Work and Money
4 Ways Women Can Start Saving Money in 2021
Developing a savings plan to make you financially independent and secure can be incredibly empowering. To help women achieve their financial goals, Brie Sodano founded a financial-consulting business called Sheep to Shark. Since launching in 2017, this Girl Scout alum is nearing her first seven figures, and now she’s looking forward to contributing more to the personal finance industry in the coming year.
“I started in finance selling stocks and bonds, but realized most of my clients were having trouble with debt, cash flow, and saving,” Sodano tells CircleAround. “I started working with their budgets and quickly understood that a better plan wasn't the real solution.”
Instead, Sodano decided to work with clients on their habits and thought patterns around money to help them create lasting changes. Her business includes online courses and coaching services. “The biggest reward," she says, "is when I get a call or email from someone that has paid off their debt, saved 10k, shifted their cash flow, or stopped fighting about money with their spouse and says it is because of my work.”
We asked Sodano for some tips on how women can save more money in 2021. Here’s what she had to say.
1. Start Small
Building up personal wealth can feel overwhelming, but many will be amazed at how fast they can accumulate when they start off small. “If you’ve never been able to keep more than $1,000 in a savings account, a goal of $25,000 can seem unattainable,” says Sodano.
She suggests setting your first goal with a small, painless number, and says that the key to saving is more about consistency, less about numbers.
“If I have $800 left each paycheck, putting $300 into a savings account is less painful than $600,” she says. “Likewise, if I have $300 left per paycheck, putting $50 into a savings account is less painful than $150.”
2. Use Automatic Transfers
“Out of sight, out of mind” can be a great mantra for trying to build up your savings. It’s easy to spend money you can see in the palm of your hand, but Sodano swears by automatic transfer programs as a way to build wealth fast.
“If payday only occurs bi-weekly, at most you have 27 times to build a savings habit annually, so set up an automatic transfer each pay period. What you'll find is you have a far better chance of consistently saving money if it happens immediately. And if you’re starting with a small number, it will not impact you in a noticeable way.”
3. Reset Your Mind About Money
If you’re not used to saving money regularly, the first few times may feel strange and overwhelming. According to Sodano, however, a lot of those feelings are mind over matter.
“Does it freak you out to have money sitting in an account?” she asks. “Do you start to think about all the things you could do with that money? You could pay off a credit card or two. Or go on a vacation. Or renovate part of your home…”
To offset this mindset, she suggests celebrating the progress you make with each deposit. “You want to celebrate the growth, even if it’s growing slowly,” she adds. “This will anchor you in that feeling of progress.”
4. Set Reminders to Check in with Your Savings
Sodano says people can shift their mindset about money by watching it grow in their accounts. By logging in to your bank account monthly or quarterly, you’ll be able to watch the numbers grow, and feel better about saving.
“Be excited you are gaining interest, no matter the amount,” she suggests. “Then quarterly, reassess your contribution. The goal is to increase the amount you are contributing each pay period.”
Even if you can only add a couple of dollars, it can feel good to know you’re managing your savings and are in control. “Money isn't black and white. You won't always do what makes the most economic sense — that is okay and should be embraced.”
This post is part of a month-long January CircleAround series in which we asked writers to explore the topic "New Year, New You." After an extremely challenging year like no other, if you had to reinvent yourself in one specific way in 2021 based on what you learned in the pandemic, what would you do? Think of it as a New Year’s resolution on steroids. To see all the posts in the series, visit here. And if you'd like to contribute to the series, send us your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.