Together with Citi, we’re finding out how inspiring entrepreneurs saved to make their dreams reality. Find out the saving hacks vice president of fitness programming at Peloton and bestselling author Robin Arzon used to do it below, and get more information on how to be smarter with your savings here.
Ask yourself: What’s holding you back from exploring opportunities in your dream career field? If the answer is savings, or lack thereof, you’re not the only one.
Robin Arzon, vice president of fitness programming at Peloton and bestselling author of Shut Up and Run, is the prime example of not letting finances keep you from chasing down your ultimate career goal. But leaving a secure job to pursue her passion for writing and fitness wasn’t an overnight process.
“I left a law career for fitness with a singular vision: Get people to step into their power,” Arzon says. “As an athlete and ultra-marathoner, I’m always thinking of new ways to find power in movement.” From that inner motivation, she made a plan.
“Departure from law happened over a two year process,” Arzon explains, a time period she decided upon to have enough time to save a full year of living expenses for when she set out on her own. “Small decisions amounted to a lot—I set a calendar on my phone for 10 minutes every day and I would commit to spending ten minutes emailing, calling, or researching something or someone I was curious about.” Finally, Arzon took an honest look at her skill set, and made the move.
But unless she hadn’t taken those years to be intentional with her spending—and more importantly with her savings—Arzon wouldn’t have been able to make her literal power move.
Keep reading for four actionable saving hacks Arzon used to achieve her goals.
1. Live below your means
While Arzon was still working in law, she made decisions that would put her in the best financial position once she decided to move on from this chapter of her life.
“I lived in a very small walk-up apartment, took the subway, rode my bike everywhere, and only ever splurged on travel,” Arzon explains. “I prioritized what were my splurges and capped that amount every year, and this allowed me the financial freedom to freelance as a writer when I left my law firm.”
If Arzon hadn’t become accustomed to this lifestyle, she wouldn’t have been able to save up a year of living expenses before she left her career in law. “That allowed me the creative freedom to write my book and really examine my hustle—it was the single best financial decision I’ve made because it was in the quiet moments of that year that I found John Foley and Peloton,” Arzon explains.
2. Set aside 20 percent of each paycheck (and don’t look at it)
Off the bat, you should start making some guidelines for your finances, according to Arzon. “I’ve always capped out my 401K contributions, but I also automatically send 20 percent of my paycheck to a savings account before I even see it,” she says.
By setting an automatic transfer as one of your saving hacks, you don’t even notice your funds are building. “Resist the urge to log in more than once a month,” recommends Arzon. “Set the savings router and forget it exists. Even if it’s $100 a month, it will add up before you know it.”
3. Diversify your income streams
While Arzon was in the middle of her two-year savings journey, she researched savings strategies by reading books from her favorite financial experts. “There are a ton of resources speaking particularly to young women and how to make daily habits count,” she says. “I had no idea I would end up where I am now, but I sought out folks in fitness that I admired [for advice] to absorb what they were doing.”
It was that research that gave her the buffer to initially get by as a freelancer once she left her job, and start pursuing the hustles that led her to where she is now as an author, in-demand personality, and fitness pro.
“I have various income streams now and I use my LLC for business expenses, accounting, and savings,” Arzon explains. “Financial security allows for creative thinking and bold career choices.”
4. Prioritize what you need versus what you want
As we’ve all heard a thousand times in the wellness space, getting rid of the stuff—and spending—that don’t fulfill you can help you find balance.
“I have spent a lot on travel since graduating college and I have no regrets,” Arzon says. “I often go over my travel budgets, but that’s my single biggest joy and I’m happy to cut back on other areas to allow for travel extravagances. I don’t need fancy bags, but I will not miss a flight.”
To get to that place, you really need to know yourself—and meditating on your ultimate goal is the key. “Create a vision board,” advises Arzon. “I have always created vision boards to keep me on task. If your spending habits aren’t aligning with what’s on the vision board, something is broken.” Consider this your new mantra: “Recalibrate until you get there.”
Presented by Citi
Photos: James Farrell and Wini Lao for Peloton