Hello my beautiful wildflowers. Happy Monday!
So, let’s get down to it. Ya girl has been trying to save her money for the past couple months. Mostly for a trip I’m taking this winter, but also, my parents kindly informed me of my approaching graduation date, along with my approaching financial independence. Scary stuff, right? Definitely not ready for that slap of reality. But, if we’re being honest, it’s long overdue to gain some financial stability and prepare myself for my independent future.
The first step I took was opening a savings account (very fun and exciting!!). Let’s be honest, I will spend every penny in my checking account if it just sits there. I swipe my card until I get an email saying I have no money left (this method is not recommended.) That being said, a savings account had to be put in place if I was actually going to save any of my money.
Something I found out: it is so easy to open a savings account. I thought I was going to have to go into the bank and set one up through meeting with a banker (ugh, human interaction), but I was able to do it online. It took me like 5 minutes. So simple.
Most of my first paycheck I received after opening my new account was put into savings, and man, it felt good. I felt accomplished, adult even. But then the second and third paycheck comes, maybe while you’re browsing clothes in a boutique, and you think, well, I could just spend some of it now on these really cute clothes that make me feel good about myself instead of putting it into savings. What’s $50 less in a savings account?
Girl, that is a slippery slope. If you’re trying to really save your money, you’ve got to be disciplined. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of gal, so I need to either be super disciplined and put the same amount of money into my savings account each paycheck, or spend all of my money on clothes. There is honestly no in-between. That’s not to say that you can’t splurge on a cute outfit, but budget that money into your income. Budgeting is a whole new ball game for me, and I am very far from being good at it, but “fun money” is just as important to budget as savings and bills. Create a budget that allows you to spend for yourself, and don’t feel guilty about it.
Another thing I’ve learned in my short savings spree is to be consistent with it. Do it at the same time every month, putting a similar amount into the account. This allows the saving process to become regularized, and is less painful putting the money away as you come to expect it. Also having consistency in your savings makes planning for future expenses more predictable. I calculated in the summer how much money I would have by the fall to put a deposit down for a trip I am taking, and I knew I would have enough by a certain date. Consistency is key for planning for future expenses.
(Sidenote: I feel like the character in Confessions of a Shopaholic when she writes an article about saving money even though she is terrible at it. I am the girl with the green scarf. But also, she was right when she wrote that saving your money is an investment in yourself. It really is. Believe in your future self enough to save money for her.)
Overall, saving money is an important step to take toward adulthood. Whether you are approaching a new phase in your life, or want to become more financially independent, savings help you achieve those goals. Is it fun all the time? Heck no. Will you want to blow it off and spend your money on cute clothes? Probably. But hang in there. Think about your future self and how happy she will be when she doesn’t have to stress about affording life. And just think of all the cute clothes future you will be able to afford with her full-time income…
Until then, save on, my lovelies! You’re worth the investment.