I always say, “Saving money is slightly more important than earning money.” Strange statement right? Well, let me explain. Essentially, earning money is empowering, invigorating and leaves one with a sense of accomplishment. Now, how many people have you heard utter the words, “I spent all my money on food!” or, “I went shopping for some new clothes and now I’m broke!”. It’s okay, we all have our moments. I too, have found myself eating these same words in the past. However, I discovered I was saying these words all too often and when I began tallying up the numbers, I could see that neither food nor Forever 21 putting me in a financial pinch… it was me.
Much of what happens to us in life boils down to habits. In this case, my habits were simple. Make money… then spend it. Unfortunately, many people, fall victim to these same traps (especially models, and I’ll go into why later). Here are some ways to break free of these binding habits, so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor without being overburdened with debt.
EAT AT HOME. I can’t stress this enough to anyone trying to save money. I understand, after a hard days work, its nice to sit down to a nice meal at your favorite restaurant or order a quick take out item from a local fast food location however as it turns out, when you dine out, you are actually spending 3 to 4x the amount it costs to make the item. if you think about it, a meal at a fast food joint runs people around 10$. A meal at a restaurant is almost double or triple. Back when I worked as an Executive at a company, I would NEVER cook at home. I would dine out every meal and every time payday rolled around, I was ecstatic. Only because I was broke as heck and probably a hungry again too. Once I quit my 5 year career there, I quickly began realizing how much money on food I squandered all of those years. Now, I shop at the Sprouts near my house. Vegetables, fruits, lean meats, eggs, beans and rice are all very inexpensive and make up the majority of my diet. Happy to say that now I can live healthy and satisfied off of close to 30$ a week, just by shopping at the local supermarket.
MAKE YOUR OWN COFFEE/TEA/SMOOTHIES. This kind of ties in with the first tip, however once you realize that even something as small as that latte or smoothie really adds; you’ll think twice before you order. Before I quit my job, I went to Starbucks every day. After quitting, I did an average of how much I spent on Starbucks a month and came to find myself in total shock. Every day, I would order a Starbucks at every meal; breakfast, lunch and dinner. In essence, I discovered I was averaging about 10$ or more a day and at the end of the month, I discovered I was spending over 300$ just on Starbucks alone! Yikes! The same can go for places like Jamba Juice, or Teavana or anywhere else you purchase that morning kick. Now, I own a Nespresso machine and save tons of money, over 3,000 per year to be exact. So, if you enjoy tea, coffee or smoothies in the mornings, I would strongly recommend purchasing your own tea, coffee or smoothie machines. They will definitely save you a fortune in the long run!
SHOP THRIFTY. Now, here is the part where many models and ladies in general fall victim to the same trap. Shopping. Now, I love shopping as much as the next girl, but I know it an land one in lots of debt and stress. Being a model, I know there is a lot of pressure on women to keep up with the latest trends. Sadly, in desperate attempts to appear wealthy and successful, many make large, expensive purchases on credit cards or take out loans to buy the hottest styles to give off an appearance of wealth and prestige. Don’t do this. It ends up hurting you more that helping you. As my favorite designer, Alexander McQueen once said, “Fashion should be a form of escapism and not imprisonment…” meaning, yes its nice to have some fancy things now and then; but don’t let them trap you into massive debt. If you really want to shop designer, use the Tradsey app. On this app. you will find designer labels for just a fraction of store costs. Everything on the app. is secondhand and sometimes never worn or used. I admit proudly, I shop here as well as thrift stores for all my looks. No one will ever know the difference, because at the end of the day its just clothes and accessories.
TELL YOURSELF NO. This last point is probably the most important because in the end, right before were are about to buy something we may not need, we tell ourselves “YES”. Now, it’s okay to tell yourself “YES” once in a while. But, telling yourself yes all the time, can lead to big trouble later on. I understand. The word “NO” can make you cringe with feelings of inadequacy even if you know the means are there at the moment. Believe me, I know. As a girl raised by a single mother of two, I heard this word a lot. So when I got older, I vowed to only tell myself “YES” to everything; due to all the years I was deprived of everything I wanted. As consequent, just saying “YES” got me into more trouble than not purchasing. When I worked at my company I spoied myself and because I was too proud and too afraid to tell myself, “NO”. I left my company where I was on track to making 6 figures a year, close to 6,000$ in debt. After having to reach into my retirement account and pull out 6,000$ to pay off my creditors, I quickly became okay with telling myself, “NO”. At the end of the day, I realized that it was more painful to cough up that cash than to just say “NO” to some things.
In summation, these are my biggest tips on saving cash so you as a model or heck as a teacher, janitor, server, or any other occupation; can break free of the painful, “I’m broke and stressed” cycle so you can invest more into your dreams, whatever they may be.
Much Love and Blessings!