I’m sitting here listening to a song called Stir Fry by a group called “Migos” thinking about how I want to show up in this blog post today. I’m also reflecting on the tumultuous relationship I had with money over the years. At the same time, I am excited because I meet with a financial planner for the first time tomorrow! I also want your savings and investment accounts to be lit this year!
One of the most common cliché New Year’s resolutions is the commitment to save money followed by the commitment to lose weight of course. Many people have difficulty sticking to either because they have not developed a plan on how they intend to accomplish those goals. Or they set goals that are too broad or not specific. After listening to several podcast shows on various topics and doing hours of research, I came up with my own personal list of how I want to save money and what steps I’m going to take to accomplish each line item. Below are some tasks that I have already completed, in the process of completing, or contemplating on. How do you like the three C’s? Creative, right? Check this out!
Re-Evaluate your Budget
On January 1, 2018, I whipped out my iPhone, opened my Mint App and reviewed each line item in my budget. After 15 minutes, I found an additional $100 that could be re-allocated into my savings account. The budget for the supermarket was still a little expensive for one person, the shopping budget was reduced because Christmas was over, and the budget for credit card spending was reduced. In regards to credit card spending, I never spend more than 30% of the available balance each month and I pay the bill off in full or in two billing cycles before the due date. As a result, my credit score has gone up substantially, and I’m not incurring credit card interest by paying just the minimum or carrying a balance every month. You should try it.
Decrease unnecessary spending
Unnecessary spending for me was immediately replacing things when I run out knowing that it wasn’t an immediate need. For example, if I run out of oatmeal, I would immediately replace it instead of eating the abundant amount of Cream of Wheat in the cabinet. Or buying a book when I haven’t finished reading the books on the shelf. There is a little impulsivity there. Trust me, it can wait.
Increase your insurance deductibles
I decided to raise my car insurance deductibles in order to decrease my monthly bill. Insurance is a necessary evil. We pay so much for it and we don’t seem to use or need it, until we need it. Only do this if you have enough money in your savings account to cover your deductible in the event that something happens.
Lower your cable bill
This is a big one! Most people don’t even have cable anymore, but I still do. It is overpriced. I went to a basic package with one movie channel and kept internet, alarm system, cameras, and phone service. It’s not over yet! I’m sure there is a better deal once this contract ends, which takes me to the next item on the list.
Ditch the cable
Most people are happy with Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Streaming, Firesticks, or whatever they are using to watch television these days. Being in a relationship with cable is complicated, just like peoples’ Facebook statuses. We like having that security blanket and we think we’re getting a deal, but we’re not.
Sell things that you no longer use
I just opened an eBay account and I have yet to place items on it. I’m contemplating on it still. I’ve heard that people have been very successful using this and other online stores such as Craigslist, Facebook Market Place, and Amazon. Standby by, I’ll land the plane on this one eventually.
I know you’re on the go, and you don’t have time, blah, blah, blah. I have two jobs, but I manage to pack a lunch. If you’re not going to pack lunch this week, then save money in another category, like the supermarket. This will enable you to spend money on your takeout meals. I hope they are healthy.
Pay your smaller debts off first
After you’ve paid off a smaller debt, start applying that money to other debt. Refer to Dave Ramsey’s snowball method. Click here to read my book review.
Join some Facebook groups
This has been so motivating to me. I participate in multiple, diverse groups on Facebook that are all about saving, investing, money management, retirement savings and earning more money. Currently, I participate in Black Women Who Budget, Dream Catchers, Choose FI, Journey to Launch, and Paychecks and Balances to name a few. In fact, my first group meeting with Choose FI is next week. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Seek professional help
If you are really clueless about life like me, seek professional help from a financial planner, financial advisor, or a money coach. Only do this if you can afford to cover the costs. If you are living paycheck-to-paycheck, focus on paying off your debt and starting your emergency fund. There’s an abundance of information on the internet and credit counseling services that can assist you. I have an appointment with a financial planner this week to make sure that I’m heading in the right direction. I also needed a different perspective on managing finances, debt payoff strategies, and assistance with estate planning amongst other things.
Participate in savings challenges
I found out about the savings challenges through various Facebook groups. I printed some out and pasted them on a vision board. The charts give me structure because there is a specific savings goal set for each month. Click here to see some examples.
Last but not least, if you are not lazy, like I am sometimes, pick up a part-time job or some overtime at your main 9-5. I’ve mentioned this before and I will keep on mentioning it until you hear me. This is a surefire way to pay off some bills quickly and to stack that dough. Check out the books below!
Readers, what money saving tips can you offer our community?
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