Shifting my mindset from spender to saver
I am in the final stretch of a paying off my last USC college student loan and feel a giant weight lifting off my shoulders. The celebration is going to be the first of many for me in the coming months as I’m committed to paying down my credit card debt. I know I’m not alone in this journey to financial freedom so I hope together we can share what works for our wallet and our lifestyle.
Money is usually not something we talk about openly with friends but I’m so glad my friend started the dialogue that sparked my blueprint. She asked me what type of relationship I have with money, how do I spend it, save it, and am I emotionally attached to it. What does money signify? What does financial freedom mean to me? To my surprise she said not to answer but wait for the moment that would launch a new financial plan for my future.
During my recent massive cleaning and decluttering spree I found three piggy banks. All very cute yet empty. That’s when I realized I was a collector of piggy banks but never put them to use. I sat looking at the piggy banks and remembered the financial talk with my friend. Well my empty piggy banks pretty much sum up my relationship with money, I like to spend versus save. That’s all about to change.
After my aha moment over piggy banks I came up with the following blueprint for my financial freedom. I am obviously not a financial wiz and am not going to turn this post into an expense and savings log but I am here to share a few methods I feel can help shift our mindset from spenders to savers.
Believe in Financial Freedom
Identify the problem and believe you can fix it. I will change my relationship with money and shift how it’s being spent. Instead of buying new things, I will pay back to the things I already own. I believe it’s a priority shift in our mind and habits.
I enjoyed my early 30’s with trips, shopping and nights out with friends. I adore the memories and think of them often when I look around at trinkets collected during those times. However, during those carefree years I developed poor spending habits and non-existent plans to save for my future. All of that is about to change because I believe it is possible to change our relationship with money. My focus now is to pay back for the years of fun in order to provide a lifetime of experiences for my family.
Creating a family life and home centered around nature is my goal and my gift to my family. This includes living minimally and modestly. Simplifying my life began with my early spring declutter and continues as I continue to create a family home life centered around nature. Staycation is a word I will embrace a lot this year. I admit I like being a guest more than a host but that’s all changing as I invite more friends into our home to curb the cost of meals out, parking fees, gas, etc. Simplify expenses today to save for your future.
I have a competitive streak and like to reach benchmarks along the way to a win. After creating an expense and income log it became very clear I have a lot of money going out that can be used to pay off my debt. Once you have a clear picture of your income and expenses you can set your own goal.
Today, I am making the commitment to put aside $300 each month to pay down the credit cards. This is in addition to the payments already being made. I have three credit card balances and my goal is to pay off the smallest balance first and then hammer at the other accounts. I challenge myself to life simply yet wholly.
Keep your blueprint practical and comfortable for your whole family. Recognize that you may need to adjust your journey based on family needs, emergencies, adjustments in income or expenses.
Celebrate Along the Way
Each step towards financial freedom means something. Recognize your success no matter how small they are and most importantly, keep moving forward. The key for me to remember is celebrating does not equal spending money shopping or pampering.
My blueprint comes back to my piggy banks. I have given one to my daughter for her to start saving and the other two sit prominently on a bookcase in the living room. They are constant reminders of my financial freedom blueprint.
Financial freedom is my goal for 2106 and far beyond. I’d love to hear from you about your financial goals and tips to save for your future and your family.