1/3 : By D’Shaun Vance
This week, I will share with you a saving tip my 93 year old great grandmother instilled in me as a child: “For every $3 you make, save $1”. Now, growing up that was a tough concept to grasp because I was money hungry and wanted to spend every dollar I had on something I wanted. Even more as an adult, it’s difficult to save a third of my income. In fact, it seems impossible to do with bills needing to be paid and miscellaneous activities. What I understood from my great grandmother’s statement was just to save. That reached my brain at the early age of 8. When it came down to it, I wasn’t saving 1/3 of the money I had, but started trying to save something. I was putting aside small funds, just to have money just in case of emergencies or something I wanted extremely bad but needed to save for. Now, I did not keep my savings going for long.
I worked a summer job and on campus jobs at my university (Norfolk State University) from the ages of 14–21, earning close to $12,000 with nothing to show for any of the 7 years. I wasted so much money because I was relentlessly wasting money on material things, instead of saving. No, there is nothing wrong with treating yourself, but that’s all I was doing. I knew about saving at age 8 and investing at age 15. Still, I decided to do my own thing. I spent money on food, clothes/shoes (I love sneakers), trips, girlfriends, and other junk that I cannot account for right now. I was financially scarred when it came to moving out of my parent’s house to start my job, owing them $1,000 once I got my first few checks for them assisting me with my transition.
My great-grandmother wanted me to start saving early, so as I got older the task of saving wouldn’t be a strain, (but it was). Saving is a way of life, it is a mindset, and is a formed habit. Saving can come in many forms such as a 401 K plan, Money Market Accounts (MMA), Certificate of Deposits (CDs), Investments (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, commodities), and the good ole regular savings acct. All of these savings types will be discusses in future blog posts. They all have advantages when trying to save money. I am pretty sure my great grandmother is proud because I’ve grasped the savings concept (14 years later). I began to save money in my savings account, 401K, Roth IRA, and the stock market. I was even able to purchase a house at the age of 22, by saving. Thanks for reading. Have a blessed week! Note: The views expressed in the blog posts are strictly the opinions and strategies of the author that have worked for him and for others to whom this advice was given.