Start Small and Grow

Whenever we’re learning how to do something new, we don’t start by being perfect right away.

When we went swimming for the first time, we really didn’t swim (most of us). First, we might dip our toe in the water a little bit, then we might sit on the edge and put our feet in the water, then more of our legs. Then we might go into the most shallow part, then in a little deeper and gradually little by little, we would eventually learn to swim all over the place.

It’s the same with learning a new skill or re-learning a skill. When you’re learning how to be responsible and manage your money or learning how to do it better, it helps to start small. 

Here are a few small things that you can try. Pick one or two – start small – and only pick the one or two that you know that you can commit to doing every day for the rest of this month. You can use these or if you’re creative, come up with your own.
  • Save $1 each day
    • Start an envelope and tuck it away somewhere. Each day put another $1 in there.
  • Save all of your receipts
    • Start an envelope and each day, capture the receipts from whatever money you spend and tuck it away. Each day add that day’s receipts.
  • Plan each day’s expenditures
    • Each day plan what you will spend the next day. Just notice when you get ready to spend any money the next day whether what you’re spending was planned or unplanned. Notice if the amount you planned the day before is over or under the amount you actually spent.
  • When you find yourself spending money, stop.
    • Ask yourself how you can better manage that particular expense going forward.
    • For example, if you’re buying lunch, how can you shave that expense?
    • Buying less expensive lunch, packing a lunch, participating in an intermittent fast once or twice a week.
    • Be open to whatever ideas come to you.
  • Come up with one new idea for generating additional income in your household.
    • See how creative you can be.
    • I’ll give you a head start – have a garage sale
  • Learn one new thing about managing your finances each day.
    • Just think of something that maybe you’ve been intimidated by or have wanted to learn more about and ask a family member, friend or a colleague about it, or look it up online. Here are a couple of ideas:
    • Learn how to invest.
    • Learn how different types of insurance work.
    • Learn how you can protect your financial information from being stolen.
It doesn’t matter that each one is just a drop in the bucket. If you keep putting drops in a bucket, eventually the bucket will get full and soon after that, it will be overflowing.
The important thing is not how big or small you start, the important thing is that you start. You have to start a habit before you can grow it bigger.
I would love to hear how this went for you. Send me your results — just share something you learned, how much you saved or how you incorporated it into a family challenge – by emailing me at

Start small and grow your money big. It only takes one small step at a time.