Saving money is an art.
There, I said it.
I have been studying the art of saving money for a good few years now, and I want to share some of the things I’ve learned with you.
1. Always keep iced coffee on your list
Cutting out iced coffee will not only not save you money, but it will also emotionally deplete the resources you need to be really successful.
Keep that coffee; it’ll help you stay up to do that project. Period. End of story.
2. Be willing to lose everything and start over at any time
As first-generation immigrants (I moved to the US at age five) with zero money, my family had to quickly learn that having no money was okay.
Why? Because that’s what we had and we still needed to be okay.
Many years later, that mentality continues to save me, over and over.
Lost a job? It’s okay.
Spent way too much money on that shopping trip? It’s okay.
It’s the confidence in knowing you can always make more that will keep propelling you forward. There are unlimited resources and ways to make money; never lose sight of that.
The opposite of this mentality is to be afraid of every move you make. This will always keep you unassertive and dependent on others for approval. It will also keep you from making as much money as you can actually make.
Take a page from my family. Instead of getting “lost in the woods”, we realised we were already okay.
There was nowhere to go except down. Luckily, this also meant that the only way to go was up.
This is also a great position to be in because it’s much easier to learn about and save money when you don’t have any.
Over time, my parents were able to give us everything other kids had (and more) and also send us to Columbia University and New York University.
I’m convinced it was this faith in always being able to figure it out and make more money that did it.
3. Read Ramit Sethi’s book I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Like, really read it. And do everything he says. I promise it’ll change everything or, at the very least, the way you look at (and have) money.
The part of the book that resonated with me the most is where he talks about fixing your invisible money scripts (also known as money mindset).
Example: Your family always said, “money doesn’t grow on trees”. This lovely quote can be harming you now because money seems elusive and that makes you scared of not having it, which has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
4. Negotiate your bills and credit card repayments
Many people literally gasp when they hear these things are negotiable. Not only are they negotiable, they also make the biggest difference to your financial health.
These “big wins”, as Ramit Sethi calls them, make the biggest impacts.
And best of all, you get to keep your iced coffee and stay awake.
5. Get rid of monthly subscriptions you never use
Now, I would never say this about Netflix (gasps!) but there are many random subscriptions you probably never use that could definitely be cut out.
The solution to your fear of missing out? Buy a la carte if you have to. Go to the gym once a month? Just buy a daily pass!
It’s so important to do the math with these ongoing subscriptions.
“No matter where you are on your financial journey, you need to know that it’s possible for anyone to turn their financial life around and start saving money.
“Sometimes all it takes is that first step in the right direction to get things moving in your favor. But, as with most things, sometimes that very first step is the hardest part,” according to The Simple Dollar.
So, what is the first step?
The first step is just to dedicate yourself to the ideas that you’ve already got this and it’s more than okay to lose everything and start over at any time.
In fact, it might end up being the best thing that can happen.
This article was originally published on The Ladders.