Money Talks [1]: Spending, Saving and Investing

Hello! And welcome to the blog!

In this first installment of the Money Talks series we’ll be talking about the importance of knowing about money and how to manage it, specially in a moment where financial literacy is the difference between those who make money and get rich and those who make money but are still broke. I’m far from an expert in this and I’m learning as I go but I thought it was important to get the discussion going and hopefully I can learn as much from you guys as you can learn from me. I’ll be sharing the good, the bad and the ugly of my experiments with getting rich or mooching off of friends and family for the rest of my life dying trying.

What set me off into wanting to know more about money was when I was at a point about 2 years ago where I got to the end of the month with 0 in my account and sure, one one side I was glad my balance wasn’t negative and I didn’t owe anybody money but on the downside, If anything ever happened, I didn’t wan’t t rely on my parents for help. I’m 20 years old (18 at the time) and I felt that it was high time I started taking care of myself. So there I went to Google and a whole bunch of blogs and I realized a few common features almost all of them mentioned: you need to know how to spend, save and invest.

As soon as I saw that, I thought to myself “but I don’t even buy that much stuff!” but oh, was I wrong! I started tracking my spending with a notebook for about a month and when I saw how much money I was spending on useless things that I did not need at all I was blown away! And that struck me so hard I immediately started making changes to the way I spent my money (now, mind you, at this point I was still not thinking about my occasional expenses which is a concept I only recently discovered and am still working out a way to consolidate into my spending plan). As soon as that got under control I started a savings account. In the beginning, since I just used the “extra” money from not buying unnecessary stuff and put that into my savings it was easy and kind of uplifting to see my bank account have some coins in there!

So, like any normal human being I decided to “reward” myself for being so good with saving and one little treat led to another not so little treat, which led to bigger and bigger treats until I was right back where I started. That’s when I understood that I’m not the kind of person to just save for no reason. I needed a purpose for saving my money and once I decided on what I was saving for, it became easier and easier not to touch my savings.

Now, the third aspect is something I’m still mastering and only recently understood the importance of and it was mainly due to the fact that I redefined what the stereotypical definition of investing was. I’ve been reluctant to start my own “micro business thang situation” because I was stuck in the idea that I had to go big or go home. But what if I just wanted to stay at a medium? Right now with school and general life issues a medium is all I can handle but I thought there was no middle ground. Well, fortunately I was wrong. Being at a medium doesn’t mean it will require less practice/preparation, I realized I still had to put in effort into keeping things organized, making a business plan, defining where I wanted to take the idea and adjusting the funds I’d be allocating to it accordingly, therefore the need for an investment fund. It was like an epiphany! If you don’t define where you want to take an idea, be it small, medium or large, there’s no way you can control it and that’s what I’m working on right now. I listed my skills and decided on which ones I was going to attempt to profit from and I’m taking the plunge and investing in myself. I’ll keep you guys updated on what I learn as I go but taking a step forward and committing to taking control of your finances is the first step to financial independence and we’ll either succeed or learn a lesson. 

Watch the video for more tips on how you can get started on taking charge of your finances. Stay tuned for part 2 of this series where we’ll go into detail about budgeting plans and how to stick with them without feeling deprived or going insane. Let’s make this happen! Retire by 40 and travel the world anyone?

Sunshine!

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What lessons did YOU learn while trying to sort out your finances? What’s your biggest challenge in dealing with money? What skills do you have that you’d like to profit from?

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Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Leave them below!

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