Getting ahead financially, starting a savings with a minimum of $2000, and paying off $4000 worth of debt
during the 2020 pandemic .
Over the past few years I’ve never really been that great with money .
Actually If I had to give myself a grade to sum up my relationship with the checks I used to work for, it’d probably be a D- .
From the start of time with becoming a working woman in my junior year of high school my number one focus when that
direct deposit hit was new clothes and a lot of eating out.
Of course at the time I had no financial responsibilities but I wish money management would’ve been instilled in me as a preparation to the real world. When I look at the way I’ve been managing and thinking about money over this past year,
I think no way the girl who would’ve given herself a D- or even an F at some points ...would now give herself a proud A.
The Big Bang
Most people think their money goals aren’t achievable without the salary, and although I think that can be true for some circumstances, I believe the mindset that you have around finances and your financial achievements will also greatly be a reflection
of how you use any salary, big or small.
This year I got my first big girl job, making about $35,000/yr - Now I don’t know about you guys but as a 21 year old black women theres no one directly within my environment who looks like me and is making that kind of money.
Before this job I was a starving and stubborn creative, who could never imagine allowing the structure in my life of a 9-5. Back then I was willing to work just about any job here and there if that meant I had more time to do and create the things I loved - which ultimately is the goal, but I wasn’t able to do that yet in a way that was healthy for myself financially and emotionally. All of my time had been spent being stressed about not being able to pay a bill or just being annoyed with the personal debt I was accumulating with family members and my inability to spend my money in the places I wanted.
- End of story was I actually needed a stable pay check to support a true goal towards creating my freedom.
When I first got this job at the top of the year I knew that if my habits didn’t change, my outcome would stay the same - And this is what I mean when I say that the money is always there but the willingness to know the knowledge of redefining your financial fingerprint is commonly a missing trait.
The ideals of the life I’m working towards greatly influence my choices I make today with finances.
This money story is a representation of what’s important to me in my everyday life and near future.
So before you begin scrambling to throw a few dollars in a savings account or getting a 2nd or 3rd job, I personally encourage you to scribe your vision of what’s important to you now and where you want to be . . . Alright let’s get into it .
Of course day to day spending can’t have that much regulation; With gas prices forever changing and the groceries you buy switching up from week to week. Overtime I’ve just given myself a ballpark budget when it comes to what I spend at the grocery store and farmers market. If I know I’m gonna be in the mood to eat out a lot that week, then i’m already mentally prepared to have less to spend on groceries for the house and Dollar Tree becomes my Whole Foods for the week.
“I’ll be honest and say that setting this day to day budget is something that I struggle with a ton.
Some weeks I have a better budget plan than others, and some weeks I fall into comfortability and move blindly by eating out way too much - I’m still growing . “ - Tay .
Some people say save just in case for a rainy day but honestly that just doesn’t make “oh I HAVE to save” click for me. Putting a label on my savings to be able to say I’m saving these specific dollars for these future things puts pressure on me to not go outside of my budget or money plan; because if I do I won’t have enough money for xy&z that I’m saving for. So wether those things are large like a vacation, a new apartment, a new car, or something small like those shoes you want or a new tattoo- training the brain to be studious of your day to day finances so that you guide yourself to healthy habits of your dollar overall is the goal.
Small sacrifices shouldn’t create great wounds. I remember the way I was budgeting before and not even giving myself money to just be and live life in the now, and sometimes coming down from being only focused on all of my anticipated accomplishments, because really who knows if fate will align me with those desires.
Not giving myself that personal pay check left me annoyed and irritated with the progression of life because I wasn’t doing the things I enjoyed actively, and even if they weren’t essential they made me feel present & appreciative with the life I was currently living. - So, I get that manicure if that’s what I really want or I go see a movie from time to time - Satisfied solutions keep me charged with momentum to stay in touch & on track with my financial journey because rather than just playing it safe, I’m playing it real and allowing life to still operate with money and not money to operate my life.
A lot of my additional me money goes into investing in the skills, crafts, and creations I am working on.
Because I’m not at a point currently where my creations have a true roi ( return on investment )
, I make sure that the money I put in is something I can afford to put out.
Maintaining the connection
Continuing to advance and maintain the knowledge of the power of money can be just as tough as the switching of the relationship you had with it in the first place. Staying on top of learned financial objectives and the goals you set for yourself can sometimes feel a little superficial and overwhelming ; By staying consistent with content consumption that aligns with the ideals that you have for your dollars is really helpful and almost like an accountability partner for the money missions that you have intentionally set.
Some money missions that I have in my rotation of attention are: Eliminating or minimizing monthly surcharges, Multiple streams of income, One or multiple streams of active income, Becoming debt free ( excluding student loan debt that I honestly have zero plans to ever pay back ), and Accumulating super savings with a worry free emergency fund.
Let’s chat in the comments !
What method do you use to track your spending ?
Where do you pull in positive financial influence from?
What do you think are the top 3 objectives to achieving financial wellness ?