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How I Saved My First $10,000

On October 5th, 2018, I purchased a home and saved over $10,000 all for the very first time. The journey of saving and preparing for such an investment was not an easy one but well worth it all. I've learned so much about myself as a consumer, ways to minimize my expenses, ways to maximize my savings, things to look for when shopping for a home, and so much more.

There is literally one thing that helped me save my first $10,000 and that is my Budget Template. Simple yet very helpful with breaking down my expenses, forecasting my savings and finding ways to make more money. My budget template was created out of a desperate need to save money and reduce my expenses as much as possible in the fastest way possible.

Here's my story...

In May of 2016, I graduated college and fortunately was able to find a job in less than two months. I was dating around that time and my ex's mom invited me on a celebratory cruise for my ex's graduation. And that is when the budget template was created. I had given my deposit to my ex's mom and committed to the trip planned for November 2016. Although she paid for half of my way there, I still had to cough up the rest on my own. So here's a moment of transparency, I was making $480 a week, my loans were about to be due and I already had other bills to pay. How in the world was I about to pay the remaining balance for this trip? in November...after graduating in May and just landing a job. I was STRESSED...

I thought of all the subscriptions I could cancel like Apple music, Netflix, Hulu, anything I was subscribed to had to be cancelled. I looked at how much I could save based on my expenses for the month. I forecasted how much I could save up until the trip. I meal prepped nearly for months until the trip so that I could save more money. With all the drastic changes and budget cuts on personal spending, I was able to pay off the trip and have the time of my life. My budget template made me find loopholes, analyze my spending habits and eliminate unnecessary expenditures. I realized that I could use this budget template to help me save up for my very first apartment with my ex. We agreed to save $10k collectively and within six months, I was able to save up $5,000 to move in my first apartment October 2017. Now, I did not save up $5,000 working the same position making $480 a week. I climbed up the corporate later and earned a new position within the same company earning a salary. Then in April of 2018 I landed a new position at a different company making double the salary I made at the last job. With this new salary, I realized my potential to save more money and invest in something greater. I was tired of renting someone else's property and I wanted to draw on my bedroom walls. I was ready to purchase my first home. So, in less than a year, I saved up $10,000 and purchased my first home in October 2018. Since I made more money, I was able to save more and cut out more expenses that didn't serve me. You may ask how was I able to save and rent in my apartment all at once...well since I lived with my ex we split all the expenses and the rent. This agreement made me save a lot quicker and allowed me to be more aggressive with my budget template.

My partner wasn't ready but he was willing to move in with me and help with the finances. I knew not to rely solely on my partner, so I saved up my first $10k on my own and purchased my home in my name. However, I also purchased a home out of my budget because I assumed my partner and I would be committed to each other. This was probably the worst mistake of my life. After purchasing the home in October 2018, my partner and I had split August 2019 and he moved out a couple months after that. Now I was stuck with all the finances and all the responsibilities of home ownership. To give you some perspective on the struggle, my mortgage was more than what I made in a biweekly paycheck. I had to pay the mortgage with two of my paychecks plus pay for utilities and my own personal expenses. I was able to stay afloat and make it through for the next couple of years all because of my Budget Template. Eventually I sold the house in August 2020 and saved up enough to move into another apartment.

Within the past 4 years, my life did a complete 360 of what I had envisioned for myself. The one thing that has kept me consistent with my plans and my goals, is my Budget Template.

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