Last month, my friend Jess of No Real Jewelry wrote this amazing blog post on 2 Small Tricks That Help Me Save Big Money, that really got me thinking about the excuses we create for not saving money. In addition to that, since I was a college freshman I always wanted to help my community have a better relationship with money. So many women and men of color are not taught how to balance their checkbook, saving for an emergency, the importance of a credit score, life insurance and many other things of that nature. My goal was to open up a financial literacy program or something of that nature. Yes, I was rather ambitious at 17 years ago, and 15 years later my financial journey has been one heck of a rollercoaster. However, I feel that since my ride has not been smooth and I have had to learn the hard lessons over and over again, I can share something on how to start saving when you don’t know where to start.
If you’re completely new to savings or have quiet your emergency fund savings plan several times over this is the post for you. Mainly because I share the tricks I have used when I was making $10,000 a month with my digital sales to when I was barely making $800 a month. One of the biggest aspects of learning how to start saving when you don’t know where to start, beginnings with your mind frame. This is why I am always talking to clients about having a positive mind frame in business and personal life.
Too many times even as adults we believe money grows on teachers and we can replenish what we took later. How many times have you borrowed money from your savings never to put it back later? We have all done it at one point, and from this point on it needs to stop. Don’t get me wrong, yes I believe you should have nice things in life such as; fresh flowers, a new handbag, see Jayz in concert or whatever else floats your boat, but when affordable luxuries are putting a damper on you saving money or living better its a problem. The world is divided between spenders and savers, the funny thing is I use to be the spender in relationships and did not care about if an emergency would be happening at any time. However, the tides have turned and I am all about saving money to make sure I am good just in case something happens, savings for a trip or any item I really want. Start putting yourself in the mindset of what it’s like to have a certain amount of money in your account at all times. When I first saved up $1000 you do not know how proud I was. When you really think about it in our lifetime over half a million dollars goes through our hands during our adult earning period. We should have more money saved for retirement, trips, Starbucks every day or whatever else brings you joy.
What are your current savings goals for your life? At one time, my goal was to save $10,000 in a fiscal year and at first, it seemed so hard to achieve. However, when I put systems in place to earn more money my revenue streamed changed. There was a time when $10,000 yearly was an extremely lofty goal for me and the years prior when I didn’t achieve it, it only made me upset. Feeling as if I was a failure when it came to achieving my goals. This is why it is important to establish realistic goals you can achieve and not feel bad about when you missed the mark. For example, if you have never had $200 in your savings account that should be your initial goal. Yes, it might seem small to some, but to others that is a million dollars. The next step of savings goal planning is creating mini goals to push you to achieve your major goal. If you do not have a savings account at all, that is the goal I want you to create, starting an emergency saving account for yourself. When I first did the emergency savings account within 2 months I needed the money because my car at the time broke down. It felt so good to just have the money and not have to borrow it.
If you already having a fully funded savings account then I want you to create a plan for something you really want such as; new laptop, trip NYC, a bag, new branding for your company or whatever else your heart desires. No matter if you’re doing the initial emergency savings account or saving for something you want having mini goals are so important for this. Don’t get caught up in having the $1000, $5000 or $10,000 that your thoughts get blurry. Start thinking about saving that first $20 or $100. Create flexible dates to go with this savings plan because when you put a hard date of October 31st on it, and you miss it a meltdown might occur. Personally, I will save my goal for September is to save an additional $100 this month. This provides me over 30 days to meet my goals by creating creative ways to reach it.
Creative Ways To Save
In “How To Automate Your Personal Savings“, I share three simple ways for you to start saving today such as; swipe to save. A plethora of banks allow you to roll over your change amount to your savings account automatically. I have several friends who do this and the love that within a week that has saved x amount of money without thinking about it. Currently, one of my favorite ways to save additional money each month is not to spend my change. Okay, here me out on this one because honestly, I did not think it would have such a huge effect on my savings at first. There was a time when I solely swiped my card for everything. However, when I learned about Dave Ramsey things changed somewhat for me, one of those things was how I did my budget. I cannot stop telling people about how the Zero Budget Changed my finances overall and helped me become a saver. Now, that I was paying for thing such as; groceries, weekly treats, and things like that with cash I always had changed on hand. One month, out of the blue I said let me save my change for a month to see how much I will have. That first month, I had $25.47 in change for a 30 day period. Now imagine if that was the average for ever month over a 12-month period, I would be $305.64 at the end of the year. If you never saved a penny otherwise you would have a nice start for the new year. In “Six Creative Ways To Save Money In Order To Fund Your Small Business“, I discuss how I started getting my hair done at the hair school to save me money every month. Look for all the ways I shared in those two blog post on how I have learned to create extra means to save money and then implement three ways for yourself.
There are multiple ways to get started when it comes to saving money. You have to truly commit to making this a lifestyle change for you. When something becomes habit and not a chore it really becomes something you love doing. At 32, I prefer seeing the money in my account versus hanging in my closet.