When I was young, I was gifted the coolest plastic safe. It was deep grey with a bright purple handle that you would spin to open and it had clinking sound effects whenever you opened the safe and deposited money. Since this was before I had a savings account, I threw all of my money in there until it would all fall out when I opened the safe. Eventually, my plastic safe became a thing of the past when the handle wouldn’t fully turn thus locking all of my precious belongings inside. After having to break the safe, everything was swiftly moved into my first real savings account.
Since opening that savings account, I admittedly have had ups and downs. At one point I had around $4,000 saved but by the end of college I had $900 to my name – quite a difference. Now, let me preface this next paragraph by saying, everyone is different when it comes to saving money!
As I started to receive regular paychecks from my first entry level job, I had my full check deposited into my checking account. All of my bills are automatically paid from this account. At that time of my life, I was constantly buying plane tickets to see my boyfriend in South Carolina so I knew I wanted to keep a secure amount in my checking account. Because of this, I adopted a unique method of savings. I would set a baseline for the amount I wanted in my checking account at any time – let’s say $3,000. I would then determine how much I wanted to transfer over to my savings – we will make this $10,000. This means that I would have to have $13,000 in my checking before I could transfer over the $10,000.
For most people, you’re probably scratching your head thinking, “this is not the most effective way of saving money. By depositing money into your checking, you’re more inclined to spend it.” I get it! I am no money expert and I am not saying everyone should do this but it has worked for me. And man, it feels good when you are finally able to transfer over that goal amount, but holy cow is it scary when you see that new balance in your checking account after!
More than a year ago, I decided to take on a second job as a spin instructor. Truthfully, I didn’t take the job for monetary reasons. I genuinely just love health and fitness and creating music playlists for class – the money was just an added bonus! So, here is where my mindset shifted. With this paycheck, I didn’t need the money because I had already been living comfortably with the money I was receiving from my day job. Because of this, I started to automatically have my spin money deposited into my savings. This spin money was my “out of sight, out of mind” source of income. I’d receive a check, deposit it, and forget about it so I wouldn’t spend it! With this mindset, the spin money wasn’t as easily available to me which has helped on my savings journey.
Over the course of 4 years, I have finally reached the ultimate savings goal that I had set when I graduated college. It has taken some will power (i.e. you don’t need those shoes) and it hasn’t been all that easy as life happens and there have been major setbacks. I am still proud of myself for making it this far!
Here are some tips and tricks I’ve learned throughout my savings journey:
Category: Saving & Investing Money
You just got home from your beach vacation. Instead of unpacking, you spend hours scrolling through photos reminiscing about your time away. But then reality sets in when you realize it is Sunday night and you have to work the next day. Your stomach grumbles but the fridge is empty because you haven't been grocery shopping for 2 weeks.
It is officially summertime, you’ve put in the request for some time off at work and you’re ready for some much needed R&R! You finally start to plan out your vacation getaway, and then… you see that the expenses are adding up quickly. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination and realize you’re out of money. So how do you plan a vacation without overspending, that also fits your budget?!
Spring is finally upon us! While most people are thinking about spring cleaning their homes, it is equally as important to think about cleaning your finances. Yes, just like that one crinkled shirt hidden in the depths of your closet that you promise “you will wear one day” – your finances need some reevaluating, too! So, where do we even start? Here are a few tips and tricks to start spring cleaning your finances:
Before we start, I already know what you’re thinking, “Olivia, you’re not good at saving money. Is this going to be a huge flop like the ’No Spend November‘ challenge?” And my answer: potentially. I always do my best to be transparent when it comes to money… and I am a work in progress! I cannot guarantee this spending plan is going to be my “a-ha moment” where I get my life and finances together, but it is worth a shot!
Ah, February – the month where love is in the air and, for us single folk, it is the month where we get amazing deals on post-Valentine’s Day chocolates. In February, relationships are celebrated with romantic dinners and roses, however, there is an important relationship that often goes uncelebrated – your relationship with yourself!
When you’re 25 years old, retirement seems so far away. Even though I have at least 40 more years in the work force (sigh) I still know that one day I am going to be burnt out from working 5 days a week- I already am! Eventually, I’ll need to stop working as hard as I am now to enjoy some relaxation except I can’t get to that point if I run out of money prematurely.
When my mom was growing up, my grandparents would pull off the clown car illusion of stuffing every neighborhood kid into their car to go get an ice cream cone every Friday night. There were days when my grandparents had only a couple dollars in their pockets, yet, they never turned anyone down.
The painful truth for most people my age- we have no clue how to file taxes. And what do you do when you have no clue how to do something? Ask your parents!
When I was 10 years old, I envisioned that by age 23 I would be an “adult.” I’d be married and living in a colonial home that I’d raise my family in. Fast forward 16 years. At 26 years old, I am not married, I still live at home with my parents and I couldn’t imagine having kids of my own right now. It seems laughable now but how did my 10 year old vision change so drastically over the years?
Is anyone else confused at how it is already 2022?! Growing up, I always felt that the years were so much longer. However, the older I get the more I realize how quickly each day goes by. I began my career at the credit union when I was young and fresh out of college. Now, I am in my late 20’s and my back pops when I bend over!
Hi my name is Olivia and I am a total clothes horse. I buy for a mixture of reasons, including being a spin instructor so always “needing” new workout sets or severely overestimating the amount of times I go outside my house. In reality, I wear the same t-shirt and sweatpants every day (yay for working from home!). Essentially, I have spent so much on clothes that my bedroom has started to look like a TJ Maxx popup shop.
At one point in my post-grad career, I had to temporarily switch to an Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan. This option stipulated that the loan payments were going to be based on my annual income. I was only on this plan for about one year but I was paying almost $200 less than what my regular payments were supposed to be.
When I was young, I was gifted the coolest plastic safe. It was deep grey with a bright purple handle that you would spin to open and it had clinking sound effects whenever you opened the safe and deposited money. Since this was before I had a savings account, I threw all of my money in there until it would all fall out when I opened the safe.
According to a survey from CreditCards.com, “47% of Americans are carrying credit card debt.” This statistic would make my grandfather furious if he heard it. He would often say to me, “Vivi, the world started to go downhill once they introduced plastic money!” Following my grandfather’s testament to the downfall of society, he would then tell me the story of how he used to always leave a wad of cash in his work locker for emergencies.
If you’ve been a regular reader of the ThinkPink blog series, you should be well-versed on the importance of a budget. When it comes to saving money and having a plan, a budget is one of the best ways to take control of your finances and reach your financial goals. However, I’ve found that following through with a plan can be cumbersome and while there may be momentum in the beginning, eventually it fizzles out before a goal is even reached. Why is that?
For some readers, the No Spend Challenge could be done with ease and that is awesome! For me, a No Spend Challenge is difficult. It is especially hard when participating during the month of November. Let’s cue the smallest violin here, again. For starters, every store is now fully stocked with their transitional fall into winter pieces, which is arguably the best season for creating outfits.
When you graduate from college, one of the first things that you start to save toward is getting your own place. You just lived on your own for 4 years and had that taste of “freedom.” You could go about as you pleased without having to tell your parents where you were going at 11:00 pm. And if your diet consisted of late-night pizza and mozzarella sticks then so be it. College is essentially a 4-year long sleepover with your closest friends but then one day it ends and before you know it you are back in your bedroom at home.
Since starting this blog in 2020, we've covered a wide range of topics. It has been fun doing deep dives into the world of personal finance. All this big thinking, though, can cause us to gloss over basic financial principles.