I remember the feeling…I read a book and it said: “Pay yourself first.”

Must be nice you can pay yourself, everything will magically work out, and all your bills get paid. How can I pay myself first when I can’t even pay my bills first? Can you relate? Okay, so how can we save money when it seems like we don’t have enough money coming in? How can you set up a savings schedule so that you do save?

And don’t worry, 5 years ago I was in your shoes, it took me 3 years to get out of 30k in student loan debt and buy my first place with CASH. During this time I was making 48k per year and living in my Dad and Stepmom’s basement (glamorous, I know). Through this process, I uncovered several tricks that helped me save money and pay off debt.

The 3 Tricks for saving money are:

1. BE SPECIFIC

Everyone I talk to wants to save money, I mean that is what you are always taught, right? What we don’t do is set a time frame and an amount we want to save. If you want to save for a new car, figure out how much you want to save and give yourself a time frame. Get as specific as possible when you save money. If you want to save for a down payment, figure out when you need the money and then work backward to figure out how much you need to save each month. For example, when I wanted to buy my first place I knew I wanted $60,000 in 2 years. So each month I saved $2500.

2. SAVINGS SCHEDULE

The idea behind paying yourself first is that you tell your money what to do. If you know you will make X amount of money every month, schedule X amount to go to savings every month. You can do this by creating a budget that gives each dollar a purpose. This will take the guessing game out of money management and streamline your savings. I do this because it makes saving money simple when you live within your budget.

3. CUT SPENDING OUT

This one may be hard because you are accustomed to the lifestyle you have now, and you don’t want to sacrifice “the good life.” I get it, however, sometimes you have to step up and decide that you have been reckless and it is about time to get responsible and make a change. Maybe you don’t need to eat out every day or you can lower your data limit on your phone. There are a lot of creative ideas to decrease your living expenses. I was telling my friends the other day that I recently started going to a barber to get my haircut because when I was broke I had a pair of clippers and asked my little brother to line up the edges.

By using these 3 tricks I paid off $30,000 in student loans in 12 months making 48k and saved up and bought my first place with cash. If you want something bad enough you will find a way, and if not you will find an excuse.


Rize uses one account to set, save, and track all of your financial goals, so you pay yourself first. From an emergency fund to a life-changing vacation, Rizers automatically save for goals they care about. With Rize you get an interest rate 17x the national average and Powers Ups that can help you save faster than ever. You work hard for your money, and your money should work hard for you! You can check out more blog posts by Young Adult Survival Guide here.

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