Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What's the first thing you saved for?

Welcome to the Finance Gym Action Plan for a Better Life with Money Video Series. My name's Stacey Powell, and if you're ready to not just know better, but do better, you've come to the right place.

And today I'm going to get a little real and tell a couple of stories about myself. Today we're gonna be talking about savings. It's the third chapter in the book, and it's not called savings, it's called, "Building Peace of Mind". Because I've come to believe that that is what savings does for people, and it's certainly what savings has done for me.

In the first part of the book, I ask you to think about the first thing that you ever saved for. I love hearing those stories from people. A lot of times it's saving in a piggy bank and some little thing that you bought when you were 5 years old. Or maybe as a teenager, your first car.

I'm quite sure that my parents at some point "taught" me how to save or told me that I should, I honestly don 't remember. And when I think about the first thing I ever saved for I can't think of a single thing as a kid, a child, a teenager that I saved for.

In telling the story of the first thing that I saved for, it's a little bit embarrassing actually because I was pretty old. I'd already graduated from college. I already had a really good professional career. And I had never really saved for something that I wanted to buy.

So I did, like I've mentioned before, something that I was told to do, that I kinda thought maybe was a little bit ridiculous.  I started setting small amounts of money aside for things. And one of the things that I started setting aside for was something that I'd always wanted and that was a really, really nice Native American flute.

Now we're not talking about anything worth a couple thousand dollars here, but we're it wasn't a cheap $50 flute either. It was in the low hundreds and at the time to me setting aside that money just felt irresponsible. I had a lot of other important obligations that I was trying to meet. So I took an amount of money. First it was $5 then it was $20. And I put it in this little envelope every single month, the cash, I got the cash, and I put it in this envelope until I had saved enough to buy it.

I could have bought it at any other point in time by just doing the machinations that I had been doing, really, my entire adult life. But it was, it was the action of saving for that and the gratitude of going out and searching for just the right flute that I wanted. It was that whole experience; I just hadn't done it before. You know, and I should have done it when I was 5. I should have done it when I was a teenager. I should have at least done it in my 20's. But that just wasn't my reality. I had never done it before. So when I was practicing, it felt kinda silly.

But we all have to learn to ride a bike somehow. If we don't learn to do it as a child, then we've got to learn to do it as an adult. So when you get to that question in the book or that question in the video, "What's the first thing you remember saving for?", if you can't remember saving for something, then I want you to do what I did. Because I learned something really important. It wasn't about the flute, because jump ahead years later, I have so many savings accounts. For prudent reserves, for vacations, for taxes, for all kinds of stuff, fun stuff.

I am now a savings master. And I think it's fun. And it all started with what felt like a silly little tiny itty bitty exercise. But in the end, it's what I needed to do. In some areas, I needed to just dial back and start again. And so for those of you that need to do that too, go do that.

Because the rest of the chapter we're going to talk about all kinds of savings. And it's kinda masters level savings that I'm going to be talking about, and I want you to be ready.

And as always I don't want you to do it alone. This stuff isn't necessarily meant to be done alone, head on over to Facebook and join our Team Do Better Group or sign up for our newsletter at or subscribe to our subscribe to our YouTube channel. And join us in learning how to build peace in our lives through savings. Thanks for watching.


  1. I love that you call savings, building peace of mind. I agree! It is the space in my financial life that is a buffer. Mental health is a valuable asset.

    1. Thanks! Peace of mind is definitely the biggest gift I've had from my money journey.