When people are financially insecure, they are less likely to rock the boat. Paycheck to paycheck living automatically induces a sense of complacency because instability could be disastrous for them. That is why I believe that an essential component to any liberation struggle is good financial management. Whether you choose to do that through pooling resources with friends and family or dropping out of the system all together, the ability to walk away from oppressive situations regardless of the financial benefits they try to bribe you with is key. I think that’s why many people refer to their savings as their “Fuck You Fund”. When you have resources, you can look at a situation that is doing you dirty and just say “fuck you” and walk away from it and know that you will be alright.
From all the personal finance books and articles I read, they recommend having at least 3 to 6 months of living expenses in your savings account as a cushion in case you run into any emergencies like a job loss or major repair bills, etc. As someone who is a part of more than one marginalized community, I know that emergencies can take longer than that to recover from so I personally am shooting for 6 months to a year in my savings. But as a starting goal, 3 months is attainable and doable in a year. So here is my method for doing that.
First you need to know what you’re spending every month. If you do nothing else, add up your recurring, essential bills (rent, utilities, transportation, food). Then you multiply that number by 3 to get your savings goal. Once you have your savings goal, divide that amount by 12 to get the amount you have to save every month.
1. Monthly Expenses: $1500
2. Multiply Expenses by 3: $4500
3. Divide that number by 12: $375 (This is how much you put away every month)
This may seem like a lot at first but this is just a kickstart to your saving. Once you’ve reached your savings goal you can take it down a notch to help you pursue other goals. On the other hand, you may find that this level of savings is comfortable and keep it up. It’s up to you.