I love saving money. The idea of stockpiling money, building a nest egg, squirreling away my little nuts really excites me. I love buying things on sale, getting a deal, not only honoring a budget but even spending under budget. It all gives me a thrill. I’ve always been pretty responsible with money and disciplined with spending. I take pride in honoring what I have. I don’t think you have to spend a lot of money to look good and eat well although my tastes are probably simple compared to some.
To be clear, I’m a Black woman in America so it’s not like I’m being paid what I’m worth. I make less than my counterparts at my job, I’m almost sure of it even though my firm isn’t transparent about salaries. I took the amount of money they offered me when I started and didn’t negotiate for more. I don’t recommend doing that, I’m just being honest about where I began. I moved to New York with enough money to pay first, last, and one additional month’s rent. I didn’t start off with an inheritance or a trust fund.
Now, I also don’t have kids, a car, or extraordinary medical bills. Because of that, I don’t have a ton of unexpected expenses. Kids, cars, etc cost a lot of money. I have no idea if I’d have saved as much if I had those costs. But I do live in a very expensive city, New York, and I live far away from my family so I can’t pop home and eat out of my parent’s refrigerator to keep costs down. I’ve been supporting myself in this city for over fifteen years and I now have over six figures in my personal savings account. Here’s how I did it:
Pretend I don’t get a raise
So, I’ve had the same job for almost fifteen years and every year I’ve gotten a raise. What I do every year is calculate the increase that a raise will bring to my paycheck and then I act like I don’t get this money. I just don’t spend it. What I do is automatically transfer this additional amount of money into my savings account. I set up an automatic transfer so that rain or shine, sleet or hail, every month the same amount of money is deducted from my checking account into my savings account. In the beginning, it wasn’t a ton of money but after doing this consistently every month year after year it adds up. The thing is, while I like the raise, I don’t need the raise to meet my basic needs —…