That quote is the extent of financial management that I received as a child. Well actually, I don’t think my mom was talking to me. I’m certain I just overheard her saying that. Nonetheless, I am by NO means a financial advisor, but I am however great with creating amazing experiences and maintaining a life that I could have never imagined as a kid. Without creating debt all the while aggressively saving for retirement.
Money can be scary. Pardon moi, the lack of money can be scary. This nation recently experienced a rude awakening when the most “stable and secure” employer shutdown. This shutdown in particular was the first time that I’d ever witnessed such candid discussions about money, resources ( or the lack thereof) and financial planning from GS-5 to GS-15 alike.
I won’t delve into great detail regarding my personal financial plan (unless you want me too) but I will share a few decisions you can make daily to save and curb (not stop, that’s so unrealistic and sadistic) spending.
The first is proper planning. This past Sun, was the first time that I’d ever prepared our clothes (my son and I) for an entire week. While doing so didn’t directly deposit coins in the bank, what I did gain was twenty mins of sanity. I rise at an ungodly hour that’s just after minuit and well before most are experiencing REM sleep. At three a.m. I am serenaded by the lovely sound of Madame Josephine Baker via my alarm clock. Already knowing what I’m going to wear, having my trusty stack-o-bracelets, pearls and Le Perla properly placed pays me in peace. No frantic searches for the back of an earring, switching purses or discovering that the entire crotch of my stockings are COMPLETELY torn.
Having those extra twenty mins in the morning affords me time to prepare my own café au lait, at home versus the mad dash to *insert your coffee shop of choice* (until I get sponsored I am NOT name dropping) and overspending.
I do not have enough experience or coordinating food storage containers (I told you that I am NOT naming folks) to provide anyone with the ins and outs of meal prepping. I do however make a point to pack lunch at least four days a week. Doing so saves a tremendous amount of money and ensures that I have quality food (I can share my week of lunches if anyone is interested.) I can’t begin to recall the amount of times I’ve wasted over 11 US Dollars on a dry ass chicken salad sandwiches that did not include a beverage all because I wasn’t properly prepared.
If you live in a Metropolitan area cutting down on transit cost will increase savings. While I am TRULY fortunate to have almost all my transit cost subsidized from my job, do to the distant of my commute I incur additional cost. To offset (whoop whoop) the amount that I would spend daily I literally take small steps to save money by exiting a stop before my destination. Not only does walking save a significant amount of money it also allows me the opportunity to low-key sneak in cardio (I do NOT do gyms…exercise…or diets) while clearing my thoughts. If ride sharing is a must, do just that, share the ride. I’ve saved almost half the cost of a shared car with two competing ride share companies (they ain’t paying so I ain’t saying any names, homie) by requesting the “pool” option.
Daily sales-ads are the DEBIL *insert Bobby Boucher’s momma’s voice.* Do yourself a favor and unsubscribe or create a filtered folder specifically for sales ads and promos. And shop your closet! Even when there’s nothing to wear, there is ALWAYS something to wear. On a separate post I will provide tips on reimagining staple pieces in your armoire.
Lastly, the infamous what sounded like a good idea until it isn’t because you now have a $56 tab, headache, and a handsy bar mate Happy Hour. The name alone is so misleading. There isn’t anything happy about rail drinks, overly tannic house wine and refried yesterday’s lunch specials. Decrease spending and increase the quality of food, wine and time by hosting a few friends over for a fromage or charcuterie board and a bottle (or trois) of vin. If each friend visiting has an oz. of couth, they’ll have a “merci beacoup bih” bottle of vin rouge in tow thus adding to your mounting vin collection. Vous avez une collection de vin, oui? If not, don’t fret my mon amies, I’ll do a separate post on starting an affordable wine repertoire.
While seemingly small, these daily decisions will quickly add up to a plane ticket*, or SLG from your favorite luxury designer.
Well, I think I have exhausted the average attention span of most Americans so à la prochaine.
*I’m open to writing an entire post or series about affordable luxury travel (no backpacking here, homie) and purchasing designer items without accruing debt. Let me know!