According to a 2018 GOBankingRates survey, people’s savings accounts are not looking good, with some millennials having $0 in savings. After reading that, I realized that I am definitely in the minority with my money-saving mindset and take saving a lot more seriously than most. At 34 years young, I want it all but I don’t want to spend it all. I enjoy the “now,” but I also love preparing for the future, whether it be for a house, a trip, a family or just a rainy day of online splurging. And, because of that, I spend more time saving — 50 percent of my income, to be exact.
Whether someone’s salary is $30,000 or $300,000 — I’ve been a saver since my mid-20s and know both ends of the salary spectrum — the logistics remain the same. And, over the past 10 years, I’ve gotten myself into habits that have helped me manage my hefty savings along the way.
Track Spending and Set Goals to be Able to Splurge
I work extremely hard and if I can’t reap the fruits of my labor then what’s the point? I know so many people who love saving but are afraid of spending; and although saving is amazing, spending is what makes my life enjoyable, so I never deprive myself of things that I want.
With that said, when I want something pricey, I tell myself to think about it for a week. If I truly feel, after that week ends, that I want it and I need it, then I get it — but while knowing whether or not I should buy it based on what I’ve spent thus far. With apps like Mint, I can track what I spend, so I know if I can buy the new dress I want or take an extra vacation. I play a bit of a mind game to keep things interesting and set goals so I can attain (purchase) certain things that I want. If I don’t meet those goals, I am not allowed to purchase them, and vice versa.
Meal Prep to Save
Money prep and meal prep go hand in hand. I prepare my food week like my financial week: planning out meals and sticking to it — but now and then I give myself a cheat day. I still go out to restaurants, but I do it more methodically. At one point, I was spending, on average, $1,000+ per month dining out.
“Homemade” wasn’t necessarily that much better, especially when going grocery shopping on an empty stomach and thinking I needed about 20 more food items then I would be able to eat within the proper expiration date. When I stopped frivolously spending money dining out and focused more on what I was spending and purchasing at the grocery store, I made my body, mind and wallet healthier.
Always Allow Money to Make Money
My biggest rule of thumb is to always have my money making me money at all times. I think most people feel that saving doesn’t allow you to spend, but I see things differently, as saving correctly allows me to spend more. I never let money sit in an account that’s not generating something and creating more wealth for me. For example, after shopping the best interest-bearing savings account, I learned that the HSBC Direct Savings Account offered 2.22% APY. Once I put money into something like this, I give myself a goal to keep it there for at least 12 months before I can touch it. I even pretend like it’s not there at all, so I don’t focus on the savings cushion but rather focus on my current work and business — and generating more income.
Click through to read more about solutions to common savings mistakes.
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