A little over a year ago, I had several interventions that made me realize I was kind of *cringe* financially irresponsible. In the month of May a few years back, I arrived on a plane, toasted and relaxed from a beautiful vacation in to find….my car wouldn’t start. As I sat in the parking lot, smelling the sunscreen through my pores I quickly realized I wasn’t in Jamaica anymore. In fact, I was in Maryland on the gloomiest day of the year. My mind suddenly flashed back to all the money I literally threw into the sky while traveling. I don’t blame myself, vacations are meant for you to splurge, but I was highly disappointed that I arrived back in the states with $3.26 in my account. As I called to tell my friends what was happening, one very kind, but concerned friend asked, “well…you don’t have any money saved up for like… emergencies?” Umm.. “NoIDon’tThankssss”. This was the minute that everything changed. If you read my blog, My Experience After One Session with a Life Coach you will see the conversation I had with a coach about making money, and the endless opportunity to go get it. A little desperation combined with some well meaning advice allowed me to get the ball rolling on saving money.
There are many reasons why you clicked to read this blog, maybe you are nosey, maybe you’ve been through the same thing, or maybe, just maybe, you would love to have a “rainy day” account, or you want to start a new business. Whatever the reason may be, there isn’t one person I know who doesn’t want to have financial stability. There is this grand misconception that you have to make a lot of money in order to save money. This myth will be dispelled today by looking at 5 simple ways you can start earning and saving money right now. In a year, you will be able to save at least $10,000 if you work hard, have discipline and serious determination to save or pay off your debts.
Create a goal that is geared towards your success and not influenced by anyone else
I find that many well meaning, social media crazed, young people are obsessed with not looking broke. Perception is everything in our world. We spend money on famous designer clothes and eat fancy meals to take flashy pictures all for the entertainment of other broke people. If you are under 30, 9 times out of 10 you are BROKE! Listen, unless you are wise about your spending, have a six figure job, or inherited a pretty good chunk of change you (like myself) have had many financial struggles. I hate that my generation feels the need to constantly be perceived as rich, and having it all together, so they go broke to not look broke. We got this thing all wrong.
The first step to financial stability is to create a goal that isn’t influenced by anyone else. Creating a financial goal for yourself is a way to stay focused until you achieve success. Whether you want to start a new business, or you want to build your savings you can do that if you make your mind up that nothing will stop you until you hit this goal. My goal was to save $10,000 in one year, and I know if I could do it, so can you.
Don’t save for any specific reason
This may seem a little contradictory to what you just read, but hear me out. When asked to create a goal, I meant a $$$ figure. Creating a savings should be to save money, not to spend it. It should be viewed as something to increase your financial stability not to fund a big purchase. Your savings shouldn’t be “your car purchasing fund”. Your savings shouldn’t be your “vacation to Europe fund”. Your savings should mentally be untouchable money that should give you leverage to buy, borrow, or spend at any given moment if you needed to. It is cushion money, investment money, emergency money. If you view your savings account this way you won’t be eager to spend it, you’ll be eager to watch it grow.
Saving money can be lonely. I have a lot of friends who love to go out and have a good time. Unfortunately, their idea of a good time can be costly. In order to start building a savings you must be determined and you must have discipline. It is hard to be the person who is always declining invitations from friends, but the reality is if you spend just one year committed towards working on building your savings you could set the foundation for the rest of your life. Good friends will support you being “fake broke”.
Share your $$$ figure goal with one reliable person
Speaking of friends, when I first started my journey to financial freedom I told ONE person my $$$ figure goal. She was highly supportive of me, and always encouraged me without making me feel guilty about my spending. I might have eaten a McChicken one day, the next day I might have a steak. I never heard a peep out of her. The important motivating thing for me was that I knew that she knew my goal. She served as a reminder, and even if it didn’t matter to her if I met my goal or not I knew in the back of my mind that someone was anticipating my success. If you find someone that you trust, that will hold you accountable, without being judgmental it can make all the difference. It wouldn’t hurt for this “go to” person to also be financially stable 😉
Get a side hustle/Invest in yourself
If you know anything about me you know I am a workaholic. Between my full time job, being a nanny, working for a driving school, and at the mall on the weekends I found some free time to dedicate to my blog. If you read, “My Experience After One Session with a Life Coach then you know that money can be made anywhere, doing just about anything. A shortage of money or opportunity isn't the issue, your shortage of drive and dedication is the only thing that will hold you back. Click To Tweet I got a part time job at the mall solely to fund my savings. I don’t even see the deposits that go into the account because they are directly deposited, and I don’t have an ATM card for the account. It’s an account I use to stack my money, and nothing else.
I don’t spend money that I don’t see. Since I know this about myself, and I recognize what works for me I also have $100 from my regular paycheck going into this account as well. If it’s not going into my checking account, it’s as if I never received the money so I don’t have it to spend. I am putting money into my savings account every Friday. On the weeks I get paid from my full time job, $100 is deposited. On the weeks I get paid from my job at the mall, anywhere from $60-$200 is deposited. If you follow this model for a year…you do the math.
My final tip is to consolidate. This one is hard for me because I like to live a comfortable life. I love to have a drink. I love to blast my AC. And I take really long, hot showers. I would say get rid of what you can get rid of. If you can lower your cable/internet rate for a year, or drive your car less without feeling too miserable then do it. Me personally, I lowered all of my utility bills by being more efficient. It helped out in a significant way because it allowed me to have more money left over from my checking account to transfer into my savings. Whatever you are willing to spare, cut back, or consolidate even if it is minimal could help. Click To Tweet
**Bonus: Invest in the stock market/401K
I recently started saving via the Acorns app. Acorns allows you to invest your spare change into the stock market. All you have to do is link your bank account using the Acorns app, and the app will round up your change to the next dollar each time you make a purchase and invest it. This is a cool way to start micro investing.
Also, if your place of employment offers 401K benefits, 9 times out of 10 they are willing to match your investment. Please, I beg you, do not leave this free money on the table. You may not be able to use your 401K as freely as any other savings without significant penalties but it will help you when you are ready for retirement. Don’t be a goofy.
Remember saving may not necessarily be fun in the beginning but the pay off is HUGE! (no pun intended) The whole purpose of saving is to bring you well-being, leave you fulfilled, and less anxious about your wants and needs in life.
Any questions? Hit the Contact Me page