Living Smart: Turn Your Spending Habits Into Saving Habits

BROUGHT TO YOU BY AMERICAN EXPRESS


My friend Erin once said, “Balance is a myth, just as control is an illusion.” Erin is a mother and business owner who we interviewed a few years ago, and her words stuck with me. Since then, Erin and I commiserate about the reality of “balancing” it all, and I am thankful to have her as a friend and champion of being OK with giving up on finding balance. As work has become more demanding, both emotionally and physically, her words have helped me look for ways to simplify in order to make life a little less complicated.

Giving up on the idea of having this perfect balance between my work and home life has had some surprising benefits. Instead of totally turning off work, I’ve been able to take lessons from making our business run smoothly and apply them to the way we “run” our household. While it may not sound super exciting, these changes have brought us so much more time and freedom to do the things we want to do.

For example, we have “meetings” to discuss vacations and big purchases and Joe and I both “manage” different aspects of our household and social calendar. We use a favorite app to communicate about those tasks so we don’t have to spend our evenings together discussing who was going to take the car into the shop. We also make our purchasing habits work harder for us. We’ve been able to achieve this since we started thinking about using our spending as an opportunity to work toward our savings goal.

Where to start? The secret, we found, was creating a spending system that aligns with our values. Are you a family that plans big vacations this year? Or, are you like us, saving towards big goals like a new house or starting a business?

For MANY of us, having cash to put toward purchases makes those savings goals a little easier to attain. Since Joe and I have gotten wiser about finances as we’ve gotten older, we agreed on setting up automatic payments and began looking for the right credit card and apps that would make savings automated. We also ended up getting a credit card that gave us Cash Back. Joe and I have only used American Express since before we met, so in an effort to keep things simple, we landed on the new American Express Cash Magnet. More on that later.

It’s been hard for us to learn simple habits for saving money. Life is busy, balance is difficult, and if you aren’t one of those lucky people born with a knack for managing money, it is really easy to feel like your spending habits are running your life.

Since we have so many readers who are looking to make the products they use work harder for them (like turning your spending into a little cushion for future spending), we teamed up with American Express to share details about a new Card designed to simplify and assist busy people like you and me.

The new American Express Cash Magnet Card from American Express takes all the work out of managing your rewards and financial details offering 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases (HUGE for us). The Cash Back benefits are amazing, so you can go about your life knowing you are earning Cash Back on your purchases. It’s a great Card for learning how to develop good saving and spending habits.

Starting a business was the scariest thing I had ever done until I decided to grow my small business. What I didn’t expect was how much I would learn about managing my personal life in the process. We each get to decide how to build a life that works for us, and thankfully, you don’t have to master life balance or become a financial guru to find a little bit of freedom.

Ed. note: This post was sponsored by American Express. The compensation received in exchange for placement on Wit & Delight is used to purchase props, hire a photographer, write/edit the blog post and support the larger team behind Wit & Delight.

While compensation was received in exchange for coverage, all thoughts and opinions are always my own. Sponsored posts like these allow for the development of additional dynamic content to be produced, unsponsored. Thank you for supporting our partners!

  • Thank you for always sharing your insight, Kate. 🙂 It’s so interesting how our minds shift in perspective on certain aspects in life habits as we get older. I might not have a husband and family yet, but trying to figure out of when to slow down on work and carving time to create has been interesting.

    • I second this question! My husband and I have been married for almost 5 years and we still can’t figure out how to manage this area.

  • I totally agree about balance – it’s a myth! We are usually off balance all the time, putting efforts into certain aspects of our lives over others and then gently trying to pull ourselves back to center. I don’t think true balance between work and home can ever be consistent as we go through phases. But it’s good to try!

    Eva | http://www.shessobright.com

  • As a student, this post resonated with me. In college there is no balance and it is easy to get sidetracked in terms of spending money. At times it is hard to think of long-term goals and saving for the future when you currently have to spend money on textbooks and yourself. I think the idea of automated paying is splendid and I have also started doing that for most of my college bills as it eases some worries. This blog was truly helpful especially the cash back aspect. I would definitely have to look into it.

  • Good Saturday afternoon! Please share with us your apps and tips to manage your household and life with Joe. I use apps like Todoist, Tally, Spendee and iCloud Calendar. I simply love them so much. BUT my boyfriend and I we run a business together so it`s really tricky for us to manage business, household and love things kind of separately. And unfortunately he is not into these apps like me. It would be very helpful to hear how you guys doing it.
    Lot of love!