Developing good money habits takes discipline. That’s why Bank of America, along with BuzzFeed, decided to honor those who are doing an excellent job of managing their money. The Cheat Sheet spoke with one of the honorees, Javon Davis, to learn more about the organizations’ effort to honor 50 young people who make $50,000 or less but still manage to practice good financial habits. Here’s what Javon had to say about making good money choices.
The Cheat Sheet: What are some smart money habits you practice?
Javon Davis: My go-to financial hack is more of a self-hack. I set up a savings account that will automatically withdraw money from my bank account after pay day, so I can save cash before I even see it. Also, when I was in college, I set up a high-yield savings account, which now takes about 20% of my earnings automatically. If you don’t ever see the money, you don’t have the temptation to spend the money. I also have a part-time bartending job (I work about two or three nights a month) for ‘play money.’
CS: What prompted you to make responsible money management a priority?
JD: I know that things come up, which is why saving is so important. For example, a few months ago, my car had issues and to get it fixed cost about $1,000. I also had some dental issues going on at the same time, which cost another $1,000. I’m lucky that I had savings to fall back on.
CS: What are some financial hurdles you have encountered and how did you overcome them?
JD: Growing up, my family lived paycheck-to-paycheck. I saw my mom stressed out about money, and I never wanted to be there. So, it’s always been in the back of my mind to have fun, but be responsible with money.
CS: What is one big financial goal you hope to reach within the next five years?
JD: While I don’t have any specific goals, I know that long-term I want to buy a house, get a car, get engaged (and buy a ring), so I want to be comfortable saving money and having money to fall back on if I need it.
CS: What advice do you have for young people who want to improve their finances but don’t know where to start?
JD: There are many tools out there to help young people improve their finances. One tool that I use is Mint, which shows me all my accounts – bank accounts and credit cards – and shows me how I spent my money over my different accounts each month. By looking at that, you can see if you need to slow down going out to eat or something like that. It also shows me my budgeting goals, so I can stay on track.
CS: Anything to add?
JD: While I do consider myself good with money, I’d love to learn more about investing and wealth management. I’m excited to attend Camp Better Money Habits to help me learn even more skills to build a better financial future.
Read part one of this series and get tips from Bank of America’s Michele Barlow on how to develop better money habits here.
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