Almost 4 years ago, I published my very first blog post entitled, Young, Broke and Educated: Part 1 Dear Money. In the post I highlight my wasteful relationship with money and shed light on where my unhealthy money habits came from.

Over the course of the past 4 years I’ve taken baby steps toward improving my credit, boosting my savings and decreasing my debt ratio. And when I say “baby steps,” I mean baby steps.

This journey has been everything but easy.

I’ve missed the mark on some goals. I overspend more than I’d like to admit, but I’m committed to reprogramming my money mindset in order to reach my financial goals.

Ain’t nobody got time to be broke.

The great thing about changing your money habits is that, like any habit, it’s possible with a plan.

It’s simply a matter of creating a routine.

Here are 4 things that I’m doing TODAY to save money and reach my financial goals.

Take what you need and share the rest!

1. Automate Your Savings 

I can’t even take credit for this one. I had the pleasure of  interviewing award-winning teacher of financial empowerment, Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, and she put me on! The Budgetnista challenges women to automate their savings in day 12 of her Liver Richer Challenge.

Automating my savings has been a game changer for me!

Before automation, I either forgot to save because it wasn’t a priority or by the time I paid the bills and put gas in my car, I only had a few dollars to my name.

The 27th of every month a designated amount of $$$ is automatically withdrawn from my main checking account into my Capital One 360 account.

The reason I chose Capital One 360 is because 1) it’s an online bank. I can’t pop up at my local branch to withdraw money 2) the interest rate on the savings account is pretty darn high! I’m talking 0.75% APY! And last but not least, I don’t have a bank card for this account.

This means, if I want to access my money, I’ll have to wait a whole 3-5 business days for the transfer; which is enough time for me to talk myself out of why I don’t need to touch my savings.

Think about it. If you start saving $100 a month, you’ll have over $2400 in 24 months. Not too bad for starters.

2. Sign-up for Yerdle and Use It

Yerdle is an app that makes it easy for you to swap stuff you don’t need for “new to you” items you want. I’ve cut back on shopping in stores and instead I use Yerdle to upgrade my wardrobe and household items.

Here’s how it works:

yerdle

First, download the free app in the app store or sign up with your Facebook login. Yerdle is available on iOS and Andriod. If you use this link here, I’ll give you $35 Yerdle Dollars and you’ll get free shipping on your first item!

Second, click Give or Post and take a picture of the item you’d like to swap along with the description and price. Once you do this, you’re on your way to earning more Yerdle Dollars that’ll allow you to get items you want from the Yerdle store.

Third, the more you give, the more you earn. You can browse the Yerdle store for almost any item you can think of. You can even get items from those in your area and schedule a meet up to swap goods.

3. Do Your Own Mani & Pedi

Once upon a time, I visited the nail salon every two weeks to get my nails and toes done. I’d get my signature french manicure with tips and a deluxe pedicure.

By the time I left the nail shop, I spent around $7 on my eyebrows, $45 for my gel french manicure, $25 for my pedicure and that’s not even including the tip!

The nail shop got more of my money than my savings did each month! Now that ain’t right!

During my wedding planning, I took a break from acrylic nails to let my real nails breathe and to save money. I slowly cut back on the mani and pedi’s too.

I found that OPI nail polish works just fine at home. I don’t polish my real nails because they chip easily so I keep them short, filed and clean to maintain a professional image.

I don’t polish my real nails because they chip easily so I keep them short, filed and clean to maintain a professional image.

Every couple months I’ll go to the nail shop for a mani and pedi but in the interim, I do my nails myself and put the $100+ I’d spend at the nailery, in my savings account.

4. Create a Hair Plan

If you’re anything like me, you love to change your hairstyles. You get bored easily and like to try out different colors, lengths and looks.

I’m embarrassed to say this but in the past, I changed my hair 2-3 times per month. Changing my hair wouldn’t be an issue if it didn’t cost nearly $100 for each look!

Living in a big city where the cost of living is so high it could make a grown man cry… I’ve had to find new ways to get creative with my hair.

A few months ago, I bought some natural hair clip ins that changed my life!

Being a frequent weave wearer, I’m accustomed to voluminous hair. I like fullness and body and all that good stuff.

Something as simple as a clip-in has allowed me to change my look (I have kinky curly and straight clip-ins) without spending an exorbitant amount of money on hair and a stylist.

Think about what looks you want to achieve in the coming months and use YouTube for DIY tutorials, Craigslist for reasonably priced hair stylists and get creative lady!

What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to saving money?

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  • Candra Candigirl Kennedy

    I love this post! I already have #1 in place. I use both Capital One 360 and Ally Bank Online Savings (their interest rate is slightly higher than Capital One 360). As far as #2…thank you thank you! I have never heard of this app (suprisingly, because I’m into stuff like that), and I have downloaded it and can’t wait to try it. Thanks for the $35 yerdle bucks! Girl…#3 is an epic fail for me. I simply am not skilled at doing my own pedi. I don’t get my nails done, so that’s an expense I never had to worry about. Like you, I keep them short and filed and call it a day. But my toes….girl! I tried clipping, filing, and polishing those bad boys myself, and it turns out a hot mess everytime. So I do still go to the nail shop for my pedicure. The good news is that I don’t go in the winter months, when my toes are not showing, so I”m saving money in the fall/winter. But spring/summer, I’m an every 2 weeks type of girl. But, I get the cheapest offer they have, the $20 one. LOL. And #4…I LOVE IT. I always create a hair plan and have my hairstyles mapped out over the next few months. I wear protective styles that last 4-6 weeks. My favorite is crochet braids. When the 4-6 weeks are up, I wear my own hair for 2 weeks, and then back to another protective style. This has worked for me and allows me to save money on getting my hair done often. I also do the same with my 12 year old daughter’s hair. I have been thinking about getting some clip ins. I have to save for that though. I am definitely rocking some clip in for my wedding in July. Thanks for this post. It was everything!