they were just a complete mess. Now at the end of every couple of days, I take the receipts out of my wallet or purse and put them directly into a file folder. And that actually is kind of a money saving tip because as a freelancer I am able to write off a lot of these things and if I don't have the receipt, what am I going to hand to the accountant at the end of the year?

Lauren: Nada... Number 6 always keep your purse and your wallet in the exact same place. So I'm the total queen of misplacing things and throwing my shit anywhere as soon as I get into my apartment and then wondering "Where's my wallet? Where's my purse? Where's my credit card?" Like I have been the person to just let my credit card like float open in my purse, which is horrible. It's horrible. So to try to keep myself more organized I've done things like bought little bamboo hooks that I just put my car keys on so I always know where they are and I always keep my wallet inside of my purse and the purse in a designated corner of my apartment so I always know where it is. And this is a great way make sure that you're never running out of the house without your money essentials.

Maya: Number 7 is something that I've personally found to be super helpful and that's bringing cash to the bar. Okay, you have to hear me out on this one. I mean bringing a finite amount of cash to the bar, not...

Lauren: Not like bags of cash? 

Maya: No, I don't want you to be like making it rain in the bar necessarily. So for example, I would recommend bringing like $20 cash to the bar and then you know you're only spending $20, which in a big city is probably like 2 well drinks and a tip. Again this doesn't necessarily work for everyone, it's just something that I like to implement every now and then. Okay now, the one caveat I have to this rule is that I do like to bring out a debit or a credit card just in case of emergencies, I do think it's important. So what I do is that I put the credit card in the really hard to like get out pouch, like it's really tight and thin and you really have to wrestle the credit card to get it out. And if I put it there, I'm less motivated to use grab for it.

Number 8, set visual reminders for yourself to help keep your living space in check and your utility bills down. So sometimes labels are necessary to jog your memory in order to do things. For example, by my front door I have a tiny little label that says lights, which reminds me to always shut off the lights before leaving. You could also put a little label by your sink that says conserve to remind yourself to not keep the water running. Sp these little reminders will help you save money on things like your electricity and water bill. 

Maya: Our last tip is one word, downsize. Now the reason we say that is because I at least personally find that most of the forgetfulness in my life comes from clutter. Clutter in my wallet, clutter in my purse, clutter on my desk, clutter on my bed, which I'm supposed to be sleeping on. Whenever things get too messy, that's when I start losing things and forgetting things. I use to constantly lose things because I carried around a really big purse, there's no room for big purses in my life anymore. I just spend hours digging through them. I always just carry one simple cross body bag. It has my small wallet and a couple of essentials and that's it. 

Lauren: So these are just some of the tips that we found really helpful to keep ourselves more financially organized 

Maya: And save us from our hot mess selves! 

Lauren: So thanks for watching and don't forget to hit the subscribe button and go to thefinancialdiet.com for more. 

Together: Bye!