Hey y’all I’m back and as you can tell from the title of this post I am going to talk about money! What I do to budget, save, & pay down debt.
So what does budgeting mean to me? Budgeting to me is making sure all of my money is accounted for for the month. I have recently got into literally creating an excel document and budgeting my income for the month. It’s very crucial for me to do this because I get paid monthly. I budget for all my bills (even Hulu, Tidal, etc.). I include the money I plan to save for the month. I even include the allowance for spending money that I give myself for the month. I haven’t gotten into the habit of budgeting my allowance but I’ve contemplated changing that as well!
I know how to budget, my problem is saving money! How can I better save money? Saving money kind of came second nature to me after I was taught the importance of it. I was recently having a conversation with someone and she mentioned how saving money is literally a skill that not everyone is equipped with. I couldn’t agree more with her statement! Saving money can be HARD! It’s like you put money away but something comes up so you rob Peter to pay Paul and then it becomes sort of a cycle. STOP DOING THAT! Below are some tips I’ve picked up along the way for saving money.
- Create a budget for yourself and figure out how much you can comfortably save for yourself. Be as thorough as possible when creating this list.
- Once you figure out a good amount open up a savings account that is not directly linked to your checkings account. What this will do is not give you easy access to the funds and make you jump through a little more hoops to transfer that money.
- Next, through your employer HR set up a direct deposit of your comfortable calculated savings amount and get it directly put into your savings! What this does is creates an out of sight out of mind mindset (hopefully).
- Something else I do is save small amounts throughout the month with a couple money saving apps through my smart phone. One app I use is Acorns. Acorns has all of my cards linked and they take roundups from my daily spendings. Ex. I spend $4.50 they round it up and deposit. $0.50 into my acorns account. I typically save about $30 a month on average doing this but those small amounts add up. I recently traveled to New York and all of my spending came from that account! Another money saving app I use is Stash. I actually budget for stash because I deposit a monthly amount into my account. With Stash you can invest your money in companies, beliefs, balance, or life. They breakdown the type of investments and let you know if it is an aggressive, moderate, or conservative investment. Once you invest a portfolio is created for you to review at any moment and let you know how you’re doing. Should you get dividends from your investment, they will get directly deposited into your Stash account as cash to invest or deposit in your checkings account. Stash also does a daily “Smart Stash” where they save money from my account daily based on what I have in there and the amount is never no more than $5. Both apps will pause withdraws if you are at risk of getting overdrawn (because hey it happens to the best of us). Both apps are beneficial to me personally because I use them for different purposes but I would say do your research and find out what’s best for you!
So you’re good with budgeting and saving money but you’re having issues with actually paying your debt down. What to do then? STOP USING THOSE CREDIT CARDS! I’m right now trying to get out of the habit of unnecessary spending. I’m learning to decipher between the things I need vs want and telling myself no to the wants. I noticed early on I was paying my credit cards but wasn’t seeing change to my credit score because I was consistently still using them. What did I do? I took all of my credit cards out of my wallet (no I wasn’t dramatic enough to cut them). What this did was even if I wanted it I didn’t have the spending money to buy it so it made saying no a little easier. I also downloaded the app Qoins. Qoins has a similar round up feature as Acorns where they round my daily spendings up the the nearest dollar but with the saved money from them, they directly pay on the principal balance of my bill of choice. This amount has also averaged to be about $30 a month but hey it’s something!
So I say all this to say what?! Yes getting your coin together can be very difficult but it’s so many tools and resources to help you budget, save, etc. We are on our phones all the time anyway so why not use it for good?!
“For knowing that the bad is our choice and the good is our choice. And to work to choose the good. Every day. In every way.” – Elaine Welteroth