There was a term I read once in a financial self-help book called”stagnant cash” that refers to the allure of money when you’ve saved up a lot.
I watched as my overspending got out of hand. I was too stubborn to jot down our expenditures – we’d spent the past 2 months not eating out, hardly buying ourselves anything, and acting like energy freaks – we forgot how nice it was to spend money as if you had no financial worries. We have fallen so low below our goal after reaching it. After the Christmas gift-giving rush, crochet sales dropped. The shop has not become a source for part-time income, so as I stir that pot, I cook another idea. I knew that the fastest way to save money was to get a second job. Just until I got a few things off my nagging list. One thing I like to do to stay focused on my financial goals is to jot down 3 Financial Goals.
(The trick though is to remind yourself weekly of these goals. Rewrite them in your planner.)
we had cut through more than half our savings. I was disappointed, and it started to cause a riff in my relationship. I’d go to my husband and say, “We need to stop spending so much money, you need to stop using the debit card, we need to stop eating out,” and he’d hold me close and tell me simply that he wasn’t worried about our bills. We had money. He was going to spend his money if he had it. He’d cut back a little. “It’s not like I don’t want us to enjoy ourselves, but we need to control it.” And he’d say we’re doing fine, that I worry too much.
I hadn’t kept my records of all my purchases, like I’d been doing for the past few months. I gave up keeping track of my tips, and hadn’t logged in Every Dollar in a very long time. If it wasn’t for this amazing app, I would’ve never got my apartment, or been prepared to fix our car, or have the security to travel. I owed it to myself and all my hard earned cash to start my budget this march, and get back into the habit of saving money.By this time, we were supposed to have 2 grand, but that wasn’t in the cards now. I had gambled too much, played too hard, and now I was starting over.
To make up for lost time, and the fastest way to save money, I got another job. I had a dog to save, a small business to get off the ground, and a new vehicle to work towards.
One thing I like to do is set 3 Financial Goals. Every month like a mission statement, i post it in my planner. It’s anything short-term that will help with your long-term financial success.Here are mine to give you an example.<3
* * * * for the month of March, 3 Financial Goals * * * * *
quit buying fast food, save $300,
double sales from last month
How I Saved Money
- CREATE A BUDGET. Keep track of your expenditures, your living expenses, and your monthly income. I’ve made several attempts over the past few years, and I’m so happy I discovered everydollar.com, invented by financial guru Dave Ramsey. I heard about him from a lady at a checkout one day, who took out this colorful finance planner. (I’m a sucker for fabulous organization!) I can’t explain any other way than to GET this. Years later, I checked out a book of his, where he helps you live financially independent by living below your monthly income.
- WHAT PROVIDES THE MOST MEANING AND PURPOSE? I ask this question alot. The point is this: is it a worthwhile investment? They say money can’t buy happiness, but it really helps when you spend your money on areas you can grow. Buy soul food. Look at the bigger picture. In the long run, if you go without the smartphone, you can save enough money to travel. Buy experience, not materials. This is my mindset.
- USE WHAT YOU HAVE – Revamp, re-purpose. I remind myself to use what I have in the kitchen before I go shopping. Nothing goes to waste.
- A PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNED – pretty simple concept. In your budget, where can you save money? Cheaper car insurance? Cheaper apartment? Save electricity. Save on gas. Avoid late fees.
- SELL YOUR HOBBY – I’ve been crocheting since 2011, and I just did it to have fun, making nerdy stuff animals and warm clothes for myself in the winter, when friends would say ‘you should try to sell these’ or ‘you could make money like this’. i started to think these were hints from the Higher Up, urging me to give it a shot. It’s not expensive to start an etsy account. I look for support from friends, co-workers, and family. And Ive actually sold 6 crochet items! i made an extra $24.65 I put straight to my road trip fund.
- CREATE A MEAL PLAN, NEVER GO TO THE MARKET WITHOUT A LIST – Buy what you need first, only bring what you want to spend. I purposely leave my debit card home. I use what i have and go off that, and build meal plans. Here’s a FREE printable weekly meal planner!
- SET 3 FINANCIAL GOALS – this helps me focus, and work harder when i know what i’m working towards.
- INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY – either get a part-time job or work extra hours. fastest way to save up some money.
- TIME IS MONEY – don’t forget that the most important things in life aren’t cash, coins, or the newest trend. it’s the people you surround yourself with, not how fat your wallet feels.
- SELL GOODS YOU DON’T USE – i have clothes that have hung in my closet for years. I’m not saying get rid of that sheer top your sister gave you on your last summer together, but i am saying maybe you could sell those Steve Madden heels that don’t really fit you. I’m also interested in trading items, i traded a book on esoteric anatomy for a book on women archetypes. I traded a crochet drawstring bag for a blue geode necklace. A crochet headband for a bracelet. Crochet wristlets for a glass pendant, a mermaid tail for hoop tape, and beanies for new shoes.
- USE LOCAL RESOURCES – getting food assistance is something for every one, start vending at a local shop, and again sometimes people are willing to trade something of equal value or maybe aren’t using something you can always ask. I used to have a hard time asking people for help, but you’ll be surprised and find people who care about you and want to encourage you.
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