Saving money is my absolute favorite form of self care.
It tops drinking water, using a bourgeois sugar scrub to get my body stripper soft, and even taking naps. Which btw, is my favorite way to relax, refresh, and procrastinate.
The reason is because the way I approach self care, is to do those things that not only bring me joy in the present, but to also do the things that take care of myself in the future.
Having money saved up also instantly gives me that I’m-a-financially-responsible-person confidence boost I crave. On those days when I don’t feel like going to work, it feels rewarding to open up my Albert app and look at how much money I have.
Other than making me feel INCREDIBLY confident, having a stash of cash is the difference between an emergency being an “Oh shit. How am I going to fix this?” type of situation to simply, “Ugh, this is annoying”.
If your life is anything like mine, you know things spring up at the most inopportune times. “It’s always something, yo.” was a regular song I sang until I started saving.
Plus, I really, really HATE having to ask people for money. Especially for things that I should be able to afford. Like when my son completely ruined a mattress and I had to pay my boyfriend’s mom back $300. I took to Facebook messenger, added every cousin on my friend list to the chat, and through tears (and embarrassment) asked them to help me with the expense.
And while it’s completely okay to fall on tough times and rely on other’s help, I know that sort of thing is not a financial plan and I’ve also recognized that it can become a pattern of the irresponsible.
Yeah. So, never again.
When I first started out on my financial journey, the most common advice to getting started was to save up $1k in emergency funds. Every financial expert I read from said so because about 60% of Americans can’t afford a $1,000 emergency. And my broke ass was one of them, so I started saving.
Since starting, my savings has been withdrawn from, added to, paused, completely drained and back again. But now, I’m going to end 2019 with close to $10k saved. More on that in another post.
But to get started, here is the easiest, simplest, happiest, way I started saving money:
1. Use an app to automate your savings — You’ve gotta be out of your mind if you think you’re gonna be disciplined enough take money out your check each time you get paid, and add to a savings account. Especially when you’re starting from zero. I knew damn well if that’s how I had to do it, I was never going to. So the smartest thing I could do was download an app (I use Digit & Albert) and put myself on auto-savings. This way, it comes out without me being involved. It also helps that it’s separate from my actual bank account where I can’t instantly transfer funds without being asked “are you sure you want to transfer?”
2. Start NOW — If you don’t already have a savings set up, as soon as you’re done reading this, go download an app. I’ll even give you my referral link if you want. The quicker you get started, the quicker you’ll be able to look back and say “I did that shit!”. Telling folks I’ll have $10k by the end of this year, the last year of my 20s, and to bring in 2020 could not have been possible if I didn’t start when I did. You may not be able to say that this year, but it’s a sexy goal to have for next year.
3. Save a little bit to start with— I started my savings with $5… and that wasn’t even mine. It was from signing up with Digit on somebody’s referral link and I was given $5 for using their link. Then I added $2 to it lol. Now, $7 isn’t even a drop in the bucket, but because the amount was so small, it did two things for me. One, I wasn’t tempted to take the money out and two, I was motivated to add to it. I could NOT be a 20-something year old with a child and $7 in savings. That’s when I started auto-saving $20/week. But I quickly realized it would take me too long to save $1k, then I bumped it to $87/week so I could get there in about 3 months. Keep it mind when I started, I was only making $13.25 an hour. I didn’t wait, I couldn’t. I owed it to Tyler (my son) to be better NOW, not later. Since then, I’ve had several raises and it’s easier to save not only because I make more money but because I’ve developed the habit.
4. Don’t stop— Duh. LOL. No but in all seriousness, if you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up. Decide that “square one” won’t be that place you keep finding yourself. And besides, there’s nothing worse than a broke ass “square one”.