today we are talking about MONEY. and more specifically, holding on to it…

topic: what’s your money philosophy? what are your favorite ways to save? to you, what’s worth spending money on? click through to read our answers!

what’s your money philosophy?

bri: i’m kinda crazy about money, but i’ll try to answer this question as normal as possible. i think it stems from watching one of my family members make a lot of money and then lose it all. it was pretty scary for me, and i think it gave me a fear that money is only temporary. i now have this feeling that i really want to feel secure financially, so saving and spending responsibly is really important to me. of course i think splurging on things that really mean something to you is valuable, but i don’t believe in being overindulgent with money. even when you have the means to do so.

natalie: debt free living and responsible spending. i worked like a real maniac for a few years to pay off my student loans, i just didn’t want to go through life with that hanging over my head. now when i make any major purchase i only do it if i know i can really afford it. i like to have a lot of cushion when getting into anything that involves monthly payments.

erika: if you don’t have the cash for it, you can’t buy it. but don’t actually pay for it with cash, put it on a good credit card (i like capital one venture) to get some airline points towards your next trip! but you have to always make the FULL payment at the end of the month.

joanie: my tendency is to back and forth between trying to spend as little as possible and being super cautions with spending to feeling like i’ve saved so much lately and i should treat myself! i’m working towards having a more balanced approach and spending with intention. thinking through everything, and not making impulse purchases.

what are your favorite ways to save?

bri: you know that little guilty feeling you get when you spend a little too much on a meal, or a new dress? i try to manage that feeling by not having it too often. balance, balance, balance. i’m always constantly assessing whether things are worth it, or just luxury. i don’t need to postmates my food more than once a week. i don’t need to pay for hulu, hbo AND netflix. i should eat at home more often or walk instead of taking uber on vacation. i really do think about these things all the time. i’m probably a little overboard, but i just don’t want to get into a place where everything is a luxury, and i’m not thinking about my spending. i also make sure to put money in my 401k every month, and put aside a portion of every job into savings. i’ve never been one of those people that gets a paycheck and wants to go spend it all in one place, it feels better to me to distribute it and wait to treat myself when it really matters.

natalie: the best way to start saving is just by starting. once i start to see my savings grow a little i’m more inclined to save more, it’s becomes a bit of game. when i feel like saving is hard i like to make a big list of all the things i want to do and break them down by price. so first i start with all the things i want to do that cost no money at all, then i do a $1-20 list, $20-50, $50-100 and $100 . that way when i get the urge to spend on something unnecessary i can take a look at my list and remember all the things i want to do that are free or cost very little. it’s a great way to keep money in your pocket and get things done. and of course DIY, i rarely pay for anything i can easily make myself.

erika: i try to set a certain percentage aside with each paycheck. if you can set up a percentage of your paycheck to go automatically go into your savings, go for it! that way you never saw the money in your checking in the first place and you save without actually realizing it. it’s all about the mind tricks.

joanie: in my mind, it feels like it’s the small expenditures that get me in the end so to save i almost never buy lunch out during the work week, same goes for coffee runs – those are for special occasions, i limit memberships and subscriptions – no cable TV package, or HBO login. unsubscribe from all of my clothing store emails because if i don’t look, i don’t buy and my husband does all of the grocery shopping because if i go i will buy twice as much as we need.

to you, what’s worth spending money on?

bri: travel for SURE. restaurants with people i love. my business.

natalie: experiences and things that impact your daily life in bigs ways. i typically save for travel with my husband and friends, often booking trips after long periods of hard work. that way i have something to look forward to while i’m working on challenging projects, it’s my version of dangling a carrot. the other things i am willing to spend a little more money on are items for my house. i think it’s important to make your space somewhere you enjoy being, it’s your personal refuge from the anxieties of daily life. so even if you have a roommates i think it’s good to make your room a place you want to be. buy the best mattress you can afford since you sleep on it every night and good sleep is important. if you can’t afford an amazing mattress go all out on a fancy pillow. when you have you’re own place pieces like sofas and dining tables are worth getting the best quality you can. well bought furniture can last a lifetime.

erika: i like to spend money on experiences more that having a bunch of things. a magical trip with someone you love will be much more memorable than an outfit you’re going to forget about in your closet. i say go to a concert, not to a store. other than experiences, i like to spend money on my home too. to me your home is your sanctuary and if you’re not in a space that makes you feel good, i think that can negatively impact on your life. spring for a trip somewhere you’ve never been before, and hold back on the new shoes.

joanie: definitely food but that’s mostly on groceries and less one eating out. buying a nicer bottle of wine and making something at home or stocking the fridge with things i like to eat so that mealtime doesn’t become a chore. also, experiences – i don’t have a lot of time to travel so my husband and i are weekend warriors. there is something so satisfying about even just one or two nights away and it doesn’t break the bank. also, when it comes to fashion and home decor i’ll usually buy fewer more expensive items. last fall, i bought an expensive wool jacket from vince that was definitely a splurge but i wore it four times a week, over everything and i still love it.

tell us, what’s your philosophy on money and saving it??

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Add your own

    Kristin says:

    It’s not a sexy subject, but it’s important. I focused on paying off my school loans, which meant living with my mother into my 30’s which isn’t sexy.

    BUT, for as hard as I’ve been on myself, millennials are underpaid, under-employed and just not in a great place financially.

    If you’re in your 30’s and own a condo or home, you’re in the minority.

    Also, financial security / fiancial know-how has been gendered for centuries.

    It’s important that women empower themselves financially.

    It can be so intimidating, daunting, and well, discouraging, but it’s true independence.

    Allyn says:

    This is great! Such a responsible way to view things. My main tips would be:
    1) Set up that automatic transfer from checking to savings! Doesn’t matter if it’s weekly or how much money or anything. Just do it. Then, after a few months, increase it. See how little your life changes with a small increase. Keep doing this every so often. At first it will seem like your savings is barely growing, but then it will reach a magical spot (which is different for everyone) where you’re like DAMN! It’s working! Then you’ll see how much more you can add.
    2) Any raises or bonuses, if at all possible, go straight into savings. I even have these as a separate and labeled automatic transfer every payday. We know we can get along just fine on that original income. No need to spend it all. If something big comes along that we need extra money for, I can immediately transfer back from savings.
    3) Seriously cannot agree more on “only buying things you have the money for.” My husband and I share a 2000 Toyota, complete with rust spots. Pretty? Nope. But it’s all ours! Plus our insurance and gas bill are cheaper this way. Total win!
    4) Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. I had some really shitty medical bills come in last year, and even though we’re well above the poverty line, we’re not rolling in money, so I applied for financial assistance on the big bill and got 60% taken off! Then my husband sent the letter from the hospital to a doctor who had a separate bill and he gave us the same 60% discount, even though his bill was wayyyy smaller than the one from the hospital. I’m so glad we asked because it saved us close to $1,000.
    5) Figure out something worth saving for, and don’t buy it until you have more than enough money for it. We went to Portugal last summer after saving and saving, and it was so awesome to have a great trip and come home to no credit card debt AND money still in savings.
    6) If you really have issues with how you spend your money, talk to a therapist. I was seeing a therapist at age 19 or 20 for something else and she pointed out the exact cause of my compulsive spending issues. It was SUCH a lightbulb moment for me, and changed everything. Even now I remember what she said when I feel that urge to spend frivolously and I can remind myself that I don’t have to give that childhood baggage any power over me. I’m stronger than that.

    Lindsay says:

    I LOVE using Digit.
    I’ve saved like $800 + in the last 6 months without even really noticing a difference. It’s been a game changer for me!

    Kari says:

    Love these tips! Great conversation!

    sana says:

    I especially loved this real talk post!Maybe (??) unlike most of your readers I’m a teen, so this was a really interesting perspective for me to hear. My dad is always telling me to save, he practically raised me to always buy on sale and never to buy anything that isn’t absolutely worth it. It’s definitely had a huge impact on me 🙂 Thanks for the advice for my adult years!

    Catherine says:

    I’m a big believer in saving – I did a blog post with my tips too 🙂

    My main thing is to start small, and just save something – anything! And always save at the beginning of the month, as a non-negotiable, so you know it’s taken care of.

    Melody Rich says:


    I’d been saying for years that I was going to move from my tiny college town to Dallas. Oddly enough, I made a poster board with one of those giant thermometers on it and made a plan of how much I should save by certain dates. Having that visual every day stopped me from spending money on frivolous things. I reached my goal EARLY and moved to Dallas last summer! This year, I’ve broken it down by dates again. I’m saving so much each quarter of the year and in a few years want to have enough for a down payment on a house.
    It truly does become a game. A super rewarding game. 🙂

    filicia says:

    I have becoming more and more in love with real talk feature.
    it is fun to see the perspective of each of you guys and feel related to what you have in mind.


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