Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Priority: Savings

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When I first met Sean he did not have a budget. What?! That was unheard of to me especially because when I met Sean he was 28 years old. I mean, I placed myself on a budget when I was a freshman in college after my parents embarrassed me for allowing a check to bounce. Y’all, it was my first and last time. Growing up, my parents drilled into us the importance of savings and not owing anyone anything so you can imagine that my parents were not happy to see that I had ignored their advice and actually had the balls to allow a check to bounce. Well, sometimes you have to experience something to realize that you want no part of it. Or better yet, make sure that your parents do not have access to your bank statements.

Within one month of dating Sean I had placed him on a budget. Yes, I knew early on what his bills were and how much money he made. I figured that even if we didn’t last it was something that he should know how to do. He was the spender and I was a saver.

Oh how the tables have turned. No, I am still very intentional about what I spend but Sean has taken it to a whole other level.
It first began with the book, "Rich Dad Poor Dad". Sean read it two years ago and it completely changed his perspective on money.

That book lit a fire in Sean that we did not even know he had. After he read that book, new books on financial health were arriving to our doorstep weekly including another one of Sean's favorites, "Cashflow Quadrant". This was surprising as (no exaggeration) I had never seen Sean read a book that was not a textbook in all the time that we had been together. Currently, he’s listening to a ton of podcasts ... his favorite podcasts are Bigger Pockets and Bigger Pockets Money Podcast which has allowed him to imagine all that can be achieved with our real estate business. He does his ‘Life Savers’ inspired by the book "The Miracle Morning" every morning before he starts his day which include meditating, reading scripture and watching a slideshow that he created that way he can visualize all that he hopes to accomplish in his life. It is pretty incredible to see this growth and fire in him.

All his excessive money saving talk is rubbing off on me and getting me inspired to save even more. I don't know if that makes any sense but I want to save as much as I can now. Even now, when my wardrobe needs a major facelift (which I'm working on slowly) I’m having a hard time digging in my pockets but I also know that we don’t need to get extreme. I still want to enjoy life right now but it’s great when you can actually see how priorities shift as you get older.

I feel the need to do a little back story here. Saving came naturally to me due to the way I was raised but I noticed that I would attempt to save too much and then end up dipping into it which defeated the whole purpose.

So I changed my pattern and with each paycheck began to save a very small number; a number that I knew I would not miss or feel the need to touch. This absolutely worked and before I knew it the number had grown substantially. I began to want to see even bigger numbers and began to save a bit more each paycheck. With each raise, I’ll put more money away to save and increased my 401K by 1%. The idea about me putting 1% of my raises each year into my 401K was actually Sean's and it was so smart because it was money I never missed because technically I never had it.

Our desire to save began to roll off into other areas. We began to create funds. Our first fund was a Christmas fund which we've had for a very long time but once we felt the need to save more we began to create even more funds. Soon we had a travel fund, a niece and nephew fund, a pet fund, house fund, etc. I don’t know but it became sort of like a game to see how many funds we could create and it has been very cool to see how much we can save when that is a priority to us.

I think my biggest advice would be to start very small especially if you’re not one to save or think that you don’t have enough or make enough to save. Our Christmas fund started at $5 each per week. It doesn’t seem like a lot but by the end of the year we had a significant amount to make Christmas shopping actually enjoyable. Start with a number you’re comfortable with. Keep in mind that no number is too small and then go from there. Increase as you can and you’ll be glad you did.

Our 401Ks contributions are higher than they have ever been. Our savings are higher than it has ever been. We are no longer people who only think about right now. We are people who are thinking of our future. But if I could go back in time, I’d tell embarrassed 28 year old Sean (who shrunk a little when I stared at him as though he lost his damn mind when he advised that he did not have a budget) that there is still hope for him.

** I’ve decided that I’ll do several more posts on priority (different subjects) in the weeks
to come, so look out for that if these type of posts interest you **

8 comments:

  1. Such a great post! It's so important to know where your money is going and how to save for the future. My parents also drilled into me the aspect of saving and paying everything off when it comes through. You are Sean are very smart for doing this and setting up your future. Sierra Beautifully Candid

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  2. Awww, thanks! Glad you thought so :)

    Completely agree. So grateful to my parents now that I'm older how they drilled that into me.

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  3. Saving has always been kind of a hobby for me. I feel a better overall sense of well being when I have money in the bank. I have had to do a lot of talking, and hand pulling, but I'm slowly getting MJ on board as well. I've never made a lot of money, but I've always had money. Why? Savings!! Glad you are both on the same team as far as savings goes. It's so important.

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    1. It really is like a hobby! I completely agree. It's like your mind is at ease when you know that you'd be OK if something bad were to happen. If Sean is like this now, trust me MJ is right around the corner!

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  4. As I sit here looking for a bankruptcy attorney. Thank you obscene medical costs, and single parenting. Although most of it was my fault. Live and learn. I am going to have my dad help me invest in stocks and what not and try to start understanding that whole thing.

    I've never lived on a budget. The more I earn. The more I spend it's a terrible way to live- I don't recommend it. LOL ;)

    I'm glad you two actually enjoy saving.

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    1. You know what?! Medical bills are insane! If it wasn't for good insurance Sean and I would have had to file bankruptcy when I was hospitalized in 2016 as there is no way we would have been able to pay over $300K in medical bills.

      I do agree that a lot of time it truly is a learning process. We do things when we are younger that we completely wouldn't do as adults.

      Well, girl, get yourself on a budget. If you need help I'll be more than willing to help! I always say to live beneath your means. When you make more act as though you were making what you were making previously. Helps with saving so much!

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  5. I love this post. Thank you for the book recommendations. I feel like I will definitely need to check them out.

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    1. Glad to hear that! You're very welcomed :)

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