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Recently, I wrote an article about how I saved $12,000 in a year. A friend of mine reached out to me and excitedly picked my brain. She wanted the formula for every dollar of success that lead to 12K in 12 months.

I happily fired off what I felt was the biggest boon to my bang. My heart will always get mushier than an undercooked brownie when it comes to my budget. It’s the gooey goodness that started my long journey from busted to baller. 

Yet, my budget can’t hoard all the love.

As much as I have all the feels for my budget, a love note may or may not have been written, its slow financial growth that’s built sustainable progress. The slow, steady momentum has fortified a financial foundation capable of buying a used car, boat, or a questionably maintained trailer home. 

Tiny steps are easier to maintain than large strides; many can walk, few can sprint. 

From finances to minimalism to self-care, the best changes are small, repetitive ones.

This past month has been so busy at work that I rarely got an hour to eat. Most days, I was lucky if I had 15 uninterrupted minutes.

This isn’t my normal work experience, ’tis the busy season. In some ways, it’s life. Your busy, I’m busy, I don’t know one person who would say they aren’t busy including the 5-year-olds I teach.

Instead of holding myself to large commitments, I scale that down to tiny, itty, bitty steps. 

Slow financial growth is sustainable like any other growth because the requirement is tiny. Everyone has time for tiny.

Slow, tiny steps I do to improve my finances are:

Look at my budget;

Read an article about saving money;

Examine my paystub;

Check my credit card balances;

Clip coupons on my grocery store loyalty app;

Take a photo of a receipt for a cashback app; and

Replace name brands with store brands.

Even if I only do one tiny thing for my finances every day, that’s 365 days of savings. 

Tiny is mighty, my friend.

When a pothole appears, it’s easier to pivot with a moped than a semi.

To live is to face challenges, it’s why humans crave consistency and comfort zones. Easy and routine are ideal because it doesn’t require extra. 

Despite all the ways we set safety and security, things happen. Even with airbags and a beep for when you get too close to the driver picking their nose, accidents happen. Even though your bestie is at work loving life with you, she’ll leave for a boss lady promotion. Even though I put my shoes by the door, they somehow end up in the dark corner of the garage. 

With slow steps, it’s easier to shift momentum. Similar to how a suspecting human shifts saving for a vacation to an emergency fund when there is water cooler chatter about layoffs. 

When something big happens and large changes are required, it’s hard to maintain momentum and motivation. That’s why it’s hard to stick to a diet, budget, and episode of Hoarders because big shifts in identity, habits, and lifestyles demand more time, effort, and energy. 

Then, when something else comes along and wants to add a whole lotta awkward to the party, there’s a crash back into our comfort zones. That’s why diets crash, budgets bust, and hoarders avoid decluttering. 

But if it’s a tiny shift, there’s less of a fall and a better chance there won’t be a fall at all.

No one wants to wait years for 1 win. Slow financial growth is sustainable because success happens daily.

I get paid twice every month. A couple of times a year, that shifts to 3 glorious times.

I love payday, it’s when I get to make it rain on a financial goal. Currently, it’s boosting my emergency fund. 

This twice-monthly event is so exciting that Hollywood will never make a movie about it.

I look forward to those magical days, but it’s 2 out of 30.

If I add smaller amounts weekly, it’s more success, more often. Similar to how eating a small salad at lunch for a week feels is better than eating a salad for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Saturday. 

Smaller amount increase growth just a bit more and someone’s not gonna hate salad by Sunday. 

Slow financial growth is sustainable because a year of practice is better than a month of progress.

The stock market is a wild ride. The peaks and valleys it spews every day are a tempestuous vehicle that would transform any thrill seeker into a professional vomiter. 

One of the most powerful vehicles of our economic world is the slow steady growth of the stock market. Despite its oscillations, it continues to make progress that has turned the broke into the bountiful. It’s not flashy, sexy, or quick, but it’s effective. As effective as a modest river carving the mightiest crack on Earth (Grand Canyon). 

That’s slow growth worth the wait. 

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