GadCapital: I picked up three sound financial practices from a guide on personal finance that also discusses issues of social inequality.

  • In contrast to the majority of publications on personal finance, “Finance for the People” genuinely discusses issues of economic inequality.
  • After reading the book, I formed three new routines in my life that made it much simpler for me to manage my money.
  • Having two different checking accounts, one for paying bills and one for spending money on things you like, was the most beneficial tip.

As a millennial who is struggling to make ends meet due to mounting debt from school loans, credit cards, and the escalating cost of living in a large city, I despise receiving out-of-date advice from so-called “experts” who tell me that giving up my Starbucks habit would solve all of my issues.

On the other hand, “Finance for the People,” a book authored by Paco de Leon, a gay Filipina American who used to work as a financial advisor, is like a breath of fresh air. De Leon tackles how systemic economic injustice influences our connection with money while also providing practical and realistic advice designed to assist you in accumulating wealth.

After finishing this book, I realized that there is a significant gap between accepting responsibility for my financial situation and blaming myself for the financial errors I have made in the past.

Because I am a transgender person of color, taking responsibility for my financial situation is an act of self-preservation that may help me flourish. On the other side, severely condemning myself for my previous failures is a sure way to dig deeper into a hole of debt and financial despair, as I’m making emotionally charged choices based on past pain. I’m digging deeper into a pit of debt and economic distress.

This conceptual shift drove me to improve my financial situation, which was practical and achievable. The following are three recommendations from the book “Finance for the People” by that assisted me in modifying my connection with my finances and achieving tremendous financial success.

1. The time spent each week on finances

The weekly finance time consists of a half-hour or hour to address complex financial responsibilities. De Leon writes, “When you set aside the time, you commit to yourself in advance. You are making your financial situation a top priority. You are not allowing any of your other commitments or goals to interfere.

Putting aside time on the weekend to work on my finances helped me stop worrying about money all the time. Because I have already set aside time to find solutions to any financial issues that may arise in the future, I don’t have to spend as much mental energy trying to figure out how much money I need to pay a bill when it’s due or while I’m hanging out with my friends.

My weekly time set aside for financial matters assisted me in completing challenging activities such as visiting the state disability office and contacting my service providers to bring them up to speed on my gender-affirming legal name change.

2. Maintain separate checking accounts for paying your bills and spending money on other things.

De Leon recommends separating your expenditures into two distinct buckets, titled “bills and life” and “fun and BS.”

Between the bills and life, there are:

  • Rent/mortgage
  • Taxes on real estate
  • Insurance for homeowners and renters
  • Transportation
  • Medical insurance
  • Pet care
  • Debt
  • Phone
  • Merchandise for the home
  • Maintenance and mending of things
  • Home-cooked fare
  • Utilities
  • Kids
  • Health
  • Other Necessary Components

The following are examples of fun and nonsense:

  • Dining out
  • Vices
  • Hobbies
  • Gifts
  • Development of one’s self
  • Entertainment
  • Kids’ hobbies

She then proposes that you should open a separate checking account for each category to make things simpler. Because I don’t utilize major financial institutions like Chase or Bank of America, it took me some time to get accustomed to sending money back and forth on payday for this to be a viable option for me. But as I got accustomed to it, it turned out to be a massive advantage in the game.

The mental acrobatics of performing the arithmetic to figure out whether I’m going to be tapping into my rent and bills were eliminated by this one action. Now, all I have to do is determine whether or not I want to spend the day at a museum and then reward myself with lunch. Keeping track of the total amount of money I have available for frivolous spending in a separate account provides me the autonomy to invest my financial resources in pursuits that bring me joy.

3. Set up an automatic savings plan for unexpected costs

To assist readers in developing a schedule for establishing an emergency savings fund, De Leon gives a highly straightforward calculation for calculating a savings rate. An emergency fund is a pool of liquid assets that can be accessed quickly and is often stored in a high-yield savings account with enough money to cover three to six months’ worth of living costs in a crisis.

The formula for calculating the savings rate is as follows: (Monthly savings minus monthly take-home income) multiplied by 100.

My current savings rate is just 2% of my take-home pay each month due to the high expense of living in Los Angeles, and a significant portion of my paycheck goes toward paying off debt. It is humiliating to have come to that revelation about my money, and it is even more humbling to share it with thousands of people on the internet.

With my newly gained self-awareness, I prioritized setting up an automatic savings plan for the little amount of two percent of each paycheck that I set aside. When I have a few extra dollars left in the bank account that I call “Fun and BS,” it makes it that much more enjoyable and motivated to work on building up my emergency fund.