Listennnn, I have done some real adulting this week. For the first time in my 32 years of life, I purchased a new set of tires. Yes, all FOUR tires! This might not seem like a big deal to some but for me (and brother bear) this was big. I was the queen of just buying one tire at a time. If it was a good bonus month or tax time, might splurge and get two; but never all 4 tires.
I made up every excuse in the world; I would tell myself that “I can’t afford it”, “I don’t really need all four tires”, or the infamous lie... “I’ll get them all over my next couple paychecks”. I really believed that I was saving myself more money by doing it this way. I mean after all tires are super expensive and who got $500 plus to drop on some new tires? Even with a mechanic for a brother, I still convinced myself that these things weren’t important.
I didn’t make things important because I was scared of the risk of spending “all of my paycheck”. I couldn’t admit to anyone that I didn’t have savings for things like this. How do you explain having a good-paying career and you don’t even have a savings (well real savings). I was too embarrassed to ask for help, so I did what I thought was best and replaced my tires one at a time.
Three years ago I went on a journey to manage my money. I needed to be able to adult because well I am an adult. It was no longer just about me, I had my son to think about. My brother made me truly realize this when he basically told me to just throw the whole Impala away and try again. I was like 5 payments away from paying that car off too! He told me that I couldn’t afford to be on the side of the road or hitching rides having a kid. I worked on the completely opposite side of town from his daycare and I didn’t have any family traveling out my way. We could be stuck depending on other people, all because I didn’t wanna be an adult. That message hit home but I still didn’t know how I was going to be able to afford a new car with the little coins I didn’t have.
That brings us here. I’ve had my car for 3 years and it was finally time to get new tires. But this time I was cool, calm, and proud. My brother made his announcement to me that I would need tires. I think he was preparing for me to make up my old excuse; because before I could even say anything, he said “ALL YOUR TIRES”. For the first time in history, I had the money saved up to purchase all of my tires. I was determined to get another set of good tires to last me a few years.
You are probably wondering well how did you save up the money? It was simple. I used my sinking funds. Every paycheck throughout the last year, I have saved money for a car maintenance sinking fund. Yes, I had been able to save over $800 from the past two years specifically for my car maintenance fund. Keeping up with regular health checks for my car, kept me aware of things that were going on with my car. I paid for my oil changes out of my sinking funds as well. I was legit proud that I didn’t have to write my brother a check and ask him not to cash it til next week.
I wrote all this not to brag but to show others that you don’t have to be in the position you are in now. You don’t have to put the things you need on credit when you have a plan in place. Adulting doesn’t have to be hard when we play it smarter. Not only was I able to get all four tires, but my money-saving skills helped me to get the tires for $30 less per tire because I utilized the price match.
So here is a quick example of how to do a sinking fund. First, let me explain what a sinking fund is. A sinking fund in simple terms is a way for you to save for a known expense over time. For instance, my favorite example is Christmas. Christmas literally comes at the same time, every year. But yet, we act surprised and only start saving right before Black Friday. We will rob Peter to pay Paul, take out a loan, and sell the kid you’re buying presents for; all to take care of Christmas expenses. So why not start saving earlier. Here’s how you do it.
Christmas Fund = $1000 (covers the amount needed to have a successful Christmas)
Start saving in January = 11 months ( you want to have the money saved before Christmas shopping starts. If you want to have money for Black Friday make it 10 months)
Divide $1000 by 11 months = $90.91. So every month you need to save $90.91. Then you break it down by paycheck. So if you get paid two times a month divide that $90.91/2= $45.45 a paycheck.
That’s it. Imagine saving $45 every paycheck eliminating the stress of having to rush and figure out where you are going to get the money from when Christmas time rolls around. Life-changing!!!! Even if you don’t get to the full amount because well... life, you will have disposable money that you can quickly have access to. Trust me that is better than nothing at all.
If you want more help with sinking funds. Here is a video on how to start your sinking funds. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them below.
I also created a free worksheet for you to start mapping out your sinking funds. Be sure to check out the Freebies section to access it.
PS. Shout out to BHC Automotive located in Olive Branch, Mississippi for being the Best Automotive Repair Shop I’ve ever been to! Check him out on Facebook here if you are in the area and want to get your car serviced.