After graduating with her degrees in both graphic design and fashion, San Jose, CA native Seylah dove into her career with a full-time gig at a bridal company and her own side projects. But pursuing her dreams meant she had an abundance of student loan debt, and very little time or resources to put toward figuring out how to budget.
Seylah was using one of the big banks, and between her busy schedule and mounting bills, she couldn’t seem to find a foothold in managing her finances—and overdraft fees kept putting her further behind.
A Simple way to get control
Seylah sought help through Financial Peace University, where—in addition to gaining valuable skills around budgeting and debt management—she learned about Simple. “As soon I downloaded the app, I thought ‘Wow, this is amazing,’” Seylah recalled. “It was like the envelope method, but digital.”
The feature she immediately put to use was Expenses, which relieved her of the monthly stress of dealing with her phone bill. “With my old bank, I constantly ran into overdrafts when my phone bill came out, but now I put that money aside and know I won’t spend it,” she said. By creating Expenses categories for phone, groceries, gas, and spending money, Seylah started to feel in control of her finances.
Setting even bigger Goals
With her monthly spending more easily managed with Simple’s built-in budgeting tools, Seylah felt ready to start creating Savings Goals—and she had an important one looming. Her boyfriend Abrian lives in Reno, and the four-hour drive meant they usually only saw each other on weekends. But his family’s big reunion in Colorado was coming up, and Seylah was determined to budget for an epic road trip so they could attend the festivities together.
She set herself the goal of saving $1,100 for the trip in four months, which initially felt daunting. “Because I’m new to budgeting and managing my money, it wasn’t easy at first,” she said. “I had to really check myself and ask, ‘Do I want this thing now, or do I want to go on my trip?’”
But as she worked toward her goal, Seylah found that the Simple interface was a great motivator. “Seeing the progress bar move more and more is great,” she said. “It almost feels like a game, where I’m going up a level every time I stay under budget in a category or save a certain amount toward a Goal.”
Seylah certainly leveled up when she hit her Savings Goal in time for her road trip. “I was pretty proud of myself, because that was one of the biggest things I’d ever saved up for,” she said.
And she discovered how rewarding it feels to have money put aside for a Goal. “The trip was amazing, and it felt great that I could just spend the money without worrying about having enough, because I knew I’d planned for it,” she said.
The freedom from financial worry helped her relax and enjoy a deeply meaningful trip. “Because we usually only see each other for a couple days, it was great to spend six whole days together. We spent 14 hours driving, talking, listening to music, and getting to know a lot about each other,” Seylah said.
And the warm welcome she got from Abrian’s extended family at the reunion was the icing on the cake—the entire experience “really showed me that the struggle of saving is worth it.”
The next level
Once Seylah realized that achieving big Goals was possible, she got excited to go for the next one: moving to Reno to be closer to Abrian. “It’s a big goal, so I’ve been very focused,” she said, and has her sights set on November for the move.
“It can be hard because it’s summer and all my friends want to go out and do stuff, but I’ve learned to say no—I feel more disciplined because I’m excited about my Goal,” she observed.
Even over a longer time frame, Seylah finds it rewarding to save. “Using Goals makes me feel like I have more money than I do,” she said. “Simple has been a really big blessing.” For us at Simple, seeing people gain control and freedom to pursue their dreams is the blessing—and we’re so excited to help Seylah take it to the next level.
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