According to recent GOBankingRates survey, 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 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% 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.
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.
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