How To Save Money When You Have No Money To Save

I recently logged into my American Express account and I flinched a bit when I saw my balance. I knew I had the money in my checking account to pay it off in full, but I kinda wish I could keep that balance in my savings account instead. Over the last year, my spending has definitely changed in a good way, however I have more room for improvement. This time last year, I was working on paying off a bit of credit card debt accumulated because of two big trips planned back to back and some life changes. For the first time ever I did not have the funds in my checking and savings account to pay off my credit card in full and honestly, it was terrifying. With this realization it caused me to make some big life changes. Now a year later, I have enough in my checking account to pay my bills and even more sitting comfortably in my savings account.

This is how I got comfortable saving money while spending money….

Automatically Transfer Money To Your Savings

This is something that I do every single Friday after I get paid. When I was still paying off my credit card balance, I still made an effort to keep money in my savings while having enough to pay my bills. I sat down and added up how much my monthly bills were as well as a budgeted amount for other monthly spending. The rest of my money went into my savings.

Budget Your Spending

This minimum/maximum in my checking started because after being dumb and not watching where my money was, I kept overdrafting my checking account on automatic payments. I would forget my student loan or car insurance was coming out that day and my money would be in my savings instead of my checking. After learning that mistake the hard way, I created a minimum/maximum of funds to keep in my checking to limit my spending while the rest goes into my savings.There is a minimum and maximum amount I have in my checking – no more and no less.  I make it a rule to not transfer money from my savings back into my checking keeping it another way to keep my spending on track.

Don’t Buy Coffee

This is a difficult one for me, but once I cut out buying coffee or food, I immediately saw a difference. I only function with multiple cups of coffee a day, so it was a big life adjustment to stop buying coffee. Instead I brought into work my own Keurig and some K Cups. If you look at my spending a lot of money is spent eating out. I am horrible at packing a lunch every single day for work, so I try to limit grabbing Wawa just once or twice a week. Buying lunch is like wasting $10 a day and it can add up if you do it a lot a week.

Use The “How Many Times Will I Wear It Rule”

Okay, I admit… I like to buy clothes. While I do have a closet packed with a lot of  clothes, I am smart shopper. I like to wait for a major sale or more often when the item goes to clearance. One of my favorite stores, Loft, can be a bit pricey, but the styles I fall in love with often go to clearance. Before I buy anything, I have to justify that I will wear it multiple times and that it has more than one function.

Avoid Shopping

Whenever I was bored or needed to get out of the house, I would walk around Target or Homegoods. The browsing turned into buying things I did not need and spending money that I did not have to spend. I now avoid shopping as much as I can and only go shopping when I need a specific thing. I even started ordering a few groceries online and have them shipped to my house to avoid buying things I don’t need.

Make Smart Choices

When you make financial decisions now and stick to them they become financial habits. Set up your bills to be automatically paid in full each month to avoid late fees and interest. By setting aside the budget to pay off your bills for the month, you can focus more on putting money in your savings. Cancel those subscriptions for a few months and enjoy the money in your savings account instead of on a gym membership you rarely used or that magazine you read once. I also like to buy generic everything when I can to save money whenever I can.


getting out of the house fast in the morning

Okay, you hit the snooze button. 5 more minutes turned into twenty and now you are jumping out of bed frantic to get out of the house. Sad to say, but this is me every morning. But I have found ways to get my morning routine done in less than 20 minutes. That is including hair, makeup, and a cute outfit that actually matches with breakfast to go.

  1. Breakfast is Important
    I stock up every week on breakfast foods that I can grab and go to get out of the house as quick as possible. My usual go to are frozen waffles that usually pop out of the toaster by the time my coffee stops brewing or bagels. I also stock up on fruit so I can eat in the car on my way to work. If you stock your kitchen with breakfast foods, you can still have breakfast even though you are running late out the door.
  2. When Beauty Sleep Doesn’t Do The Trick
    I know I am not alone when I say that when I wake up, I do not look like a movie star waking up in a movie. My hair is messed up, my eye makeup that didn’t come off the night before is around my eyes, simply put I look like a hot mess. Right now I am using Bare Minerals Liquid Foundation, Maybelline Under Eye Concealer, my Naked 3 eyeshadow palette to brighten my eyes, a swoop of eyeliner and Better Than Sex mascara to open my eyes. And of course, a little bit of Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer and Fit ME blush to brighten my face.
  3. Plan Your Outfit the Night Before
    Or just have a really organized closet. I have previously talked about my closet HERE and how I keep it organized. I have my work clothes hanging and my pants and skirts all in one place so I can easily make a work outfit.

how millennials define success

I am a month shy of my one year anniversary of working retail. A job that was supposed to be a short term job while I transitioned into another job. Whelp. It has been a year and I can actually say that I love my job and more doors are opening for me taking on more responsibility at work.  I know I am not the first to stalk my friends from college to see what they are doing, how they are doing. I think we define our success by comparing it to how our friends are doing. Where are they working? How much are they working? How many friends they have? What their Instagram says about them.

I scroll on Facebook at night and I see friends on cruises, living in New York City in a hip apartment, killing it at their job, or brunching on Sunday’s with really cool Instagram photos to prove it. When my friends and I get together, we get to goof off and laugh together. Pose for a picture or snap a picture of our food to Instagram to prove to our friends on social media that we still hang out. We also break down with the honest truth when we get asked how we are doing. It is nice to have a group of people in my life who listen when I admit that my life is not as glamorous as it is in my Instagram photos. We all graduated at the same time, but it is amazing to see that we are all on different paths. All accomplishing different things. We are all going through different stages of life

How I define success is not the same as how one of my friends defines success. A college friend of mine called me out of the blue. I was very concerned when I saw his name pop on my phone thinking something was wrong. The only communication we have had since graduation was the occasional snapchat, photo like or random text saying we miss each other. When I answered the phone, he asked me how I was doing. At first I started to say I was great, because that is what we all say right? We both started to tell each other how great we were doing…and then started to laugh because we started to roll off what was going wrong in our lives like a grocery list. Never ending.

When our parents were our age, success was defined differently. They wanted other things. They were buying houses, not spending all of their money on avocado toast ha!! Further proof, that what our parents had, what they want for us, is not what we may want for ourselves. Only we can define what success is.

I thought I would share how I define success on the blog. Since there is no true definition of success, it can be tricky to answer that for ourselves. Do we define it with our career? How Pinterest worthy our apartment is? How many friends we have? How many followers we have on Instagram?

When I graduated college, I took a job working for my town. Within months, I had picked up 4 other job titles, more responsibility came with respect. And I grew to hate it because while I worked my butt off, I wasn’t getting paid for the work I was doing. I put in my resignation and got a part time job working at a college as well as a job working retail to help pay my bills. So here I am a year later… and even though I am not as financially stable as I would like to be, I really do love my job.

When I was talking to my friend on the phone, he was doing very well as a project manager making good money. However, he was overwhelmed by the responsibilities he had causing him to dislike his job. It doesn’t matter how much money you make at a job, what matters most is if you like your job. We spend the majority of our life working so make sure you find a job that you love. Being financial stable is lovely, but make sure you like your job. Loving what you do motivates you to wake up in the morning, encourages you to grow and gives you a purpose.

While we scroll on Instagram, we compare ourselves to other people. I love social media for many reasons. A way to stay connected, to get inspired, the list goes on and on. It is also a place that has a lot of negativity. Something I have spent a lot of time on this past year is learning to love myself. It has been a very difficult challenge. One that has good days and bad days. But I know that I cannot have good relationships with others if I don’t love myself first. As I write this, I have a giant zit on my face, but I no longer allow superficial things like this get in my way. I have learned to become more independent, accepting that only I control my own happiness. With a bit of concealer, a whole lot of mascara and a cute outfit, I know that anything is possible!

A big source of my happiness comes from the friends I have in my life. I don’t need a lot of friends, I just need good people to surround myself with. I can be failing at life, but I know I will be okay when I have my people around me.

Understanding that plans don’t work out the way we plan and accepting that makes things a lot easier. I made plans…a lot of them. And none of them have gone as planned. I know that I will end up where I am supposed to be. I didn’t plan on being a manager at a J. Crew when I graduated from college. But I decided to stop trying to control everything, and just see how it all plays out. We cannot control our success. Our success is not on a map for us to see ahead of time. We have to just do our best, surround ourselves with good people, stop comparing ourselves to others and just do our best.

By having a healthy relationship with ourselves, we can have healthy relationships with the people around us. Success cannot be easily defined. Each stage in your life, success has to be redefined. Right now in my life success to me is finding good people to surround myself with. In a year or two, that definition of success will change. Let me know how you define success in the comments. I would love to know!