top of page

A Master at Saving Money


I’m fortunate enough to be a person who rarely wants things. Saving money comes naturally to me. However, I do think it is in everyone’s best interest to get good at saving money. If anything, everyone should save enough money for emergency situations. The median savings account balance in the U.S. is just barely over $1,000. This means most Americans have little to no money saved up. No wonder we all struggle with debt, we don’t even have money set aside to help us out!

With all that in mind… let’s talk about saving.

How to Save Money

I’m not an expert at saving, but I’ve gotten pretty damn good at it. If you want to see my testimonial, I’ll throw something at the end of this blog about how I’ve managed to save through every stage in life. But for the sake of general advice, I’d recommend trying out different techniques to save money and find what works best for you. 

My mom signed up for a program where it automatically saved money for her, just snatching money from her checking account throughout the month. It was like her savings account was running debit card transactions. Sometimes it’d take $3 other times it’d take $20. After a few months she had a couple hundred saved up without realizing it!

There are other programs, like banks that move money to your savings account with every debit card transaction. Some banks use machine learning to evaluate your spending and find your extra cash, moving it to savings without impeding on your regular habits. I’ve personally fallen into the endless videos of cash-stuffers on TikTok out of fascination for the process. Whatever the method is that works for you, find it and stick to it!

Saving Milestones

I’m a firm believer that saving is a lifelong process. There are stages you will find yourself in depending on where you’re at in your financial journey. I’m sure people have their opinions on what this looks like, but I think I’ve whittled it down to four stages of saving.

Most of us will start in the emergency savings stage where we’re just trying to build up an emergency savings fund. My recommendation is to keep an emergency savings account as its own account. Don’t blend it with other savings accounts. Here are some common practices and goals when building your emergency savings:

  • Build a budget to start setting money aside. Saving $20 a month is better than saving $0!

  • Most emergency saving goals is to have 3-6 months of expenses saved.

  • Ideally, you’d “graduate” from this stage when you have 6-12 months of expenses saved.

  • If these funds are used on unexpected expenses, prioritize replenishing the account.

Once you graduate from emergency savings, most people should move into investment savings. This could be a portfolio of accounts you use to build money toward long-term goals like retirement or funding the build of your dream house by the time you’re 50. Here are some common practices and goals when building your investment portfolio:

  • Do not mix this money with your emergency savings.

  • Look into stocks, mutual funds, 401ks, retirement plans, etc. to build long-term wealth.

  • Set long-term goals, like when you want to retire, to help design your plan.

  • Only use expendable money to generate passive income and long-term wealth.

  • Establish long-term funds like college savings accounts for your kids.

I believe after investment savings you may fall into this miscellaneous stage depending on what you want to do in life. I call this goal savings. It’s a variable savings stage used when you need money for something major that you don’t want to finance. Great examples are an extravagant vacation, a renovation or DIY project, or maybe you just want to overhaul your entire wardrobe. Whatever it is, you’re in a goal savings mode. Here is some advice from me: 

  • Make sure your emergency savings is healthy.

  • Do not compromise your emergency savings or investment savings to do this.

  • Assess your budget and decide how you want to save for these goals.

The final stage is family & inheritance savings which most people call trust or estate planning for their living beneficiaries. This stage is usually later in life but is something everyone should think about at some point, especially if you have children to pass your wealth or assets to. My advice when you’re at this point:

  • Meet with financial planners or advisors to discuss what assets you have and how you want them managed or divided.

  • Make sure you have life insurance.

  • Develop an estate or trust plan including a will.

  • Decide how or when you want to cash in your investments and other assets.

This is not a prescription that you have to follow exactly. You can mix and match what fits your life and your goals. But I wholeheartedly believe that a financially stress-free life comes when you start to focus on managing and controlling your money.

If you want a place to start, I recommend Dave Ramsey and the “Ramsey Solutions” program.

(Below here is the life story part you can skip. I included it to be more relatable and put it at the end if you haven’t bought into my bologna yet. You can thank me in the comments if you appreciate this format!)

My Experience 

I grew up as one of four kids in a single parent household. My mom worked in special education, so her salary was laughable. I started working at McDonald’s when I was 15 making $7.25 an hour back in 2010. Because I saw how much my mom struggled growing up, I decided I wanted to figure out how to save.

I put all my paychecks into my savings account and only pulled money out when I had to pay my phone bill, car insurance, put gas in my car, or if I wanted to buy something. When I was 17 I moved out officially, renting my first apartment by the time I was 18. I worked two jobs and went to school full time, trying my best to set aside money but I never had a plan.

By the time I was 20 I ate through all my savings, was living month to month, and my boyfriend and I were financially stressed. Christmas of that year my car’s tire exploded, and I needed $100 to replace it. I didn’t even have an extra $100 to cover my car. 

I decided enough was enough and I was going to start saving. I started out by paying all my bills and spending like I normally would, then I would check my balance at the end of the month. I’d look at what I had left and move all my remaining money into a savings account. I did that for a few months just to see how much I could save on average.

Right around my 21st birthday I decided to make my first ever budget. I calculated my average monthly income, estimated my average monthly expenses, and built out a savings plan. Since then, on every payday the first thing I do is move the money into my savings account based on my plan.

I bought and paid off my first car, by myself, before I was 23. I paid off several large chunks of debt, including my Sallie Mae student loan before I was 26. I opened a Roth 401k through work, built an emergency nest egg, and I now have two life insurance policies on myself and one on my husband. I even pay into disability insurance so if I am out of work, I have some income to fall back on.

It’s been 7 years and at 28 I’ve managed to save over $60,000 which I’ve used to fund my emergency savings and pay off other loans and debts. I’ve almost managed to save another $30,000 for my Roth 401k through paycheck deductions and used my employer’s matching program to nearly double the balance in it. 

What I want you to understand is I haven’t done anything crazy, I just worked around the means I had and within my savings goals. When I started saving at 21, I was making $12/hr in a call center, living in an apartment with my boyfriend, and struggling with a lot of medical issues. Knowing what I’ve been through and what I’ve figured out, I promise you can figure it out.

I believe in you and all your savings goals and dreams!

Author’s note: This is a not-blog blog. There will be no long-winded introductions, no weird backstories from childhood memories, and absolutely no pointless paragraphs of text about things you’d rather have a “skip to the important stuff” button to bypass.

I hope my posts are helpful. I try to break these things down in a way that is easy to read and understand. I appreciate any feedback on how to improve, so feel free to leave a comment below. If you are simply enjoying the content, I’d love to hear about that as well!

Disclosure: I am not a licensed financial advisor. I have an accounting degree and am a business major with a certification in finance, but I am not a legal expert. These posts come from my personal experience, learning through trial and error, working in the banking industry for nearly a decade, and seeing the fruitfulness of this advice in my own life.

4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page