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Today my guest is the Luxe Strategist. She is one of my absolute favorite bloggers in the financial independence space. She lives in a high cost of living area (New York City) and still manages to save a huge percentage of her income while indulging in small luxuries.

We talk about the realities of saving money and ways you can make sure not ALL of your hard earned money goes to living expenses. Like healthy eating and exercise, budgeting is something we all know is probably good for us but we can’t just seem to find the time or will power to stick with it. Luxe and I talk about the behavioral aspects of saving money and ways that we can trick ourselves into building a nest egg.

You can find Luxe online at The Luxe Strategist.

One of my favorite Luxe posts she’s ever written is called The Seven Steps to Start Saving Money and we spend most of the episode running through the everyday realities of building up your savings.

Spoiler:

  1. Set up a savings account at a separate bank from your checking account. It puts a barrier between the money you have available to spend and the money earmarked for savings.
  2. Track your expenses. Making a spreadsheet takes series commitment. Luxe likes Mint, Clarity, and Everydollar. I love Personal Capital.
  3. Find your Too Much Money thresholds. How much is TOO much to spend on bars?  Everyone is different and the only way to figure out is to go back to step 2.
  4. Create a realistic budget you can actually stick to. Setting impossible targets is just going to set you up for failure. Start with trimming rather than eliminating.
  5. Tweaking the spending that doesn’t make me happy.
  6. Automate, automate automate! Such a simple idea: take the human emotion and error out of saving and spend two minutes to set up automatic transfers from checking to savings or investing. Another way to think about it: PAY YOURSELF FIRST.
  7. Watching your money grow. SO MUCH BETTER THAN BUYING STUFF YOU DON’T NEED.

More tips for saving:

Set up automatic transfers to a savings account or investment account just a day after your paycheck hits your bank account so you don’t even notice it’s missing.

Starting the habit is super important! Especially when you aren’t making a lot of money. Start with a small amount, $60 a month and set yourself on a track to increase it 5% a year (and even more if your salary goes up!).