Five Tips on How to Save Money

Six days ago, my husband and I closed on our Houston condo in the West Chase district. Random fact—its within minutes of the place where we first met and it feels so serendipitous. This isn’t our first home purchase but this is the first home we PURCHASED outright. No mortgage payments ever and we got it for a great price so we’re already basking in equity. 

Saving money to buy a condo was not easy but it was worth the sacrifice. Full disclosure: I can be very cheap on most days or splurge the next. I’m either balling or broke; I don’t really have an in between.  But for an entire year, I lived off the bare minimum because I wanted to save $25,000. Spoiler alert: I was successful!

You’re probably wondering “How Sway?!” “You don’t have the answers!” but I do. 

Here are my five easy tips on ways to save money.

1.    Sell your old clothes on Poshmark: Poshmark is an app for selling unwanted clothes and shoes. Most of us just have items sitting in the closet collecting all the dust. I spent one Saturday morning taking pictures of my treasures and conjuring up with witty descriptions. Within six months I had acquired $750 in sells.  

2.    Say "NO" to direct debit transactions, debit cards and online banking access. The convenience makes it way too easy to spend money. When I do shop, I do it mindlessly because I can’t actually see the money being spent. Then on Mondays, I spend my morning praying that those pending charges don't overdraft my account.  

3.    Turn off notifications from Instagram and unsubscribe from store emails. Macy's has a super Saturday sale every week. If you're easily enticed PLUS have a Macy's charge card you will find yourself spending unnecessary money on blenders. The same with Instagram. Those IG models are deceptive; you will not look like her in that outfit. Turn off the notifications because if you don't know what's going on chances are you can't spend money. 

4.    Pick one "wallet cheat day" per month. I consider myself a lipstick aficionado (it says so in my Instagram bio). I have tons of lipstick and many are the same shade with different names. I swear RiRi Woo and Ruby Woo are the same colors. I allow myself one wallet cheat day per month to use on manicures and massages or to splurge at a happy hour, brunch or at a nice dinner. 

5.    Use a credit card with rewards. Credit cards are the devil but can have tremendous benefits if you use them correctly. My two credit cards run promotions where I receive cash back or points that can be converted into gift cards. This year I've received over $1,000 in savings, cash back or gift cards through my two credit cards. You can only reap these benefits if you pay your card off in FULL every month. If not, you’ll end up paying interest on money you’ve already spent

These five tips can be easily implemented but you have to change your mindset in order to change your reality.

Saving $25,000 in a year was difficult but not impossible.

You can for sure do It. And before you say “I can't do that” I want you toknow that I don't make a lot of money because I work for a nonprofit organization. I have tons of student loans because I'm greedy with degrees. I also love Louis Vuitton and like to treat myself. However, sometimes I have to make the tough decisions in the moment to secure my financial future. To me, a condo paid in full trumps a bag

I hope these tips are helpful to you. Also- if you like these tips but you want advice from a professional check out The Clever Girl Finance blog. Bola is dope!!

What are some of your tips? 

-Ar'Sheill Monsanto