You hear “finance” and you’re freaking out? You might be young, you might want to enjoy your life by traveling, by buying a lot of stuff. But it’s even better if you don’t have to think about money at the end (or even at the beginning) of the month!!
Actually, the earlier you start being more mindful about money, the earlier you stop thinking about money. Interesting, isn’t it?
My experience with financial independence
This is the first time I talk about money here but it’s really important. And I think it’s even more important during 20s.
I was the kind of girl who was saying that it’s better to enjoy life than to save money. But it was always complicated at the end of the month. I didn’t think that I went out really often or even that I bought a lot of clothes but at the end of each month, I didn’t save any money.
Then I started to become a minimalist and my perception of things changed. I bought a lot less clothes or things for home but I didn’t really see the difference until I looked seriously into my spendings.
There was one thing that make me realize that I overspent my money. It’s when I sold my clothes or old smartphones, computers and so on. I’ve realized how much money I spent on them and how much money I sold them for… And it really made me sick!
The first time I heard about financial independence was on a YouTube video. It was the first time that I heard the F.I.R.E expression (Financial Independent Retirement Early) and I have to admit that retire early is something that seduced me right away! Ahah!
I read a lot of blog posts about it and the number one book to read when you’re interested in the FIRE movement is Your Money or Your Life. I devoured this book! It really opened my eyes to the hours that I spend on my work and how I spend my money, even on holidays! I realized that during vacations we were mostly aiming to rest and relax far from work, not really aiming to explore a new country.
It’s been two months since I started paying attention to my spendings and my mindset about it has changed. I now save 3 times more money each month!
How you can start your own financial independence
I’ve started my own financial independence with the 4 following steps.
First of all, I need to tell you that you don’t have to cut off all your spendings and be careful for all the money that goes out of your wallet. You can get out, you can buy clothes but you will do it with more intention.
The goal is to not regret your purchase a month later.
Start a financial audit
The financial audit is something that I did when I’ve become a minimalist. Here are the 2 steps to do a financial audit :
- The first is to know how much money you spend each month :
Print your last three statements of all you accounts then circle all the expenses that you consider useless or that don’t serve a clear purpose.
- Then you need to know how much money you’re able to save each month :
When you finish to identify the “wasteful” spendings, you need to know what are your mandatory expenses (your rent, your student loan..). Now you can subtract your income with these expenses : that’s what you’ve left for the month.
If you need more information, download my FREE 5 steps to become a minimalist Guide here!
Give yourself a money goal
For example, in January, I’ve decided to save a certain amount of money. I know it’s ambitious but it’s attainable.
To track my savings for the year, I just did a table with cases and when I save an amount of dollars, I color one case. It really helps me to see where I am and it motivates me.
If you have debts, you can decide to pay all your debts in a specific date, like in 2 years.
You can also decide to buy a house or whatever.
And you, what is your money goal?
Automate your transfers
The better way to not think about money and savings is to automate your money transfer. The less you think about it, the better you will save your money.
For example, each month I have an automated transfer for saving my money on an account that I can’t touch. The amount that I’ve left at the end of the month, I put it on an account that I can touch if something happens to me.
Keep track of all your income and expenses
For the first six months of your financial independence pathway, it’s highly recommended to record all your incomes and your expenses. For that, you need to create an Excel table.
The first column is the detail of your incomes and expenses, and the second column is the amount of each category.
First, for the income, you need to indicate how much money you have from the previous month: in your bank account and in your wallet.
Then indicate what are your incomes: your salary, maybe money you earn thanks to clothes sales, side hustles…
Finally, in the expenses section, divide your expenses into categories. For example, if you shop for food every week, you add the amount in the food section and so on. Be precise when you record each expense, don’t round the sums.
This record will help you to identify what expenses are not related to your purpose.
Since I started my financial independence journey, I’m really in line with my purpose and my values. I buy clothes only with gift cards and what I buy sparks joy!
So if you want to stop worrying about money, stop being in debt and retire early, it’s the best solution!