Small steps get a bad rap sometimes. They come off as being slow, lazy, and well, weak. Not exactly anything we want to be associated with, right?
But if you’re juggling bills, student loans, and the constant temptation of online shopping, the last thing you need is a plan with big steps that feel overwhelming. We both know what happens when we’re faced with overwhelm, we look the other way, avoid the thing altogether, or put it off until we have “more time and energy” to work on it.
That’s one of the reasons why small steps matter so much! They take away the intimidation and overwhelm and offer up easy steps that help you make progress consistently.
In this post, I want to share how making small, realistic changes in our daily lives can pave the way for financial success. Plus, I’ve got some exciting news—my new book, Simple Secrets to Becoming a Saving Whiz, is available for pre-order now! Inside, you’ll discover how small, practical steps have transformed my life, and how they can transform yours too.
1. Setting the Stage: Let’s Talk Small Steps
Small steps aren’t about drastic changes overnight; they’re about making realistic, manageable shifts in your daily routine. By taking these small steps, like cooking at home instead of dining out, you’re setting the stage for a stable financial future. I know it may not seem like such a small change will make that big of a difference, but that’s the beauty of it! These little choices add up and create a foundation for long-term financial security.
2. The Power of Saving: A Little Goes a Long Way
When it comes to saving, small steps can yield some pretty impressive results. It could be as simple as setting up an automatic transfer to your savings account every payday. These small contributions may seem minor, but when was the last time you actually transferred money to your savings account?
Probably once or twice and forgot about it the other months. Having a small change like automation means you can live life while reaching your goals at the same time. It also means that you’ve removed the barrier to entry, you don’t have to think about transferring anything over because it’s done for you. And because we all know that time has a weird way of flying by, before you know it, you’ll have a fully funded savings account that you can lean on during emergencies or use for things you want to enjoy.
My new book, Simple Secrets to Becoming a Saving Whiz, dives deep into these small steps, offering practical tips to seamlessly integrate savings into your everyday life. You’ll learn my personal secrets to unlock your potential for building a strong savings account!
3. Debt Management: Crushing the Debt Monster
Paying off debt might feel overwhelming but breaking it down into manageable chunks is the key. By taking small steps, such as making extra payments or refinancing at lower rates, you can tackle your debt bit by bit.
If you’ve been a long-time reader, you already know that my husband and I paid off over $100,000 of debt in less than 5 years. You can learn more about my story here and I’ve also included a more detailed version inside the book. All this to say, I completely understand where you’re coming from because I’ve been there too.
4. Budgeting: Small Tweaks for Big Results
Budgeting doesn’t have to be complicated either; it’s about making small tweaks for significant impact. You can still enjoy the things that matter to you and stay on budget, but it takes getting really intentional with where and what deserves your dollars. So start out by making a list of non-negotiable expenses that add value to your life, and then scale back on the things that don’t.
We all subscribe or buy things for the person we think we are or will become. I had a gym membership for years and I barely used it. The thought of having it made me feel like somehow, I was making healthier choices, but all I was doing was wasting money, month after month. I personally will probably never be that person who has a consistent workout routine and I’m okay with that. And now, my budget reflects that accurately.
Imagine cutting down on subscription services you don’t really use or finding cost-effective alternatives for your daily expenses. These small changes are not only realistic but can have a substantial effect on your finances. Inside my book, I share my personal story with budgeting and what I did to make it work so much better for me. Hint: it’s not ditching all the fun stuff. You’ll have practical tips to try so you can create a budget that works for you. Pre-order it here.
5. Investing Wisely: Growing Your Money Tree
Investing can seem a bit intimidating at first, because every step seems like a huge decision that can drastically alter your finances. But investing is actually much easier than you think, especially if you start with small steps.
When I first started, I invested through work, only contributing 2% of my salary. I didn’t know what I was doing and wasn’t about to throw a bunch of money away while I learned. In hindsight, I could have invested much more early on, since index funds and target date funds (what I invested in) are much easier to manage on my own and they have served this this risk-averse person (me) very well, since they don’t fluctuate drastically, but slowly over time.
By investing early and contributing even small amounts consistently, I’ve been able to benefit from the magic of compounding interest. You’ll read more about how to implement small steps with your investing inside Simple Secrets to Becoming a Saving Whiz, even though I should add a disclaimer, I don’t give any financial advice about what investments to choose or specific steps you have to take. What I do share is my personal journey and things you can do to help alleviate some of the intimidation that comes with investing for the long term.
6. Building a Safety Net: Peace of Mind for the Unexpected
Life is unpredictable, and that’s why having an emergency fund is crucial. Small, regular contributions can make a huge difference when unexpected expenses pop up. We all have emergencies or unexpected things happen to us, and it’s important that we give ourselves a financial cushion to soften the blow of such events when they inevitably occur.
The best things are formed over time. In our current financial arena, big steps just don’t help as much as we think. Small steps do so much more for our finances, our confidence, and our success.
If you’re eager to read personal stories of my childhood, things I learned throughout the years, and how small steps literally transformed my life, I personally invite you to check out my new book, Simple Secrets to Becoming a Saving Whiz. I wrote it with you in mind because I remember being exactly where you are, feeling overwhelmed and worried about my financial health. This book isn’t like other finance self-help books, it written as a conversation between friends over coffee, chatting about life and money! I can’t wait for you to read it and discover for yourself just how magical taking small steps can be to reaching your financial independence.
It’s time for a change, friend. Let’s walk toward financial success together and remember that every small step is a step closer to the future you dream of!