I’m going to make this article about saving on clothing purchases because I found some fantastic Shein coupons, but it’s really about managing your personal finances well so that you can save without feeling a pinch and use that extra money to invest and work towards financial independence. That might sound pretty lofty, but it’s likely a lot more achievable than you think. Let’s start with the simplest concept.
Why Should I Use Shein Coupons?
If Shein is not your brand, you could substitute for anybody else. The point is to use coupons whenever you buy necessities online, so that you can ‘find’ a little extra money in your budget to put towards savings without having to change your spending habits if you don’t want to. I chose Shein because they have low prices to begin with as well as a huge selection of products. Anything you could possibly need for your wardrobe can be purchased there, as well as items for the home.
Let me ask you something, have you increased your online shopping over the past year? I know I have, and now that I’ve gotten the hang of it (always check sizing charts!) I don’t really think I want to go back to shopping in malls or department stores once the pandemic is over. I’m not sure if it was sensory overload or what, but I’d always leave feeling completely drained.
When you’ve been shopping online at websites like Shein, you probably noticed that there was a box on the checkout form for coupon codes. Did you just ignore it because you didn’t have one? All you need to do is a quick Google search for “brand name + coupons” and you should be able to find one in under a minute. Start doing this for all the purchases you make online and you could easily be looking at hundreds of dollars in savings over the course of a year.
Why Should I Save?
So let’s say you adopt the coupon habit and start saving a lot of money on purchases you would already be making. Now what? This money can then be redirected towards making you more money, and without you having to lift a finger. You can do this by taking advantage of compound interest, by putting your money into long term investments.
A lot of people hear the word ‘investment’ and get nervous, they think they need to be following the stock market closely and learn how to buy and sell. Not at all, in fact I would discourage you from purchasing individual stocks and buying/selling frequently. I’ll go over the incredibly simple strategy that will work for everyone next, but first I want to talk about the why.
Our goal here is to have enough money invested in a reliable vehicle that we would be able to live off just the interest it produced without having to work at a traditional job. Sound crazy? Do another Google search for “FIRE” which stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early. You will find lots of examples of people who have done this. Some of them are pretty extreme and I’m not saying that you have to live like an absolute minimalist for 5 years and then quit your job to live in a tiny home on an organic farm for the rest of your life. Unless that’s your dream, then go for it!
By applying the principles of saving where you can and then putting that money into income earning investments you can build yourself a really good security net and live very comfortably even during economic downturns or, say, global pandemics. Financial independence is defined as when you are making more money off your investment income in a year than you spend. It’s a pretty amazing feeling.
If you’re sold and just want to get to it, here is my super simple crash course in investing basics: get a Vanguard ETF. Contribute to it regularly, as much as you can. If you get a windfall, use half of it for fun and the other half can go into your ETF. Do this for the rest of your working life, or until you reach financial independence and decide to just live off your investment income. That’s it.
Now I don’t work for Vanguard and they did not pay me to say this, I just really love their ETFs. ETF stands for Exchange Traded Fund, basically what you are doing is investing in an entire stock market. Although there are dips and peaks, historically the stock market always trends up over time. And you want to be in it for the long haul, ideally you don’t want to touch a penny of your investments principal until you reach the standard retirement age. This is key, you have to leave your money in the market long term, even if it crashes. It will come back over time, you will get your money back. The worst thing you can do is sell when the market is lower than when you bought in, because you are devaluing your initial investment.
Now, you will need to have $1000-$3000 to start investing in your Vanguard account, if you don’t have that much yet because you are starting from scratch no worries at all. Set your extra savings aside in a bank account for now (bonus points if it makes a little bit of interest) until you do have enough seed money. Once you are set up I highly recommend automating transferring money to your Vanguard account every month so you don’t have to think about it at all. Figure out what a realistic number is for you, and then if you find that you have some extra cash that month you can always send an extra payment.
Get Started As Soon As Possible
The real key to this is to start as early as you can, although if you are in your 40s, 50s or older don’t worry! Starting now is better than starting never! Start simple with your coupons, get into the habit of saving first and set aside that extra money. Once you have enough, you can put that money to work for you.