MY STRATEGIES FOR FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
At 22, I was terrible with my money. At 25, I wasn't much better. It wasn't until I turned 26 that I really kicked myself into gear. Birthdays have a really good way of putting current situations in to perspective. A year older, a young relationship, a new stage of life, and new goals challenged me to make new financial moves for myself.
Growing up, my parents never discussed money with me. As an adult, I wish they had. I'm sure I'm not alone. As a result, I've always been uncomfortable talking about money and disclosing my finances. It felt like a taboo topic that I was too cowardly to confront.
Realization: That sh*t is childish.
Managing money is a daily task and there's nothing of which to be ashamed. And coming from a financially insecure childhood, I was determined to make financial stability a goal moving forward in my life. Now, late 20s Taylor is preaching: the only way to succeed is to know your hand.
I've been pretty transparent with followers who have asked about this process to fiscal responsibility, but a lot of you have asked for a more detailed blog post dedicated to the strategies I employed. Below, you will find my Top 5 strategies for Fiscal Responsibility.
MD Invested. The true catalyst to taking my finances seriously came from a visit to MD Invested. I capitalized on the free consultation with one of their advisors and sat with Greg in their Downtown office on Charles Street. We chatted about financial goals and my current financial situation. I articulated that my goal was to pay off debt, bulk up my non-existent saving's account, and save for a vacation. But it wasn't until I filled out the assets and budget sheet after that my financial picture became clear. I needed to take action, and I credit the MD Invested team for making financial discussions approachable and motivating. Everyone can benefit from a free financial consultation, and I suggest scheduling yours today!
Qapital. For me, I'm best with my money when I don't think about it. And I save more when I don't have to THINK about saving. So when James introduced me to Qapital, I was ecstatic. And now I'm introducing you! THIS APP IS A GAME CHANGER. This app squirrels money away for whatever and by whatever means you want. All you do is 1) link your bank(s), 2) set savings goal(s) and 3) set your savings rules for each goal. For example, I have a Quarterly Taxes goal that saves 10% of each paycheck. I also have a Vacation Goal that rounds up all my purchases to the nearest $1 and saves that difference in change. After using it for 6 months, I've saved over $400 toward debt and $200 toward vacation. When applicable, I transfer the money directly into my savings account where it can make more $ with interest (see next bullet!) I suggest giving Qapital a shot, even if you're looking for an easy way to save extra change - it all adds up! Use THIS LINK to download the app and get a free $10!
Ally Savings. Many 26 year olds lack a savings account. I knew I wasn't alone, but I still felt embarrassed by my lack of an "emergency fund." That feeling wasn't going to stop me. I did my research, and within the next week, I opened two accounts with Ally Bank. I divided my $ into General Savings and a business-oriented account for Stylishly Taylored. They were my first choice because I didn't want to be tempted to transfer money immediately from my savings account to my checking account, and their high interest rate (~2%) would ensure that my money could make money. If you're interested in learning more about an account with Ally, click here.
Hide extra cash. I've learned my best approach to avoid overspending is "out of sight, out of mind." That being said, another tactic I employ is a cash jar. Sure, I have a change jar where all my extra coins end up (when I remember to take them out of their various handbag hiding places.) But I also have a cash jar. When friends pay me back, I take out cash for tipping my nail tech, or when I hit an ATM for shopping at the Farmer's Market, I put my leftover cash in the cash jar. I know it's there for backup, but I don't SEE the money, therefore I don't spend it. Cash is physical - and it seems more precious than a balance on my Bank of America application. Therefore, when I do see it, hold it, I'm less likely to spend it. It's for emergency purposes only. And when it accumulates to >$100, I'll do a deposit into my checking account and move another $100 into my savings account. Voila, easy money.
Sell. Last but not least, I've gotten very comfortable with selling my clothes and accessories that no longer serve me. I have limited space and as I'm growing older, I realize I don't need to keep everything. Solution: SELL. I have no shame in the secondhand game, and if you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen me post about my Poshmark Closet. I sell pieces at an average price of $25, making me about $12-15 per sale. HELLO EASY MONEY. I've made over $200 casually selling pieces (I don't pour too much energy in to it because what is free time??) Want to join Poshmark as a buyer or seller? Join the family and use my code STBLOG to save $10!
If you have any additional questions for me -- feel free to leave a comment. As always, keep up with my life in real time by following me over on Instagram!
Until next time, save that $.