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In today’s economy it is getting harder and harder to save. Minimum wage goes up resulting in the cost of living to go up. We still strive as a society to the image of “keeping up with the Jones’” when in reality it is making people spend money they don’t have. Putting thousands of dollars on credit cards, refinancing their homes, and having to get multiple jobs to just keep up with bills. Most of the time ending with people losing their homes or filling bankruptcy. People try these programs such as ItWorks, Youngliving, Beachbody, etc. But what they don’t tell you is that most people who try to make that their income source can barely make extra side money. There is a very low percentage of people who actually come out on top from doing programs like those listed above.
I, myself, have tried multiple but it is definitely not a get rich quick thing or get rich at all for that matter.
My number one strategy for you to try is work hard, save what you can, and invest in your future. Why rent and pay someone else’s mortgage or put money in someone else’s account? The cost of rentals especially in Southern Oregon has gone up tremendously.
I worked two jobs, built up my credit by putting money on my credit cards and paying them off each month. And, I was pre-approved at 21 years old for a home loan of 200k. That was hard especially for a single person, but I looked at houses for months and bought a house on almost an acre and a half of property. Which I signed for and got the keys a month after turning 22 years old.
You our might not think you can do it now… you might even think it’s not worth all the work… but let me tell you it is!
It is worth being exhausted, it’s worth trying to juggle work, school, friends, and finances. I had to break down and budget in a weekly night out with friends to help me stay sane. That is how I made it work. It will not be the same for everyone but why not invest in you? If I stay on the same payment plan I will have my house paid off by the time I’m 45. At which time I can either rent it out, sell it, or put what would have been my house payment in a retirement fund or investment account.
But… this may not be the right road for you. If it is, watch the housing market and interest rates. I bought when they were both low and can make a profit if I sold now but I decided to keep it and invest it into my future.
Tips for Saving Money:
- Get a printed copy of the last three months of your bank and credit card statements. Look at how much you spend in each category. My top two things were food and entertainment.
- Don’t eat out or get coffees as often even $5 a day adds up… in 30 days you have spent $150. But realistically we spend more… I was spending about $18 on average a day on drinks at Starbucks and breakfast (and/or lunch). That’s right.. I was spending around $540 a month on average for things I could have made at home for way cheaper!
- Put aside a rainy day fund. I normally do $50-$100 a month. This helps if you want to plan a vacation, road trip, or even money for a day out. You can keep it in a savings account, a drawer, a container, a safe, etc. For easy access and accountability on my part I put it in a mason jar. Simple. Easy. And does the job.
- Giving yourself a spending limit on certain things can be great as well. I have been told envelopes work great for this, especially for women, you mark each one and you don’t spend more than that. Even if that means you’ll be eating ramen for a week. Men… I’ve hear paper clipping money in your wallet works the same way and you just use different colored paper clips.
These are just a few helpful tips and tricks that have helped me. Yes, I’m not perfect and I’m definitely not the best at saving or prioritizing but it all starts with one small change and a goal.
Set a goal whether it is traveling, savings, buying a house, having a backup fund, a child’s education fund, or even starting up your own business. Setting a goal no matter how big or small can push you in the right direction and give you a push to prioritize.