In light of last week’s pay day, it basically took ALL OF ME to allocate at least $200-$300 in my savings account. I know, I had to disregard all of those tempting sales notifications in my inbox (sorry, kate spade!) just to be able to do so. As hard as it is right now, I know this is really what I need. Now, FYI, I didn’t always start financially smart. Heck, I don’t even think I’m financially smart RIGHT NOW, but I definitely can attest to being SMARTER than before. Here are some tips I’d love to share, and hopefully help some of you out –
Change Your Mindset
This seems like a no-brainer, but trust me, this is the first step to truly making an impact in your piggy bank. Throughout the years, I’ve always wanted to save, but it wasn’t until about a year ago where I actually took that first step in changing my mindset. Since I made that decision, I started becoming more careful with every penny and didn’t buy everything in sight. I checked my bank account statements regularly and became more aware of my own financial standing.
Eliminate Bad Influences
This really helped me out entirely. I unsubscribed to so many different store newsletters, so I wouldn’t be notified of every damn sale (LOL, it really had to be done!) and I also “accidentally” left my card at home, so I would be limited to just the cash I had. This is a little extreme, I know, but it helped ME spend on what was truly necessary. I also started cleaning out my social media accounts. I unfollowed those “superficial” accounts that highlighted the “fancy good life.” It wasn’t healthy for me in a sense that some people see that as a way of life; I saw more to life than just brands and spending money, so I needed to eradicate that off my social media.
Clean Out Your Closet
Yup, your closet CAN be a hustle. I used this summer to clean out my closet and set aside piles for Goodwill donations and the rest for sale! I usually put my clothes/bags/accessories up for sale on Poshmark and Mercari. I used to use eBay, but in my personal experience, Poshmark led better results for me. Putting up my closet up for sale allowed me to make some extra cash perfect for saving, and it felt like a nice little side hustle. I also put up my textbooks (goodbye undergrad!) for sale on Amazon, which only really peaks in December and August for back-to-school.
Keeping Up with the… Credit-ians.
Let me just say that THIS has and always will be one of my greatest challenges. Fresh out of high school, I opened my first credit card with Macy’s. Like any other credit newbie, I was sold on that 20% off your first purchase offer (not sure of the exact percentage, but it was a good amount off of my True Religion jeans)… and then when I started working at Victoria’s Secret, I opened a credit card there. I should probably note that I elevated quickly to “Angel Forever,” meaning I spent at least $1000 there on a yearly basis; NOT A GOOD LOOK! Then I opened my first major credit card for things like car maintenance. I blindly opened credit cards without looking at the Annual Percentage Rates or when each bill was due; I was literally in a financial funk, but after much research and mental training, I survived and am now currently on top of it.
I recently found out about this and would love to share the 50-30-20 Rule. I’m still trying to abide by this rule, but this rule is all-things spending 101. 50% of your paycheck should go towards your NEEDS (think bills, groceries, etc). 30% should go towards anything you want (YAY FUN!) and then 20% goes toward savings. I usually try to allocate 30% into savings, but you know, sometimes a girl’s gotta shop during times of distress! Haha, jk.
What are some of your ways to be smart with money?