Why You Should Stop Putting It Off And Create A Savings Plan Now
For the entire month of April, here on the Living Over Existing website we are discussing money! How to spend it, save it and invest it.
We all struggle with delayed gratification. We want what we want and we want it now. I think our generation has a hard time planning for the future. We live in the YOLO mindset and sometimes forget that tomorrow has a price. For me, I had a hard time learning to save. Living paycheck to paycheck and wanting to have nice things, I never saw the value in putting money away. As a single mom, that mindset changed. I began to desire to have financial freedom and to build wealth for my daughter. For me, that all started with a savings plan. Creating wealth and financial freedom begins with thinking about tomorrow and not living for today.
Saving wasn’t easy. It required a mindset change. It required looking forward and seeing the importance of self-denial. Once I really began to understand that my sacrifices today will pay for my tomorrow, I started to enjoy putting my coins away. Even better, when I hit a rainy day, I actually had an umbrella! When we don’t save, we find ourselves getting caught in the middle of life’s storms and digging ourselves deeper into a financial hole.
Creating wealth and financial freedom begins with thinking about tomorrow and not living for today.
When it comes to saving, there were several approaches that I took. I read Dave Ramsey tools, read several blog from financial gurus like Tonya Rapley and others I found on Pinterest. With all of the information I gathered, I created a savings plan that worked for me. If you’re ready to begin saving, you’ll need to come up with a plan that best suits your lifestyle and your personal habits (some of which you’ll need to break and change!). Try a few of these and get yourself on a path of financial freedom. Here are four savings strategies that I use.
$1000 Emergency Fund
This is something I learned from Dave Ramsey. The idea is to save $1000 as quickly as you can. This requires some major sacrifice and discipline! For a few weeks or months, cut out things you can in order to put aside $1000. Turn off your cable, cancel Netflix, nix eating out, sell some stuff - do whatever you can do in order to get money saved. This money is used in case of an emergency. Let’s say your car breaks down and you need to repair it. Having that $1000 saved is a life-saver when you have an unexpected $650 bill! Once you have to use it, you do what you can to build it back up. For me, this is why I started my side-hustle. This was an opportunity for me to generate additional income to put aside for when I need it.
Rounding up is a quick and easy way to save. When I do my monthly budget, I generally round up what I set aside to pay for my bills. For instance, I set aside $150 for my electric bill even though it’s usually only $140. When I reconcile my budget to my actually spending, I take that additional $10 and put it away for savings. Instead of spending it on something I’m just going to eat, I invest it in my future. You can use apps that round up for you as well. These apps round up the cents of your purchases and put that into a savings account for you. It’s not as aggressive as the budget method, but it’s still effective.
Automatic Savings Plan
Another way to save money is to use an automatic savings plan. Many banks allow you to set up automatic transfers which lets you move money from your main account to you savings account without having to think about it. You set a predetermined amount and it transfers over without you having to do anything. You could also have your employer set up a separate direct deposit to your savings account. This is out of sight, out of mind and you don’t even see the money. It just goes to work for you.
Spend Less Than You Earn, Save The Rest
Seems simple enough, but if you think about it, most Americans don’t live this way. If you spend less than you earn, you can save the rest. How do you do this? Budget. Do a financial audit. When you get a raise, keep living how you are and save the extra money that you get. Are you fortunate enough to get money back from your taxes? Save that! Any time you get extra money, instead of impulse buying, put it away in your nest egg and stack your coins!
Saving money doesn’t have to be hard. If you try some of these simple things, you can be on your way to having the peace of mind you need and not struggling when life throws you a loop!
written brittany harris
Brittany is a blogger and podcast host where she shares the life lessons she learns and how to help others grow from her experience. She is also the LOE editorial assistant. Visit her website.