I did not know. There was no way of knowing. I wasn’t taught. My pockets were on fire.
Give me all of this and a little bit of that.
In college, I started to acquire a taste for nice things meaning that those things were simply out of my price range. I was not the girl whose parents/guardians gave them money on a set frequency, so those Jessica Simpson shoes or that Nine West bag should not have been on my list of wants. Since they were on the list and I had to be that kid - I purchased when I could. My work-study job didn’t really lend to the idea of me keeping up with the jones, so I was broke all of the time. I thought this was how life was supposed to be in college because it was ok to be reckless with your money at that age. I was so wrong. What I should have been doing was saving or at least learning more about money, so I could be fully prepared when I received “real” money.
Once I graduated from college, I didn’t know where to start. People were ALWAYS telling me “You need to save,” but no one offered any tips on how I was going to go about saving. It was just a couple of years ago that I really started to take things seriously. It was a hard process for me, so I would like to share some of the steps I took.
1. Save something – I did not know how to start but, what I had been told is that once you start to see your money grow it will give you a sense of empowerment. Every time I was paid I would take the money left over from the last paycheck and transfer it to my savings account. I didn’t care about the amount I just made sure something was going into my savings.
2. Budget – Know where your money is going. My budget has everything from my rent to how much money I am willing to lend to someone.
3. Pay off your debt – My aunt and uncle helped a ton with this because they provided the information for the Dave Ramsey’s method and they constantly checked in. I ran with it. Earlier this year I became debt free, no student loans, car payment, or credit card debt.
4. Automatic draft – I have a few different savings account, which a certain amount every pay period is allocated to all of my accounts. This works for me because it removes the option to spend it because it’s essentially money I don’t have.
5. Create a new zero – Never let your account get to zero. For example when you get down to $500 you no longer have any money to spend because this is your zero. Don’t lie to yourself because dinner with your friends or that extra drink at the bar will hurt your pockets.
6. Earn more money – There is money out there to be made, lots of it. The easiest way for me right now is I negotiate my salary. I have been promoted three times and every time I refused to be paid the standard increase.
The goal is to have fuck you money.
I took the time to understand my relationship with money, set goals, and followed what I listed above to reach those goals. Now I am human and I do get a carried away sometimes, but I always get back on track because I have a hefty end goal.
Find what works for you.