Hi, my name is Natasha and I’m a recovering spend-aholic. I think it’s genetic with a mix of worldly pressures with a minor in culture. Or in grown-up vernacular, “I take full responsibility” in how I spend my money. With this spend-aholic intervention, I had to reflect on my behavior when it came to money matters. What was I spending my money on? Why was I spending my money? I had to go back to the basics of spending and think about my spending in regards to the famous, needs and wants. After some deep thinking about what it was that I wanted out of life and how I would get there, I realized that my money matters would stop my growth.
Why should I save?
We always hear about saving for “rainy days”. These are abrupt moments in life that require you to spend money but it’s usually associated with a gloomy situation. But what about saving for “sunny days”? These are abrupt moments in life that may open up a positive change or opportunity in your life for more happiness. If life sent you an additional family member, a new business venture, a travel opportunity, would you be ready? Saving becomes more liberating when you see it as an opportunity for growth in your “future” rather than thinking about it as a restriction in how you live in your “now”.
“I want to own a home.” I say this often, but it wasn’t until I was thinking about my money matters that I realized, saying the big goals I want and acting upon them are two different entities. Talk is good, but action is better. How was I going to own a home? I was at no point financially prepared to own a home, even if the opportunity presented itself. Thus, I made a vow, to save for “my home”.
Do I know where this home is? No.
Do I know when I will have this home? Not quite.
Am I preparing for this home? Yes.
And as my efforts begin to grow I am becoming more vested in what it is I want in my home. It is no longer a line I repeat, but an action I am taking. Because the things in my life I desire, I realize will not appear because I am simply verbally stating this, there’s work behind every great victory. Ask anyone.
How do I save?
I panicked, because realizing the importance of saving and seeing my paycheck was a nightmare. But thinking about how I was raised to view money, I come from a grandmother who brought a three-family home in the 70’s on an Alexander’s Department store, coat room clerk budget. I can save. I needed to start small. I didn’t see significance in small starts because I always saw large. For some, you don’t get large until you start small. So, in order to keep the momentum, I gave myself victories for saving $50, $100 then making my $200 mark until I worked up enough courage to save large amounts. I can happily say on average, $850/month goes into my savings accounts. My goal isn’t complete as yet. As I grow, so does my expectations on what it is I deserve in my future. This from a girl who once lived, paycheck to paycheck and only verbally spoke about my desires of life! By the way, which now I can honestly say was a miserable life. I couldn’t see past my now, because I wasn’t preparing for my future.
It took an ounce of courage, a boat load of commitment, and a bold view on the possibilities of my future.