Saving money has always been a struggle for me. I was a bonafide shopaholic due to working at the outlets and having tons of friends who also worked retail (can you say hookup?!). Changing my ways has actually improved my life; I no longer have the persistent urge to buy and keep “stuff,” and purging has now become somewhat of a cathartic experience. I feel myself having less and less of an attachment to material possessions, which has stopped my money from leaking out, and has resulted in me saving enough to take an amazing trip to Europe. It has been quite a shift for me, and I want share what I have learned with all of you!
Have a set goal to work towards. For me, it’s mainly traveling. For others, it may be a new handbag/car/appliance, paying off debt, preparing to move from an apartment to a house, moving out of your parent’s home, etc. Writing down & setting realistic goals will help you get over the inevitable bumps along the road.
Get rid of unnecessary expenses. I started this step by analyzing my online accounts and seeing where most of my money was being funneled. The main three for me were going out at night, eating out, and clothes shopping; after that I cut out cable TV entirely & frequent yoga classes. Old habits are extremely hard to break, but my persistence was all worth it when I booked my dream trip.
Direct deposit/transfer a set amount to savings. I try to do this ASAP after getting paid. I usually pay my bills first (thanks to Mrs. Mitchell’s wise advice), then I transfer $75-150 depending on what’s leftover. When I use this system, I know exactly how much I have to work with until the next cycle.
Stop giving & receiving gifts. This is a tough one, especially since we live in the land of consumerism. I had an epiphany a few years ago after which I decided that I wasn’t going to contribute to our global waste crisis. My parents and I decided that our Christmases would be gift-free, so now we invest that gift money on a nice meal or an outing instead. Although I do give presents here and there, holidays just aren’t my thing. I’d much rather share experiences than exchange gifts, so I’m slowly trying to convince the rest of our family to join us.
Sell gently used items. This was a big one for me, namely because I was so into brand name clothing before I lost weight. I’ve sold on many different platforms, but I’ve had the most success with Poshmark. It’s a great way to buy & sell used items for a great price. Simple and straightforward process, little initial investment, decent returns. If you’re interested in joining, feel free to use code JDSWB to get $10 off! While you’re at it, take a look around my closet: @nirvanazure.
Reward yourself. This is an important one to remember. Although you have a finish line to reach, it feels good to treat yourself every once in a while! Enjoy the fruits of your labor and determination. I just bought a ticket to a Cultura Profética concert, which is an amazing reggae band from Puerto Rico that I love …. yea it’s $30 less for my trip, but a small expenditure like that won’t break the bank, and I know I’m going to have a blast.
It’s a slow process, but you are totally in control of your budget and your priorities. Keep your goals in mind, watch dem dollaz stack up, & remember to have fun along the way! Hopefully we can all start the process of detachment from consumerism and focus on using our resources to share memories. Comment below if you have any additional tips for saving, I’d love to read them!