a guest Mar 18th, 2019 51 Never
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- Two weeks ago, I met with Octavia Ramirez from Paper & Coin, a financial coaching company for Millennials. After looking over my spending, Octavia helped me pinpoint the transactions that are standing between me and my downpayment savings plan. The biggest red flag was my apartment — swallowing 45 percent of my income each month. A lightbulb went off and I decided to sublet my loft and move in with a friend for a year.
- Realizing I’d be saving around $500 a month on shelter was a huge relief. But ever since our session, I’ve been voluntarily cutting my spending everywhere else, too. I’m walking more, I deleted Uber from my phone, have packed a lunch every day, banished retail therapy and my social life may or may not have fallen off a cliff. It’s become less about funding my dream to own a cottage and more about winning a restrictive savings game. Naturally, I’m starting to hate my life, a bit.
- How can I save without skimping? I don’t want to trade my life for a log cabin.
- Enter Shannon Lee Simmons, the badass personal finance expert behind the New School of Finance. In my interview with Shannon, she encourages you to invest in things that make you happy (and axe anything that doesn’t add value), she shared her budgeting technique that has nothing to do with complicated spending categories and offers advice to put a pin in the comparison game.
- MY TOP TAKEAWAYS
- Shannon encourages you to take a look at your spending and cut-out anything that has a low emotional return on investment. Here’s how I painlessly cut $783 from my spending each month:
- $70 on car insurance: I’ve been splitting a car with my brother for over a year now, despite the fact that I only drive it approximately once a month (if that). He’s now footing the bill (sorry, bro!).
- $40 on gas from the one time I drove the car: Taking the bus to my parents next time. Cut!
- $12 in bank fees: After studying my statements, I thought $15.95 in bank fees seemed high. So I asked for the most basic plan which allows for 12 transactions a month instead of unlimited. No biggie!
- $48 in my gym membership: I don’t even like going to the gym and I already had a membership to Planet Fitness that cost $10 a month. Exercising at home now. Cut!
- $146 for a subway pass: I hate the TTC. I love cycling. It makes me happy. Goodbye!
- $467 in rent: When I sublet my place and move in with my friend. Can’t wait to pop the champagne cheap prosecco (duh — I’m on a budget!).
- ASK AN EXPERT
- Q: I can only put a tiny amount aside each month to go towards my homeownership goals. Is there even a point?
- Shannon Lee Simmons: When it comes to a savings plan, the best card we have is consistent savings over time. It’s way better to be honest with yourself about how much you can realistically save and then do it again and again and again over hyper-saving over three months and then giving up altogether.
- Slow and steady wins the race, my friends.
- *Our next newsletter is all about how to decide what mortgage plan is right for you. Want to ask Matt Yakabuski from The Mortgage Advisors a question?
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- MORE RELEVANT READS
- If you’re also racing to buy a place, read this first.
- Planning to move in with mom and dad to save for a downpayment? This is your new survival guide.
- Would you pass the mortgage stress test? Find out here.
- Need inspo? This Millennial bought a home in Ontario on a single income that never exceeded $42,000.
- Stuck in your rental for now? Make the most of your studio apartment with these design tips.
- Taking on mortgage debt? Ask yourself these 4 questions first.
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