Chapter one: Question/Concern
It’s no secret that the cost of living in D.C. is rising.
When Moe came into the People’s Pod at Union Market she shared with us something that had been weighing on her shoulders: she is struggling to save money. “The primary concern for me right now is just the rising cost of living,” said Moe. “I’m in a relatively well-paid job and it’s still a struggle for me to make ends meet or at least to save. I’m just a little concerned about that and what perhaps local politicians might be doing to curb that.”
Chapter two: Meet the expert
The average savings account for a white woman in her 30s like Moe, contains about $33,000. Moe told #TheQandA that's she'd love to be able to save even a fraction of that. So we met up with financial advisor, Sonya Smith Valentine at the Wharf to learn how Moe and people like her can realistically save more money.
Chapter three: Answer
Sonya’s first tip is to to automate the savings. Her mantra: “if you don’t see it, you don’t spend it.” Even if you’re just starting with $10 a check,” explains Valentine “Have it come out before you even see it. And have it go to a savings account that’s in a different bank then where your checking account is because you’re less likely to go tap into it.”
Unsubscribe to Emails:
Unsubscribe to all of those emails that you get. You know the ones we’re talking about. They pop up saying, "oh hey we’re having a clearance sale" – "guess what this is on sale" – "guess what you can save 30% off." You’re thinking, “but it’s on sale – I’m going to save some money.” Sonya says, “No – you’re not saving -- you’re just spending something that you didn’t really need at the time.”
Grocery Delivery Service:
Believe it or not, Sonya’s third tip is to have your groceries delivered. She told us that a lot of people think this is a strange tip, but explained to use why it works. “I actually have my groceries delivered, said Valentine, “and what I’ve noticed is, each time I get my groceries I am now spending anywhere from $25 to $50 less than I would if I went to the super market. And here’s why. You can’t just randomly pick things up anymore. You have to plot out what you want, order it, and have it delivered.”
Chapter four: Next question
Do you have a burning question to share in the People's Pod? Follow the People's Pod on twitter to see where it will be next. Can't wait for the pod to get to you? Record yourself asking the question and send it to us using the #TheQandA