How I'm Building my Savings With a Small Income

by - May 10, 2019

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The beginning...

Before landing my current job, I was broke and unemployed for nearly two years (cringe). If it weren't for a very supportive, patient, and understanding partner, I'd have been homeless and starving. I started my job as a merchandiser in January, and in my account was exactly $0.

Any money that I would miraculously find (before this job), was spent on a lot of things that I don't need and most I don't even use anymore. I have been severally irresponsible and selfish with money since I was a teenager. With this new job, I vowed to myself that this was ALL going to change. So I set a goal, and have been focused on saving, since.

After finding different budgeting styles, searching up new ways to spend less and save more, and watching a lot of financial videos on YouTube, I ended up finding Canna Campbell from SugarMammaTV and her $1,000 Project. She has been the inspiration behind my new savings goal and my dream of being free from worry and financial stress. I aim to have a better relationship with money and to have the freedom to do what makes me and my family happy.

Ways I saved money:

A few things that had helped me get my savings account high in such a short time span were:

  • I closed my bank account, 
  • I have an amazing phone plan, and 
  • I budget what I need. 

Yup. That's basically it. Seriously.

I closed my account with Scotiabank, where I was paying over $13 per month (I had late fees because I couldn't even afford this, at the time), and switched over to Tangerine, a Canadian direct bank and a subsidiary of Scotiabank. It offers no-fee chequing and savings accounts. I also have a prepaid/reloadable Visa card with KOHO, it works as a debit card, and is accepted anywhere Visa is (it also has no fees!) I pay $56 once a month for 8GB of data on my phone; and I try very hard not to buy things that I want, and stick to things that I need. Until I spent $29 on succulents and $10 on coffee and a sandwich (face-palm), I have been really great at sticking to this “game” plan!

Since I started this journey, I have noticed that I have been "finding" extra money to go towards my savings and rent, which have been a huge help to get my savings to where it is at now. For example, I had no idea that I didn't do my 2016 Taxes, so I got that back recently, I had two cheques from a family benefit for February and March, and I've been selling things that I don't need around my home anymore. This one may be a little silly, but anything that I wanted to buy, like really wanted to buy, but end up not purchasing it, I "reward" myself by transferring over the amount of the thing that I wanted, over to my savings. In my mind, the old me would have purchased it without a thought anyway, so I may as well put the money somewhere that will benefit me in the future.

Taking small steps like these can help you tremendously, trust me. Any amount you can, transfer it over to your savings! You'll thank yourself in the long run!

I also created somewhat of a savings challenge for myself that is loosely based on this graphic from Pinterest. I just re-wrote it to suit my own income and savings goal. I plan to start this savings challenge in June, on my first payday of that month. If you have a savings challenge, and won't mind sharing, comment below!

You have no idea how happy, excited, joyful, and proud I am of myself. Never in a thousand years would I have thought I’d be capable of saving this much (sounds sad, but it’s true, I was HORRIBLE with money!). It’s like, once I started, I just couldn’t stop, watching my savings get bigger and bigger has become a new high, I cannot wait to see how much I am able to save up by the end of 2019!

What are ways you save money?

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