Hi I’m Zenaide, and I’m just like you: a woman, a mother, in love, a friend and someone who wants to make a difference in the world.
If you always thought of being an entrepreneur and want to turn your passion into a business, you may need money to do so.
Yes, I know, as an artist, a generous and creative person, the word (and even the thought) of “Money” freezes you, right?
If the answer is: Yes, continue reading.
We need money for two reasons: to live and to achieve our dreams.
Moreover, to achieve our dreams we may need to quit our 9-5 or at least, we need to work less; and this leads to the necessity of saving money.
Saving money is not impossible.
As long as you have extra money to spend on things other than your basic needs, it means that you are in a position to save money.
It sounds good already, right?
CHANGING YOUR MONEY MINDSET
So how and where do we start when we are used to earning money and spending it straight away?
I used to behave like that: when I wanted something, I checked my bank account. If there was enough money I would spend it, if not, I would work a bit more and spend it without thinking about it the day after.
Why? Simply because I was told that only “wealthy people” could save money, because they had enough to buy what they wanted and thus could easily save the rest.
Eventually I learned that this way of thinking is not correct.
First I tried the method of writing down all my expenses for a week, and I failed dramatically because it was too tiring, and I was so used to earning and spending!
So next, I decided to try not to spend as much, and to be conscious of where my money was going.
I started to multiply the amount of money I didn’t spend by 300 days, or 250 days. In addition, I started imagining what I could do with that amount of money (buy a beautiful bag; spend a weekend outside the city …)
What I learned is that if you are not used to saving money: try to adopt a behaviour of mindfulness with your money.
Then the fun part can begin: Budgeting.
Yes, you heard me, it is fun because you are not afraid anymore! You already spent a few weeks not spending, and you will start to see, if you use my method of multiplying the unspent amount by 300 days, even that innocent Starbucks coffee starts becoming dangerous ($4 x 300 =$1,200)!
How Do You Budget?
Well, it depends on your current situation, however as I mentioned above, if at the end of the month you have enough money to spend on fun activities and hobbies, it means that you have enough money to save for paying off your car, your student loan, your mortgage… Alternatively, maybe it is just time for you to stop spending more than you earn.
So, where do you start?
Apply my “not spending” method, and write down (in a notebook, on your phone, whatever feels easy for you) the amount of money you have not spent that day.
Write it down immediately.
And, once again, you think it’s just 80 cents, ok, but multiply by 365 days, yes it’s already 292$/€/… so these 80 cents are important, they really are.
Once you assimilate this concept, you will become mindful about money and you will start saving more and more, I promise.
I suggest that after 2 days, you already make a calculation, to see how much you have saved, and you do that every 2 days. At the end of the week you put that money in a separate bank account, the one that will be dedicated to “small and easy savings” for the year 2021.
Now, imagine what it will be in 4 weeks, and how much money you will easily save:
Coffee: 5$ per day of not spending, congratulations you saved between $100 and $150.
Fast Fashion: you wanted this little t-shirt and this dress, but you thought “wait a minute, I can still use what I have at home”, oh and this little bag, nope! You already have a similar one already right?! You saved $60!
Skincare & make-up: you have decided to finish what you already have at home, it’s hard, but you did it! Congratulations, you saved about $80.
Food: instead of getting takeout, you cooked healthy food; and made conscious choices when you did grocery shopping. Maybe you bought the most expensive vegetables, but they were organic, which is an investment in your health.
So this month you saved around a minimum of $240, multiply by 12 months it is already around $3,000!
When you understand the power of “not spending” and you are aware of the value of each cent, you can start budgeting.
hOW DO YOU START BUDGETING: BY CATEGORY
Home: how much do you pay for the rent or the mortgage?
Home charges: how much for water, electricity, gas, internet, other tv connection. Think about every single charge (I know, it’s an exercise, but keep doing it).
Home taxes: when do you pay the taxes, if it’s due in 3 months start saving for that, and for next year you will start monthly saving (oh but wait, you are already doing it with our “not spending method” as you are about to save $2,000 by the end of the year!)
Food: Check the grocery receipts from last week and multiply it by 4.5 ( the 0.5 is just in case).
Phone monthly subscription: how much is it?
Other charges: housekeeping lady, car insurance, …
Think about everything, and know the due date for each category so that you can plan ahead. Planning and budgeting make the whole process way much easier and less scary.
What small change will you make today that will add to big savings for you? Let me know how it goes at firstname.lastname@example.org.