How To Save More Money in 2017

It’s week 2 of 2017 and by now the bills from the holidays are starting to arrive.

You’re not alone if you’re dreading the balance on your credit card statement, or worse yet, the remaining balance in your bank account.  So it’s probably safe to guess that you’re kicking yourself in the ass for overspending and promising yourself that this year will be different.  Or maybe you’re just tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck.  This will be the year when you pay off the debt and start saving money.

But what’s your plan for that, friend?

Back in 2013, I was a high school teacher in Miami, FL.  Not what you’d expect of a licensed psychologist, but I got into it to put myself through graduate school.  I wanted to start my own practice, but doing so would be expensive and involve sacrifice. I stayed in teaching so I could pay the bills while I figured it out.  By the end of the year, I was anxious and depressed.  Waking up every morning to my 30-mile commute was absolute drudgery.

I knew I had to get my financial house in order to make the jump into my business.

In late 2013, I heard about Dave Ramsey’s online financial course.  I asked around, read reviews, and finally enrolled in it.  I spent 2014 getting my money matters resolved using the things I learned.  By the end of 2014, I saved enough to quit, taking a part-time job as a psychologist for college students that paid about the same as teaching.  I also started my practice as my side hustle around this time.

It wasn’t easy.

But today (just less than 2 years later), I quit the part-time job and work solely in my business.  I’m happy again and live a great life.  I sacrificed a lot of short-term luxuries that I was used to so that I could regain them in the long run.

Did you know that new year resolutions about money are the second most common ones?

Like me back in 2014, about 34% of Americans resolve to get out of debt, save more money, or start saving for retirement every January.  But money management resolutions are also the most commonly broken resolutions of all.  

Only 8% of these people reach their financial finish line.

That’s partly because they weren’t ready to change their money mindset or spending behaviors (which is totally okay, btw).  Everyone progresses at their own pace.  But for those that are ready to change, the other reason is that:

They don’t have a solid plan to reach their goals.

A quick internet search provides thousands of resources promising you financial clarity and plans that can help you get on track.  It’s hard to know which ones are worth trying or just plain BS with all that information.

Ask: “What did you do to achieve your financial goals?”

My single best piece of advice if your new year resolution involves money is to find people that are financially in a place where you’d like to be.  Ask them what they what they did to get there, and then shut up, listen, and take notes.  They’ll probably tell you about the bar crawls in Wynwood they missed because they were working extra hours.  Or hot new designer handbag they couldn’t afford to pay down their student loans.  Worse yet the fancy car they gave up to pay their beater car AND rent a microscopic studio.  They’re all variations on the same theme: sacrifice short-term pleasures for long-term gains.  And that’s only possible to do when you have clear financial goals and a plan to help you reach them.

Most young adults and professionals in Miami aren’t willing to live frugally in the short-term.

They provide all the reasons they can’t afford to do the things that would give them the quality of life they’re after as they drive off in a $557 monthly car.  Do they see the disconnect? Yes, but they rationalize the expense of the ____ (car, purse, shoes, etc.) as a way to fit in with friends or as a little luxury they ‘deserve’ because their life otherwise ‘sucks’.

Money woes are often cited as the reason for anxiety, depression, and feelings of unhappiness among young adults and professionals.

A lot of people tell me their lack of funds keeps them stressed about making the rent, affording to buy quality food, joining a gym, getting massages to relieve stress, or leaving the miserable, soul-draining job.

Is your money goal worth the sacrifice that comes along with it?

If you answered ‘yes’, congratulations.  I know the feeling of readiness to get your finances handled.  Doing it transformed my life.  Hire a financial planner.  Go find someone that you trust and whose financial habits you admire to mentor you.  Find a reputable financial study program you can enroll in.  It doesn’t matter if you aren’t ready to implement your plan on January 1st.  Spend a few weeks (or a month) getting clear and learning new skills so you can set your plan in motion mid-January or February 1st (or whatever your timetable looks like).  

If you put in the work up front, you’ll change your relationship with money long-term.

I hope you’re among the 8% that achieves their 2017 money resolutions.  Be sure to reach out for help if staying motivated, fitting in with friends, or other money mindset obstacles get in your way.  You can call me at (305) 501-0133 or click here to schedule a free 20-minute Clarity Consult if you need additional support with your money mindset.

erika martinez media expert psychologist miami

Erika Martinez, Psy.D.is the founder, owner, and a licensed psychologist at Envision Wellness in Miami, FL.  She specializes in working with ambitious young professionals and entrepreneurs to overcome anxiety/stress, burnout, limiting beliefs, people-pleasing, low self esteem, heartbreak, and toxic relationships/codependency.  Dr. Martinez has a passion for helping others achieve happy, fulfilling, and change-making lives that make the world a better place.  Click here to schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation.  Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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