Managing Money on a Commission, Part 3

The money management thing has been going good. I've managed to sock away a halfway decent amount of money into that high-yield savings account with ING Direct, I've pared down some of my frivolous spending, and I've starting keeping tabs on my money using Mint.com.

If you've never used Mint.com before, you should start. Now.

What Mint.com does is keep track of the balances in all of your accounts for you. It uses very high-level encryption, so your data is safe. I use it to check my checking account, both savings accounts, and my 401(k) account. All the balances are right there, easy to see. Mint also tallies all of your individual transactions on the accounts as well, so you can see where you waste a lot of money (my Achilles heel was fast food). You can create budgets as well, and Mint will alert you if you overspend in any particular category.

I also recently found myself in possession of a nice navigation/GPS/DVD touchscreen radio for my car. I was about to put it in when I learned that I would need to buy a $100 integration module for the radio to work correctly. No dice, man. Previously, I would have just blown the $100 and had myself a nice new radio. That mode of thinking doesn't (and can't) work for me anymore. So I sold it.

Instead of installing the radio, I decided to get a car dock and car charger for my HTC EVO 4G. The phone is a marvel. Instead of having a phone, an iPod, and a Navigation unit, I have my EVO 4G. The EVO takes the place of all of those devices (which I would have otherwise purchased), saving me at least $300. With that money saved, I can pay off another of my credit cards. I can also take the money that I earned from selling the radio and pad my budget that much more. The dock and charger for my EVO was $30 and I sold the radio for $75, so it paid for both the phone accessories and left a little bit to go into savings.

Small steps, I know, but you need to walk before you can run.

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