Beyoncé Taught Me How To Save Money
Everyone who knows me knows that I am a HUGE Beyoncé fan. And my fellow Beyoncé fans know that being a fan isn’t always budget friendly. I’ve been buying Beyoncé stuff and attending shows since before I had an income. I’m talking CDs, DVDs, magazines, concert tickets, movie tickets, posters, shirts, keychains, dolls, all types of stuff. And as a young fan, I wanted ALL of the things.
Now, of course Bey didn’t sit me down and teach me the fundamentals of saving money. However, in hindsight, being a fan determined to have everything Beyoncé/Destiny’s Child related was a big part of why I became interested in personal finance. She was the catalyst for me paying attention to my money or lack thereof. Figuring out ways to get money, save money, and afford all things Bey taught me the discipline that I still carry with me to this day.
This all started back in middle school when I obviously didn’t have an income. I can remember always seeing Beyoncé things that I wanted and wanting to buy them myself without asking my parents for money. Back then there was a lot more involved with dropping and promoting an album. Rather than always asking my parents to buy all of the magazines, CDs, DVDs, etc., I would start strategizing and making plans when I saw something I wanted or when I knew that something was being released. I thought about what I could do to make this happen and started to put some things into motion. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I could use part of the lunch money that my parents gave me every morning to get something small for lunch and then save the rest. It eventually got to the point where I’d either bring snacks to school with me or just eat when I got home. When I knew that an album was on the way, I’d save more aggressively to prepare for everything that would come along with the promo.
Anytime my parents would give me money for school events (sport games, dances, etc), I would only spend what was absolutely necessary and I’d save the rest. Whenever I was given money as gifts or for any other reason, I would save as much as possible and put it away in a piggy bank. Even without an income, I found a way to have the money for the things that I wanted. Saving my lunch money sometimes instead of eating may not have been the best approach, but it worked and I was DETERMINED. So if you ever needed a testament to how saving as much as you can (even if it’s only $10 per week!) can add up, here it is!
Having something specific to save for helps with motivation and discipline. Keeping Bey in mind (and always wanting to be prepared for whatever she had coming up) kept me from spending the money that I’d set aside for that specific purpose. In college when I got a job, I stuck with this same concept and idea. Meaning putting aside money and saving as much as possible in advance, not skipping lunch.
Please don’t skip meals if you don’t have to.
Every time I was presented with an opportunity to save money, I did so. And I still saved a portion of any money that was given to me for gifts and such. When I got paid, I saved first before anything else. I saved any dollar bills and loose change that I had laying around. If I saw a dime in a parking lot, I would pick it up and save that as well. This saving thing was serious.
I eventually got to a point where I opened a savings account specifically for fun and leisure appropriately named The Bey Fund. This is where I threw all of my “fun” money. At the time, most of the expenditures from that account were Beyoncé related (hence the name). I used this account to save for things like tickets, merchandise, travel, and any other things that took me some time to save for. To this day, I still have a general “fun” savings account and I am an advocate for adding fun money into your budget. Budgeting is usually focused on ditching debt and/or saving, but I think there should always be a little something set aside just to play around with.
When I got a job after college, I continued what I had learned while building my Bey Fund. I took the same discipline and motivation and the same budgeting techniques and applied them to building my emergency fund. Now I have an emergency account and a separate entertainment/treat yo’ self account that I am able to pull from when necessary.
Tip: If you want to save money for something specific, open a separate account for that thing/occasion. Set a goal amount that you want to save and give yourself a timeline. Determine how much you need to save each pay period and then make it happen!
Back in middle school when this all began, I never would’ve thought that being a broke fan who wanted everything would teach me the fundamentals and discipline that I needed for building good savings habits. Looking back, I wouldn’t encourage anyone to go as far as I did. Skipping lunch to save a dollar or two is kinda wild. Beyoncé doesn’t know it (or me, for that matter) but she fundamentally taught me how to be a saver.