A penny saved is a penny earned

I wish the title were true, but I have at least 16 pennies in my wallet and they haven’t done a thing in months.  And its not like they have QEII on them like their Canadian penny.

I generally dislike saving.   No, not generally.  Specifically.  I specifically dislike saving unless its for a pair of new Jimmy Choos.  I’m currently obsessed with this pair of wedges and STILL kicking myself for not getting last year after I passed my second bar exam!!!

          

But now, I would sell a couple of toes to have the wedges in a couple different colors and a couple different heights.  But anyway, back to my point.  I have a savings account now (which is like a mini me version of our joint savings account where B is definitely doing the heavy lifting) and I seem to be pretty good at saving for short term things.  Like shoes.  Or birthday presents for B (Happy Birthday week, B!).  I was super impressed with myself for saving the cash necessary  to buy the much desired (but unexpected, YAY!) Xbox 360 + Kinect and a bunch of dance games.

I’m really looking forward to getting my dance on!!

But anyway, back to my point.  While I dislike savings, I **DO** like having a nest egg.  And money for repairs.  And not having to use credit to buy things I want or go on vacation.  And having investments.  So it seems B has been right all along about budgeting and saving.

My big trick (and it helped me break my daily Starbucks habit) is to give myself a reasonable weekly budget for lunches out and coffee.  Some weeks, like this one, I use most/all of my budget.  Other weeks, I have one $14 lunch and maybe a medium coffee, and I transfer the amount I don’t spend into savings.  Ditto for clothes.

And recently instead of transferring the money into savings, I have transferred the money into our brokerage account (which probably pays more interest than my savings account).  But here comes the fun.  Investing is a heck of a lot like shopping.  I look around, see what catches my eye, and add it to a list to watch (which I usually do for clothes – coming soon, my summer shopping list!!).

Then, like any good shopper, I wait for bargains.  Depending on the sale and my sense of how long it lasts, I may transfer more money from savings into my brokerage account.  But then I go shopping.  The thing about stocks is that they are like the perfect cashmere or pima cotton cardigan — they last forever.  And if you choose the right ones, they go up or stay the same in value.  And unlike clothes, many pay dividends, which means I have more money in the brokerage account to buy more stocks.

I am never going to be a great long-term saver like B (which is why I tend to give windfall money like bonuses, refunds, or other large amounts of cash to the joint savings account before I end up buying a Mulberry bag with them).  But I have discovered that I can be a pretty good short-term saver and great investor.  And it sure as heck makes me feel good when I am flat out working non stop to open our brokerage account and see all these tangible investments.

Because in the end, saving for investments is no different than saving for new clothes, expensive shoes, good birthday presents, or home repairs.   It’s all about shopping for the best value.

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2 thoughts on “A penny saved is a penny earned

    1. You would love it! I’m currently stalking Target, Intel, and possibly Nordstrom (!!) as new investments in the same way I’m stalking low heel wedges and short sleeved cardigans.

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