In 2017 I transformed from average non-saving millennial to Mr. Crabs. I’ve become a cheap bastard, and I’ve loved every minute of it! If you’ve ever wanted to get a handle on your spending you can follow some of these tips and tricks.
Get you an App (Saved 3 – The Personal App of Mr. Crabs)
The first thing I did was choose an app to track my expenses. There’s a million of them in the App Store, and each of them specializes in some area of financial management. Here’s why I choose Saved.
1) I didn’t want any app that needed to link to my bank accounts or cards
2) I wanted something simple that wouldn’t take me long to enter in information.
3) It needed to track and organize expenses into groups.
Saved happened to do all that and recently released Saved 3 which finally FINALLY allows me to add income to the monthly report. Saved is a manual system that shows you how your money is spent with various graphs, timelines, and even a calendar so you can see a pattern of how and when you’re spending money.
Track Every Expense. Seriously.
The first month the only thing I did was track cost. I didn’t try to save or even pay more attention to the money. All I did was put the price on the app. At first, it was easy, then something happened. I decided to buy some kicks from the SNKRS app and tried to “hide” the cost from myself. I couldn’t believe it. Here am I a “grown ass man” trying to hide and justify some spending to an app. But it was a breakthrough moment, and it was then that I learned that I had a problem. By the time I finished the month, I had 30 days of data presented in a beautiful graph of foolishness. I wasn’t as good with money as I thought.
Turning Saving Into A Game
So after seeing how I was spending money all willy-nilly, it was time to save. And because I have the Saved app I had a set of data to compare one month with the next. It was in the second month that my skin turned red and my hands turned into claws. I questioned each purchase. Every time my wallet left my pocket I analyzed what I was about to buy. I even made lifestyle changes. I started buying food for lunch instead of eating out. I paid attention to the money spent when going out on dates and to the bar. The kicks and video games I would buy, yeah that shit was gone too. I became a savage with the saving. And it was fun. I wanted to see if I could beat the previous month.
From Mr. Crabs to Mr. Moneybags
By the end of 2017, I became a better steward of my money. By actually paying attention to what I was spending I began to make changes that would allow me to make more money than I was spending. In 2018 I’m working on my portfolio, reading more books on finances, even making sure I pay myself first. In March I plan on using the app to pull all the spending and income together. Before I was just tracking all spending that wasn’t a bill. Next month I’m going to combine monthly bills with discretionary spending and income to see how much money I make each month.
Wrap Up and A Word Of Caution
You too can be Mr. Crabs. It’s easy to do, all you have to do is follow these steps.
- Get an app or some system to track expenses
- First month track all discretionary spending
- Review spending for the first month
- Make changes to see if can spend less than the last month
- Rinse and repeat
Of course a word of caution for those who travel down the path of Crabs. You can, like me, get so into saving that you forget to enjoy life. The first few months you’ll probably be super cheap, and that’s okay. Just remember that you only have one life to live so make sure you take some time to enjoy it. What will end up happening is that you will find more enjoyable ways to experience life without worrying if it’s going to break that bank. You’ll go from Mr. Crabs to Mr. Moneybags.