Tarra Jackson is an expert when it comes to saving.
“Anything that is not managed will not be controlled,” Jackson said. “Most people that lose control of their finances are not paying attention to where their money is. They’re getting money and spending it. They’re not naming their dollars.”
Jackson, who is the founder of Dualpreneur, an organization that supports people in finding side hustles to diversify their income streams, believes the No. 1 problem people have with saving is simply not paying attention to their spending.
“If you see that you’ve paid $1,000 on eating out a month, it’s not that you can’t save $1,000, you’re just eating it,” she said. “When you pay attention to where your money is going and how much is coming in, then you can make some decisions.”
The first step, as Jackson outlines in her best-selling book “4 Financial Languages,” is to understand your dominant financial language.
“There are four dominant financial languages: saving, spending, investing, and giving,” Jackson said. “When you understand what your dominant financial language is, you understand how you need to be communicated to about money. If you’re a spender and people keep saying, ‘Stop spending money, you need to save more, you need to budget,’ those are negative trigger words and you end up doing the complete opposite.”
Secondly, you should pinpoint bad spending habits and try to eliminate them.
“In my book ‘Financial Fornication,’ I talk about financial abstinence,” Jackson said.
“If you’re heavy on using credit cards and you’re in credit debt, you probably need to practice a little financial abstinence.”
Finally, Jackson recommended getting an accountability partner to help keep you on track for your financial goals.
“Having that financial coach or that financial adviser or a group of people that have the same mindset of what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s always good to have an accountability person,” she said.
Sound financial planning is never more important than during uncertain times such as these. While all the usual advice applies, Jackson also encouraged people to be frank about their financial situations and ask for help when necessary.
“There are a lot of people struggling, but pride keeps a lot of people in the poor house,” Jackson said. “They’re used to giving and helping people, and they don’t want to ask for help. This is a time when we all need to come together and help each other, so if you need help, definitely ask for help.”