My Top 5 Tips for Budgeting & Saving Money
Hey guys! I am going to start off by saying (more like admitting) that I am probably THE WORST person ever when it comes to budgeting, finances, money, etc. So if these tips have helped me, they can definitely help you. This is a total spur the moment post, but I am so excited to share!
I'm gonna give you a quick rundown first: I moved out of my parents house when I was 17. I was always super eager to move out and be on my own & independent for myself. One of the mistakes I made is I never really taught myself how to budget or handle money at all. I also never really put my mind to it, because I just loved spending and I always made up excuses for myself, mainly to buy clothes because I have an obsession. Since moving to Florida, I have gotten a lot better. I think its a combination of the fact that I'm not just taking care of myself anymore, I am taking care of my man, and once I moved 1,000 miles away from my family and friends, adult-ing sunk in real quick. Almost like a slap in the face; Get your shit together Tori. So I started getting serious and Alex and I worked together to better ourselves with finances. I have really gotten a lot better, however I still wasn't where I wanted to be.. until I started using these 5 tips. These past 4 months have been the definition of stress. I walked away from the job I loved as a retail manager for a clothing store a few months ago. I actually started when I was 16, got offered a management promotion out of high school, and chose that path rather than going to college. I hopped around over the years to different locations, and then I eventually switched to a different corporation. I had such a passion for this, however I got to a point where I felt like the best thing to do for myself was to move on, try something new, perhaps a 9-5 job, benefits, paid vacation, the whole 9 yards (which is where I am at now and happy). But getting here was rough. I have struggled financially over the past 4 months due to the instability of my income. I'm talking like only having $0.80 to my name, credit cards maxed out, paying hundreds of dollars in overdraft fee's, having to last on $20 in groceries, etc. I was an Uber driver for a solid month just to pay my bills. It's been extremely tough, however, like Alex and I always say, embrace the struggle.
Guess what? It's Friday today! Which is payday! Also known as, the final paycheck to catch Tori up on it all. Today is such a happy day for me, I felt the need to share. Although the past 4 months have been miserable, I learned so much. I truly believe that those months of struggling needed to happen. I never thought I would ever be able to save money or handle finances responsibly, but I am more motivated than EVER. With that being said, here is what I learned. If it can help me, it can help you. TRUST ME!
1. Grocery shopping - Goodbye Publix, goodbye Winn-Dixie, goodbye Giant Eagle, bye bye bye. I started grocery shopping at discount supermarket chains like Aldi's and Trader Joe's. I would spend HALF of what I usually would for the same amount.
2. Shopping Online - I am sharing a new discovery that I am obsessing over. You can now shop online at Walmart & Publix, pay online, and simply reserve a day & time for pickup, and the employee's will bring all of your groceries out to your car for you. But here's the catch: When shopping online, you see every item, even the items/brands that aren't on the shelves. I usually spend $3.98 on pasta sauce, well today I found the same brand but different flavor online for $2.25. A flavor that I have NEVER seen on the shelves. I also paid way less in tax!
3. The Envelope Hack - One of my previous bosses recommended this to me, and once I disciplined myself enough to try it, it helped me tremendously. Create an envelope for each budget category (bills, groceries, gas, spending, etc). Withdrawal cash from the ATM and keep your budget amount in each envelope. Leave your card at home, and take your envelope with you. When the cash is gone, that's that! But you have to discipline yourself.. DON'T. TOUCH. THE. CARD. I used this method for a while until I learned discipline. If I feel like I am starting to be too lenient with myself, I will go back to it for a week or two.
4. Robinhood - Ok, this tip might be a little confusing for some of you, but I'm still going to share. Robinhood is a free stock trading app. Alex's hobby is stock trading, and he has taught me a lot about it recently. Instead of transferring money into my savings account, I transfer it to my account in Robinhood, buy stocks with it, and make even MORE money off of the money I am saving. Every time I move money into my savings, I still have such a temptation to touch it. If I transfer it to Robinhood, its less tempting because its in an app. If I want to touch it, it takes 3-5 business days to transfer back to me. It's basically investing. Instead of letting money SIT in my savings, I invest it. I wish I would've thought of this WAY sooner because I would probably be rich right now, LOL.
5. Stay Positive - This is the most important tip of all. If you're anything like me, money stresses you the f*ck out. Alex has to constantly remind me that money isn't everything. I allow money stress to ruin my day, mood, week, month, everything. It's like a dark cloud above my head that never leaves. I think this is because I know I work so hard, and I have nothing to show for it. It's extremely disappointing in my eyes. But then I remember that there's a lot of other people out there that would give a lot to have what I have. While I'm over here feeling like its the end of world wondering how in the hell I'm gonna survive with $30 for groceries, there's people that go days without eating at all. It's important to remember how good we have it, and how blessed we are.
I hope these tips helped! Like I mention in every post, don't hesitate to reach out by email or comment below with any questions you may have. I am no expert with finances, but I feel like I am on the right path, and I hope these tips put you on the right path, as well. Love ya'll. Happy Friday!