The fastest way to change your life? Save $2 a day.

Advice from someone who sucked at saving money for years.

For some of us, saving money comes naturally, and self-control isn’t a battle with our wallets. But for people like me, it always seemed like as much as I tried, I’d be running out of money and limping along just in time for the next paycheck. It’s embarrassing. Like ‘sell my Xbox so I could pay for Christmas gifts’ embarrassing. I tried to stick to just cash, separated my money into multiple accounts, and used budgeting software like Mint. But that all got annoying. I even hid money from myself — and as much as it was nice finding $20 six months later, it was no way to live.

Then I discovered something insanely easy I could try. The smallest possible commitment that opened up my way of thinking. And it’s reinvented the way I’ve gotten things done.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been following a twelve week plan of self-improvement. I was inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s own 13-week plan of self-improvement where he strived to accomplish 13 virtues every day to be a better person. Reading his biography now, he really was a little shit at first so if there’s hope for him, anything’s possible for us.

They included: Being sincere, cheap, hardworking, orderly, temperate, and (moderate) chastity. For me, I developed ways to be successful.

day 1, week 1 of my self-improvement plan

I wanted to create a plan where 5 days a week, I had a bunch of things that weren’t too hard to do every day. Easy stuff — like talk to a stranger, or apply for jobs, or even just text a friend. It’s the continued effort that helps get things done. Eventually you get so used to doing these minimal things that you start to do more and more.

So the key message here: by saving $2 every day, I learned how to control my finances. Because it was so freaking easy to only worry about putting 2 dollars into a drawer every day, I started to stress way less about money, and money management became a lot less intimidating. It’s difficult to try put away $500 at all once with each paycheck, but break that up into a little bit of money every day, and watch your commitment grow, and you’ll see changes in leaps and bounds.

So save $2 a day. It’ll change your life.

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Alexander Green is a web developer, designer, & photographer from Brooklyn, New York. Check out his blog for design & photography work.

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