Career & Money Experiment #1: The Savings Game
Well, hello there! I am overflowing with inspiration for this month’s theme and have been learning a LOT from our experts! I have no idea how I am going to cram all these nuggets of wisdom into 1 month of posts, but I swear on Mark Cuban’s empire that I will do my best to narrow down my top 4 happiness experiments when it comes to dream jobs & dolla dolla billz.
That being said… through interviews, articles, books, and blogs, I have found one major money theme that seems elusive to us twentysomethings, and we MUST experiment with it.
I’m referring to The art of SAVING.
Let’s be honest… when it comes to money, saving is boring. SPENDING is the fun part. But in the long run, your shopping sprees are more likely to leave you penniless & feeling more guilty than happy. You don’t want to end up like Brittany Murphy at the start of Uptown Girls.
You probably want a house and a car and some cushion for retirement one day, right? Even if it’s not currently your top priority, I can guarantee that you won’t regret having a little money saved up when there is something BIG you want. There are tons of strategies when it comes to saving, but none of them really inspired me. It was easy to justify depositing to my Checking Account when there were always at least 3 things I knew I wanted to buy. The idea of “savings” sounded too vague and far off to motivate me to contribute a substantial amount each month, even though I knew I should. And since getting married, it became even more difficult to save! My husband would see me spend money on chipotle, and then he would justify going out with the guys, or vice versa. I used to save up for travel with no problem, but now, where was all my money going?
I was complaining about this boring subject that needed to be addressed to my friend Alexandria, and her face lit up. “Do you have a vision board?” she asked. “Of course, I have a vision board!” I replied, as if this was an obvious answer. (If you don’t know what a vision board is, pause and peep what you’re missing) “I have a savings system that is kind of like vision board savings.” she explained.
THUS, EXPERIMENT #1 WAS BORN: VISION BOARD SAVINGS
1. Get Pictures, Frames & Jars Print out 1-3 pictures of big ticket items that you want. (Mine are a flight to Paris/Sevilla, a JoyBird Couch, and a Disc Golf Bag for my husband). The pictures are key because this is what you will look at every day to get inspired about the process of saving. It feels like shopping, but it will train you to step away from your need for instant gratification. Get three jars or piggy banks to go in front of each picture & frame the picture &/or price of the items.
2. Get Specific As with any goal, it needs to be specific & measurable. So make sure to know and list the price of each goal. If it’s a vacation, calculate how much the flights, hotels, etc. will run you. The more specific, the more real it will feel and the more likely you are to reach your savings goal.
3. Know How Much You’re Saving Keep tabs on your progress so that you can see that you are getting closer to your goal! If you only have $50 to go before you are able to dip your toes in the sand on your Bahamas trip, I bet you’ll put a little extra hustle into your step that day and think twice before splurging on a Caramel Macchiato.
4. Shopping at Home When I asked Alexandria how she avoids the temptation of taking money out of the jar when she wants something little, she told me about how she gets her shopping fix from the jars! Some days I come home after a rough commute and realize I REALLY want that new car, more than anything else. I go straight to my room, take $20 from my vacation jar and put it into the car piggybank. Then the next day I’ll come home from a long day at work and put that $20 right back into the vacation jar. I get my shopping fix, but am not actually spending any money!” So. Freaking. Brilliant. If you’re tempted to spend, take a look at your pictures again! Can you feel Paris around the corner? Ahhhh mon amour!
Saving with intention has motivated my husband and I refocus our spending on what we really want. We used to constantly claim that our money was “disappearing” but that’s just the product of having a lack of focus for our savings! Experiment with this savings tip and let me know if it gets you as excited about savings as it does for me!