7 Tips for Soft Savers: Personal Finance for Your Soft Era

Soft saving is a new financial trend described as putting more money towards enjoying daily life than long-term financial planning such as retirement. It stems from the trend of being in your “soft era” or “living you soft life” popularized by Black women rejecting the stereotype of living an arduous but “honorable” life.

Soft saving is a combination of living your best life now and worrying less about your financial future. But is it a sustainable trend?

If you’re interested in soft saving, I don’t blame you. Read this article for why more Gen Z are moving towards the trend.

But here are some tips to maximize your soft savings and/or introduce some gentle finance to ensure you’re living your soft life as a long as possible for as comfortably as possible.

1. Pay Yourself First

This is an idea that I think aligns with girlies in their soft era: it is your money, and you deserve to keep it. Not Starbucks, not Verizon, not Sephora, not SheaMoisture, not the local boba shop.

Paying yourself first means that instead of getting your check and then spending it on your bills, you put a set amount for yourself first and then pay your bills.

To take it a step further, you put this money into a retirement account or a brokerage account, invest it, and the money keeps producing it’s own income so that it eventually funds your soft life. It’s the ultimate self-care and the self-care that keeps on giving.

2. Spend like your enjoyment depends on it

If a major characteristic of soft saving is maximizing enjoyment, do just that. Maximize. Your. Enjoyment.

Don’t spend $28 on a lukewarm soggy Chipotle bowl on DoorDash. Instead, invite all your soft-saving friends, order a bowl a fresh bowl, and Live. It. Up.

Likewise, be a Karen. Not rude, just picky.

“Excuse me, can I please get some new fries, mine are cold”

“I’m not a huge fan of this, I don’t think I’ll come back”

“This room isn’t clean. I think I’ll stay at ______ instead”

This doesn’t mean abusing the minimum wage worker serving you but it does mean complaining to management when things are not within reasonable expectations. It means not giving your business to a place that consistently delivers poor service or poor quality products.

3. Compound Interest and Gentle finance

This is very similar to tip #1 but it’s so good, I had to include it twice.

Compound interest is the idea that your money earns money and then that money earns you money and that money also earns you more money. Translation: instead of you going to work, your money is working the 9-5 for you.

So, what can you do? Tap into it. Saving $500+ monthly may seem impossible. But what about $5 monthly? It feels like nothing until it adds up.

4. Embrace mindfulness as a life skill

Mindfulness is the idea of living in the present and accepting as it is. The positive, the negative, and the neutral. All of it. For what it is.

Okay, but what does it look like?

The next time you buy something:

  • Observe how you feel when you’re about to buy it. Are you excited? What makes you excited about it? What review affirms your need to purchase?
  • If you’re in person, what does it look like? Smell like? Feel like in your hands. Really embrace the sensory experience.
  • After you buy it, again, what does it look like, smell like, taste like, feel like, sound like in your hands, skin, room etc.

The purpose of mindfulness is to be present. Mindfulness has been shown to increase enjoyment, regulate our emotions, and reduce stress.

Amazing things for a soft life, wouldn’t you agree?

5. Don’t Fill Holes

Kidding. What I mean is when you’re stressed, anxious, and depressed, it’s easy to throw money at a problem and say that that’s the solution. Spending money on random skin care, makeup, takeout etc is not being “carefree” and “enjoying your life”; you’re “numbing” and that’s okay.

Living your soft life is an intentional decision. You’re recognizing where you’ve been and you’re divorcing it from where you’re going.

Someone fully ready to embrace their soft life might recognize this and invest in long term solutions such as counseling or their friendships or community.

Do not commit to “soft saving” as a form of escapism from financial stress.

6. Plan for the [immediate] future

If planning fr the long-term freaks you out, you’re not alone. Fifty five percent of Americans are concerned that they cannot achieve financial security in retirement.

Freak out a little. Take a break. And come back when you’re ready because we do have a game plan.

Start by planning for the immediate future, by building an emergency fund. Experts recommend 3-6 months of expenses but if that’s too much to fathom, try $500 or $1,000.

Emergency funds are our first line defense when it’s time to protect against… well, emergencies.

Then work your way up to investing, preferably starting in a retirement account (to shield you from taxes).

7. Better Your relationship with money

Anyone remember your relationship with food?

The ol’ binge and restrict cycle? Purging Splurging and feeling like you can’t stop?

Yeah, that can happen with money, too.

So, what did we learn from creating healthier relationships with food?

  • No foods are “good” or “bad”, “healthy” or “unhealthy”. Just more or less nutritious
  • Listen to your body (yay intuitive eating) . It can tells you when to
  • Cope with emotions with kindness (if you’re not on that page, check out a summary here)

A lot of the same things can be applied to money.

  • No purchase is “good” or “bad”. Some purchases just might be more or less helpful for our financial goals.
  • Listen to your intuition. Yes, you can follow a budget, and it’s definitely helpful, and your body and mind can give you clues on when purchasing another product is helpful for you.
  • Cope with emotions with kindness.

Conclusion

Embracing soft saving can actually help move us closer to living our soft life. By focusing on aligning our our values and priorities with financial goals, we create a sustainable and fulfilling path towards financial well-being. Soft saving encourages us to be mindful, compassionate, and intentional with our money, fostering a healthy relationship that extends beyond mere accumulation

This blog is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, legal, or professional advice. The content provided is based on personal opinions and experiences. Readers are encouraged to consult with financial professionals or relevant experts before making financial decisions or taking any actions based on the information provided in this blog. The author and publisher of this blog are not liable for any losses, damages, or injuries arising from the use of the information provided.

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