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- “I’ll Teach You To Be Rich” author Ramit Sethi has just released a new diary to use alongside his best-selling book.
- I have never been a good saver, but writing in this diary motivates me to do better.
- I reviewed my budget and found an additional $100 in savings.
I wasn’t good at saving money until I was 29, with a major gender-affirming surgery on the horizon. Although the surgery was covered by California state health insurance, I needed to prepare for two months’ living expenses (about $7,000, which I saved in just eight months) in case something went wrong.
My state disability office took eight weeks to process my FMLA leave application, which meant I used every penny of those emergency savings to make ends meet. Since then, I have become less disciplined as a saver and have been looking for ways to get back on track.
When I learned that “I’ll Teach You How to Be Rich” author Ramit Sethi released a new diary to accompany his best-selling book, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get back on track with my savings goals.
The magazine is not about technical personal finance skills, but about changing your mindset
I expected Sethi’s journal to include savings spreadsheets and more technical personal finance skills, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t at all.
In an interview about the magazine, Sethi told me, “I think there are a lot of books about money that make you feel like you have to put all your ducks in a row, you have to get all your account information out and get all your passwords ready. philosophy of this magazine is easy and fun.
Instead of giving you a rundown of technical personal finance terms, using the “I’ll Teach You to Be Rich Journal” reminded me of why I wanted to reach my savings goals in the first place.
Understanding what I want for my ‘rich life’ motivated me to save more
Because I spent my childhood moving between different cities and countries, I used to think of buying a house as an important goal in life. As I began to fill out Sethi’s diary, I realized that owning a home is less important to me than the ability to travel and live in two or three cities a year.
In the diary, Sethi writes, “One of my favorite unseen scripts is that you ‘must’ own a home. I rented an apartment in New York City for over 10 years. Renting was a great financial decision for me because I gave much more flexibility and freedom to own.In fact, after doing the numbers, yet rental of choice.”
I realized that I wasn’t motivated to save for a house because I didn’t really want it, I just felt that should I love you. But when I started journaling about being bicoastal, taking more time out of the year to travel, and spending more time with my family, it felt like a new flame lit up under me to start saving more aggressively again.
I reviewed my budget and found an extra $100 in savings
In the past, I’ve made the mistake of trying to make too big a change in my budget to start saving. He was telling himself, “I’m going to save $500 a month! I’m going to stop eating out altogether and I’m not going to shows or events!” That savings mindset quickly backfired and I spent my savings as fast as I earned it.
Sethi’s journal helped me feel like I have more than enough time to accomplish my savings goals and that I can set smaller, more realistic savings goals each month to make it easier. With that, I found four areas in my budget where I can spend $25 less: eating out, gas, clothing, and events.
Cutting $25 from each of these categories doesn’t feel like a total deprivation. instead of jumping everybody dinners and lunches with my friends, a $25 cut means I only have to skip one a month. Instead of feeling left out because I can’t go to each party or event, I only have to skip one or two a month to make a $25 budget cut, or just focus on finding free events to attend.
Journaling helped me understand that it’s definitely not too late to start saving for my “rich life,” and I don’t have to wait to start living my “rich life.”