Since the end of the year is upon us, this is the time many people (read: many finance nerds) look over their portfolio and assess their financial picture for the year.
My financial picture was pretty mixed. This was the first year I started making real money with my business. That meant more money to be paid in taxes, business expenses I didn't have in the past, and upgrades for some of my business gear (oh, hey Macbook).
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While I spent quite a bit of money this year, I also saved a lot of money. In fact, I was pleased to find that between money put away for investments and liquid savings, I'd managed to save a little over $10,000. Here's how I managed to reach this feat.
I save first.
Because I run my own business and have variable income, I used to be terrified of putting money away for myself first in case I didn't make enough to pay my bills. This was the year I got over that.
At the beginning of each month, I tried to put away anywhere from $200 to $1000 automatically depending on what the business was looking like. It really tested my fear, but I soon realized that I always made more than enough money to prioritize my own savings and pay my bills.
In addition to paying myself first, I also got into the habit of saving financial windfalls like tax refunds, cash back, or extra business revenue.
I dedicated my passive income streams to savings.
I recently wrote about how I started experimenting with creating more passive income in my life via affiliate sales on my blog.
When I started doing this, I decided that any income I made from affiliate sales was going straight into savings. I haven't been 100% perfect with this, but I have been able to put most of it into my retirement account.
I used apps to help me.
While I'm naturally pretty good at saving, I did start using apps to help me automatically save any extra money I may have had lying around.
The first tool is Digit, a service that automatically rounds up the extra money in my checking account and puts it into savings. It's literally just a few bucks here and a few bucks there. At the end of the month, I started putting the money from my Digit account into higher yield savings accounts to get a little extra bang for my buck.
The second tool is Acorns. This tool rounds up your purchases made from your checking account to the nearest dollar and then invests the money into index funds. I have nearly $1000 of spare change that is now being invested.
With the right mindset and tools, saving can be easy. Use these tips to boost your savings game in the new year and you too may be able to save a few thousand dollars