Do you remember learning about anything but a checking and a savings account in high school? I don't! Did you know that savings accounts on average yield a 0.04% return on your money. That means if you have $1000.00 in your savings account, in a year you'll earn 0.40. You can't even buy a coffee with that. 

Let's take a look at the best ways to save money even if you're on a tight budget.

First things first, master the green gap! This financial strategy changed the entire way I looked at my finances and began paying down massive debts. From January 1st to April 30th we have paid down over $21,000 in debt. Anyone can do his, trust me! Green Gap will allow you to invest for the future while paying down debt and having fun.

Ok now that you know exactly how much money you have leftover after paying bills, you can start saving.

There's two types of savings:
1. saving for something in the near future like a car, a down payment for a house, or a vacation.

2. saving for the future.

When you are working on saving for a a purchase in the next few years, you'll want your money to be easily accessible in something like a high yield savings account.

High yield savings accounts, while still not THAT plentiful, are more plentiful than regular savings. High yield savings earn you on average .5% return annually. That means if you have $1000 in the bank, in one year you'll earn $5 for a total of $1005. And you're not penalized for taking money out whenever you want.

If you're saving for the future, investing is the key. Here's the thing, I know investing can sound scary because (well at least for me) we weren't taught about investing and we watched 2008 happen which was pretty scary in the investment world. BUT, there are high risk investments and low risk investments, and I am going to introduce to you an easy way to get your feet wet and still get a much larger return on your money for the future than putting your money in a savings account.

The S&P 500 Index is the 500 largest U.S. publicly traded companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Berkshire Hathaway. It yields an annual average 9-13% return. So if we take the lowest average of 9% return and you have $1000 in your investment account, in on year you'll earn $90 making your total $1090. That's much better than $5!

And then, there's something called compounding which is simply a reinvestment of your earnings. So now that you have $1190 in your account and you make an average of 9% return, by the next year you'll have $1188, and the next year $1291. That's all without putting any extra money into your investment account!

The great thing about the S&P index is that it is diversified and relatively low risk. You can certainly look around and find any other diversified, low risk investments to invest your money in, this is just the one that I started with and find very easy. If one of the stocks has a dip, you're less likely to see large effects in your account because it is equally balanced with lots of other stocks inside the index.

Alright, now that you know it's not that scary to start, where do you even begin?

I like to use Vanguard because I've been using them for years and they do have a lot of education available on their website. Its very easy to open up an account right online by providing some basic information and once they verify you're a real person with a social security number and you're not hiding from the IRS (LOL), you'll be good to go!

You can use the search feature to look into Roth vs. Traditional accounts and also use the search to see the S&P Index details or details of any other stocks you want to look into. 

Start small and set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account. Consistent steps will lead to large action. And then start diving into learning a little bit more. Some of my favorite books are Robert Kiyosaki's books like Retire Young Retire Rich. He does a great job breaking it down into easy to understand tidbits of information. 

And there you have it, how anyone can start saving and making a big impact even if you're on a tight budget. Just remember small daily steps are better than no steps at all.

Oh and if you're looking to link arms with other women who are working on leveling up their lives - creating time freedom, financial freedom and having FUN in life, then you'll definitely want to join Inspired + Ready for More.

And if finances are causing you stress - here's my FREE guide on how to calm the financial chaos. Cheers to creating a great today and future life. 




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