The ‘I Will Teach You to Be Rich Journal’ Helped Me Save $100 a Month

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  • I’ll Teach You to Get Rich author Ramit Sethi has just released a new diary to use alongside his bestselling book.
  • I’ve never been a good saver, but writing in this journal motivates me to do better.
  • I combed through my budget and found an additional $100 in savings.

I didn’t get good at saving money until I was 29, when major gender-affirming surgery was on the horizon. While the surgery was covered by California State Health Insurance, I had to cover two months of living expenses — about $7,000 I had saved in just eight months — in case something went wrong.

It took my state disability agency eight weeks to process my FMLA vacation request, which meant I had used every penny of those emergency savings to make ends meet. Since then, I’ve been less disciplined as a saver and am looking for ways to get back on track.

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When I learned that I’ll Teach You How to Get Rich author Ramit Sethi was releasing a new diary to accompany his bestseller, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get my savings goals back on track bring to.

The journal isn’t about technical skills in personal finance, it’s about changing the way you think

I expected Sethi’s journal to include saving worksheets and more technical knowledge of personal finance, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that wasn’t the case at all.

In an interview via the Journal, Sethi told me: “I think there are a lot of books about money that make you feel like you have to line up all your ducks, you have to pull all your account information and you have to get all your passwords.” ready. The philosophy of this journal is simple and fun.”

Rather than giving you an overview of technical personal finance terminology, using the “I’ll Teach You To Be Rich” journal reminded me why I wanted to achieve my savings goals in the first place.

Understanding what I want for my “rich life” motivated me to save more

Since I spent my childhood traveling between different cities and countries, I saw buying a home as a big goal in life. As I began filling in Sethi’s journal, I realized that I actually care less about homeownership than the opportunity to travel and live in two or three cities a year.

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In the magazine, Sethi writes, “One of my favorite invisible scripts is that you ‘must’ own a house. I’ve rented an apartment in New York City for more than 10 years with much more flexibility and freedom than owning it myself. After going through the numbers, I actually have quiet Rent of your choice.”

I realized that I didn’t feel motivated to start saving for a home because I didn’t really want to — I just felt that way should want it. But once I started writing in the journal about being bicostal, taking more time out of the year to travel, and spending more time with my family, it felt like a new flame was ignited beneath me to be more aggressive again save up.

I combed through my budget and found an additional $100 in savings

In the past, I’ve made the mistake of changing my budget too much to start saving. I would say to myself, “I’m going to save $500 a month! I will stop eating out completely and I will not go to shows and events!” This savings mentality quickly backfired and I spent my savings as quickly as I earned them.

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Sethi’s journal has made me feel like I have more than enough time to meet my savings goals and that I can set smaller, more realistic savings goals each month to make it easier. With that, I’ve found four areas in my budget where I can spend $25 less: dining out, gas, clothing, and events.

By cutting $25 in each of those categories, it doesn’t feel like a complete deprivation. Instead of skipping Everyone Dinner and lunch with my friends, a $25 cut means I only have to skip one a month. Instead of feeling left out because I can’t go every single one Party or event, I only have to skip one or two a month to cut the budget by $25 — or just focus on finding free events to attend.

The journal helped me understand that it’s definitely not too late to start saving for my “rich life” — nor do I have to wait until I live my “rich life.”

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