Quote of the day: “I literally hate spending money.”
Direct quote from the legend herself, Erin Goode. How is this relevant to today’s post? First off, today’s interview is with Erin and secondly, she talks about finances and gives advice on how to save money. Erin just might be one of the most financially responsible people I know, so who better to answer my questions?
- Introduce Yourself (school, major, job, etc.)
I graduated from Cal Poly last year and now I work at a startup in the Bay Area.
- How has your life been since COVID?
Since COVID life has been much more boring. All I do is work, eat, walk. Until recently, I haven’t had much of a social life since everything shut down, but I moved out of my parent’s house so I feel like I am more free now. I’m very thankful for work, even though it is only part time, it gives me something to do during the week.
- How do you stay sane during quarantine?
I have been baking a lot. I mainly bake cookies, but I’ve also baked some cakes, brownies and crisps. It gives me something to look forward to, both in the activity and in something to eat.
- When did you/how did you decide it was time to move out of your parents house?
Toward the end of 2019, I set a goal amount of money to have saved before I moved out. I also set a goal to move out within the first 6 months of 2020, ideally within the first 3 months. My roommate and I were originally planning to move in March 2020 but COVID happened so we decided to wait it out a little (and let the rent prices drop). We just moved in 2 weeks ago. Even though I was already planning to move out, I knew it was time to move when I felt that my social life was suffering because I was in my parents house (none of their doing, just my personal feeling) and when I found every little thing to be annoying.
- What are your top tips for saving money?
To start saving money, I think it’s important to first look at what you spend. I created a spreadsheet that documented all my spending for the month on one page, and then another page with all my income (this includes monetary gifts, extra cash earned from a side hustle, in addition to my regular paycheck). Then compare the two. It is eye opening how little purchases “here and there” add up, even if you think you don’t do it that often! Keep in mind, this is not a budget but you can easily build one from this baseline. Once you see how much you spend vs. how much you earn, look at what you can cut out or reduce (is there a student discount for a subscription service, can you switch insurance or cell companies to get a better rate, can you reduce how often you get coffee or takeout, etc). Once you make those small changes, you can transfer the money you saved into a savings account. I strongly recommend a high yield savings account so you accrue interest that’s more than $0.01 a year.
- How do you feel one year after graduation?
One year after graduation I feel good with where I’m at, especially given that I had literally no idea what I was going to do even 6 months ago. I’m happy to be out of my parent’s house and to have a job, but I still think I have a ways to go in finding what I truly want to do with my life. I don’t think being a business bro is my end game.
- Any else you want to say?
NETWORK. And I mean this both professionally and personally. I got my current job from a dog-sitting client. If I had applied through normal channels, I don’t think I would have gotten it. Networking on the personal front is just interacting and talking with new people who can teach you new things (about literally anything) or someone who shares a common interest. It’s important to always keep learning (although, I still don’t regret dropping coding, sorry Taylor).
See! Wasn’t that so helpful. If I’m being completely honest, I’ve never known Erin to be the most organized person, based off her room and college house, so I’m really surprised she’s so organized with everything else! Like creating a finance spreadsheet? Genius. I really hope you take away something from this interview. I know I sure did!
Looking to learn more about finances? Erin recommended this: The Financial Diet