Ya'll alreadyyyyyy Knoooooooowwww… Like Big Freda would say. Saving MOney is what I live by. How can I enjoy life on a dime?
I started my Financial Diet back in 2010 and took 1 year to pay off $24K in debt and I still practice those tips today. So I'll share a few basics with you. Saving is really comingled with Discipline & Sacrifice. Yep I said it the D and S words. Without them and a winning lotto ticket you may struggle quite a bit. We all want to enjoy life so living smart instead of hard is what makes sense to me. 1. Start Saving Early. If you have kids start a savings account for them now!! Teach them to save even a 4 or 5 year old understands putting money in a piggy bank for later. Economics starts at home. It was something I didn't really learn except that we didn't have money, but I wasn't taught methods for saving so I got a pretty late start.
Try a weekly or monthly savings challenge.
ex. $5 per week = $20 monthly = $240 annually
ex. $10 per week = $40 monthly = $480 annually
ex. $15 per week = $60 monthly = $720 annually
ex. $20 per week = $80 monthly = $960 annually
This is doable right?
I know I know.. you will say I don't have $5, $10,$15 or $20 a week to spare. Well before we throw in the towel so quickly let's take a look at your finances.
2. Let's figure out how much you can afford to save....
Take out a sheet of paper. ledger or use and online tool
Write down every single expense you have
Split into your pay cycles. Ex 15th & 30th
be sure to include annual, seasonal stuff too
Jot down the amount that is remaining each month ( assuming it is in the positive)
if not, that is another discussion)
Now add in Hygiene, house supplies, car maintenance and entertainment
Jot down the remaining balance
Now let's talk saving - Ideal amount is min 3 mos covering all expenses. This is separate savings from a travel or entertainment budget.
Calculate 5-10% of monthly net amt before bills
Create an automated way to put that money somewhere you can not easily access it. A savings acct or a friend or family member holding it for you.
3. What can you cut back on?? This is where the DISCIPLINE and SACRIFICE kick in!
Let's say you break even or are coming really close to that break even monthly.
Go back and review your expenses. What's high?
Main one I like to start with is EATING OUT/Entertainment!
This includes coffee, smoothies, vending machine, quick drive thru fries, convenient store snacks, popcorn etc...
EX. let's say you Drink Coffee daily at $5 per cup.
That's $25 per week = $100 per month = $1200 annually.
DID YOU JUST SAY WOW!!!!
YEP Me too.
So how can you change this spending habit?
buy that bag of coffee and a thermal mug and make your own daily.
Pennies compared to spending $4-$8 daily.
Next big change is Making meals at home.
Get in that Kitchen, dust off those pots, pull up some Simple and Satisfying recipes and whip it up!
This can be easily done by buying groceries and making breakfast and lunch for work daily. You can even consider Meal planning and Meal prep. Make everything on your off day and refrigerate for quick grab. Save money & enjoy food you make
Ex. If you eat out even just once a week in addition to your coffee fix. You likely spend $5-$8 or more (I'm just low balling it) per meal. that is another $25 - $40 weekly. That average with coffee is $2400 minimum saved annually If you eat out 2 days a week it's an easy $4800 minimum saved annually and of course you can go on and on.
Do you know what you can do with $2400 or $4800+ annually?
You can Pay off another bill, invest, or even travel.
Check out my other blogs on Traveling on a budget. There are many options for you.
Don't think it's hopeless. If you have a goal you want to reach, jot that goal down and look at it as inspiration daily.
If you work hard, you should play hard too.