The Everygirl 30 Day Challenge: Building Your Savings

In January we partnered with Skillshare to learn new skills we’ve always envied. Now these new talents are well on their way to becoming some of our most impressive assets. You started paving the way toward life-long hobbies, so keep it up! And let us know what you’re learning.

This month we are focusing on an important aspect of your future: finances. We’re fully aware that financial recognition can be an overwhelming task to conquer, but reallocating funds for something like a vacation or down payment can be much more manageable if you approach it with a plan.

The first step in meeting any target for a budget is to evaluate current spending. Start by taking a good look at where your money ends up and consider what is realistic to set aside for the things you have planned. No, we mean really look at it—both eyes open and without attempting to justify all those trips to Target for toothpaste (and/or a new sweater, pillow set, Nate Berkus statue, and three tropical candles).

Once you evaluate where you stand, it’s a matter of putting your plans into action.

A few ways to get started:

Set a goal: Plan a specific savings goal for each month, week, or day to stay on track with making your budget come to fruition. If you have a deadline, you’re more likely to stick to it—as opposed to saving without a specific timeline in mind.

Open a savings account: Savings accounts without a particular goal can easily be used as a back-up for overdraft fees. Now that you have an idea of how you want to put this money to use, begin contributing to it regularly. Create recurring deposits—they are an easy way to start saving without doing anything. Some banks will let you set up transfers that can occur on a specific date for whatever amount you choose.

Track spending: Using apps like Mint and LevelMoney are great ways to track your spending (even from your phone). They give helpful snapshots of where your money is going to and Mint even alerts you when you’re approaching a budget cap that you designated (in each category).

Meet with a planner: If you’ve tried all the above before, it could be worth meeting with a planner to talk about what your weaknesses are and how to edit your income so your plans stay in place. They’re knowledgeable and full of advice that can help you start to realize actual financial growth.

A few past articles to help:

7 Financial Resolutions You Should Make in 2016
How to Set Financial Goals that Stick
5 Easy Ways to Save More Money

Saving for fun activities or down payments on important purchases doesn’t have to be an all or nothing game; it’s a matter of consistency, time, and planning. Now that we have an outline for simple ways to get started and maintain savings, it’s time to put the plan into place for things to start building.

Throughout the month we’ll share our savings tips, but let us know how building your piggy bank is going and what advice you have. Make sure to tag your progress updates with #TEG30DayChallenge.

So tell us, what long-term investments are you saving for? What are your best tips for getting started?

  • I can relate to this post so much! I am a 24 yr old professional, but I did not graduate college and I’m not working my ‘dream job’. I am going back to school in January and I have had some pretty big jealousy moments in the last year, seeing everyone I went to high school with starting their careers.

    I’ve had to tell myself to that everyone takes different paths in life. I just happened to take the path less traveled by my peers. I am excited to start learning about my dream career in school, and that keeps me going!

    Stay positive and incredible things will happen!

    • hey margaret-

      just read this as i was posting and wanted to congratulate you on making your own dreams come true 🙂 the other thing — i recently got my master’s, and i’m not using it *at all*. i studied art, but i couldn’t find a job in my field, and so what do you know? sometimes i wish i had taken years off to think about what would be the best path before starting college so young. so, you know, maybe i’m a little jealous of you? all the best on your journey <3

      • Cindy

        I just spent the entire last semester having panic attacks because I realized I left for college without even thinking what I wanted to do with my life. I leave Friday to start my junior year and I have to say that I am really scared but I am just taking that leap of faith. I have no clue about what I want out of my life. But, after reading this article I will no longer feel jealous of people that seem to have it all figured out. I’ll just keep going and see what happens.

        • Kiki

          How fortunate to go to college. Don’t ever regret having a college degree or not working “in field” or in your major! You are a better person as a result of your college years with a totally different set of skills and understandings. You have a broader perspective and a deeper understanding. You are an educated person. Embrace that! It is wonderful. Finding a career path should not be confused with being an educated person. Keep at it. Finding a career is hard work but you will get there!

  • This is a very timely article for me. I’ve been struggling with feelings of jealousy among a particular group of friends I have. Thank you so much for your insight and advice, Jess!

    http://westhawthorneplace.blogspot.com/

  • Ren

    This article is awesome to put things in perspective. Another thing to remember are the words of Public Enemy: “Don’t believe the hype.” When you see people constantly putting pictures of fabulous vacations and bragging about promotions on Facebook, you have to wonder why it is so important to show off. When you are truly happy you don’t have to constantly prove it to others.

  • What a great post…and so perfectly put! I love her quote!!

  • I’m always inspired by articles about bettering yourself on the inside. I think we all struggle with jealousy at one point or another, but I’m definitely experiencing it a lot lately, and it’s so important to recognize where it comes from. In todays world where so many people are able to share their lives (social media, blogs, ect.), it’s easy to become jealous of the people we don’t even know.

    When I’m feeling jealous or hating something that I have or don’t have, I do something to change it- whether it’s big or small! Sometimes curing my jealousy of another woman’s pretty figure can be as easy as going on a 30 minute walk!

  • i absolutely love this post. i need to bookmark it and come back to it whenever that pang of jealously hits. it’s important to focus on our own blessings, congratulate others on their success and all strive to be better in our own best way. thanks so much for sharing this.

  • this can be extremely difficult to deal with, especially when we feel we’ve worked harder or done better, etc, but it is important to remember that we are to love others and we are to celebrate with them and grieve with them too. we all have different paths and it’s important to focus on what we are called to do while esteeming others down their journey. great reminders!

  • Christine Gilbert

    I really love that Everygirl produces posts on real topics that people deal with, and keeps them interesting and inspiring. Thank you for always writing relevant and positive articles.

  • Great post, Jess!

  • Amy

    This is a fantastic post. A year out of college it’s easy to feel like everyone else has life sorted, and then to let that mutate into an ugly green monster when I’m reminded of how up in the air my own life is at the moment. It’s definitely hard to keep things in perspective at times, but at the end of the day everyone has their own successes and struggles! Thanks for another great article, Everygirl.

  • Great post! I was feeling super jealous of everyone’s summer vacation travels since I recently lost my job and won’t be traveling for at least the foreseeable future. So to combat that, I made a “reverse bucket list” and thought back on all the fun things I’ve done and travels I’ve taken already! It was a fun reminder that I already have so much to be thankful for.

  • little & ever

    Jess this is a fantastic post. Beautifully written. And lots of good practical suggestions. Thank you x

  • the legal career girl

    This is a great post. I think that it’s easy to fall into the trap of jealousy, especially these days when you’re able to know everything about everyone else’s life via social media, but it’s important to remain focused on your own life and accomplishments.
    http://www.thelegalcareergirl.wordpress.com