Mastering the art of saving

When Emilia first joined Simple, she was skeptical about switching banks (and her ability to save). After just a few months, she’d proven herself wrong and with the help of Simple, set her sights on saving for a master’s degree.
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Emilia remembers graduating from college in 2015 and feeling completely overwhelmed about her finances. She knew it was an important time to start thinking about saving, but she couldn’t figure out a strategy for herself. She was using one of the big banks, and every paycheck would just disappear within a few days.

Told you so

Her partner had told her about Simple, and she knew he swore by it. She was getting sick of him pestering her about opening an account, so she finally did. She put $20 in there without giving it much thought.

At first, she was hesitant to use Simple much. She didn’t know much about our features, and was skeptical of making the leap to a smaller financial institution. But after seeing the app, the color coding, and that money could be divided up, she was actually excited to transfer over more funds.

Emilia studied Art in school and describes herself as someone who really benefits from visual learning. She immediately appreciated the minimalism of the app, and how all the colors and graphics worked together to make her banking experience (gasp!) pleasing to look at.

She started moving more money in, and pretty soon she was using Simple as her primary checking account.

“I hate to admit it, but he was totally right. I fell in love with Simple just like he did,” she said.

A plan to master saving

Once she realized that with Simple she was actually able to save, Emilia dusted off a dream she’d thought she couldn’t afford: a master’s degree. After her recent success with saving, she decided she was ready to officially take the plunge to start going after something she’d previously been intimidated by.

Emilia has family in Scotland and had always dreamed of being able to spend more time there. So she applied to the Art History program at the University of St. Andrews, and got in.

She was working a minimum wage retail job but set two lofty Goals. One to cover expected living costs, and another to start paying her future student loan payments while abroad. The thought of having a bunch of debt at the end of her program stressed her out, so she wanted to be prepared to start paying them right when she began school. In total, her plan was to save about $10,000 in a year.

Every time she got paid (twice a month), she’d transfer lump sums into each Goal. After each purchase she’d make, she would get an alert with her real-time Safe-to-Spend, which helped her spend within the limits she’d set for herself.

She didn’t contribute daily, but had the overall dollar amount in mind. She’d put in as much as she could while still being able to pay for things like groceries and everyday costs. She’d add encouraging notes to herself when she added money to the Goal to remind herself she was on the right path.

“Adding in the notes just made it more rewarding,” she said. “I’d look back and see all the fun emojis and messages to myself and get even more excited with each transfer.”

It all pays off

When the time came to head to Scotland for a whole year, Emilia had ended up saving a whopping $12,000! She felt so much pride when she’d exceeded her Goals. And she felt confident she’d be able to cover all the costs she’d need to while there.

With her finances in line, Emilia was able to focus on her program and enjoy her weekends traveling, visiting with family, and sightseeing. She got the chance to go to Paris, Germany and more spots in the UK. Her family and friends were able to visit, and the person she was randomly assigned to room with ended up becoming a best friend.

“The whole experience was just so wonderful. The people I met were amazing,” she said. “And not to feed you lines, but I don’t think I would’ve even thought about grad school if it wasn’t for Simple.”

She just returned to Seattle a few months ago and got a job as a social media coordinator at an art gallery. She loves it, and is learning a ton about glass art. She’s also already started using Expenses to divvy up her paycheck for her.

She’s still paying off those student loans (and saving with Simple to do so), but says they’re totally worth it for the experience she had.

Emilia, congratulations. We’re so happy to have contributed to this amazing experience!

Thinking of going back to school? Get saving now!

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