Pay yourself first...that’s just one habit to start you off in maintaining financial health. Part of your monthly budget should include a savings. There are always things you may find you need money for in the future. Perhaps it’s a planned expense, such as a vacation or a new car. Often, it’s something unexpected. Getting in the habit of setting money aside gives you peace of mind and allows more flexibility.
Saving can be really difficult, though. This is especially true if money is tight to begin with. The benefits make socking away even small amounts worth the commitment. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to get in the habit of saving on a regular basis. Follow these tips to get started.
Pay Yourself First
When just getting started with the habit of saving money, you’ll first need to change your mindset. In the past, it’s likely you spent with little thought, perhaps on impulse. Now is the time to become very purposeful in your actions regarding money. Start by making sure to pay yourself first before doing anything else. Set aside a certain predetermined amount each paycheck and put it in an account where you’re not likely to touch it. Soon, you’ll find this practice will become easier.
Make It Automatic
In fact, you can start making it easier by automating the process. There are banks, as well as some apps, that will automatically transfer a specific amount of money from checking straight into a savings account upon deposit. This takes away any need to even think about it. You may soon discover you don’t even miss that money as you become accustomed to your new budget.
If you have goals to save money for something special - or even if you just want to set aside more once you’ve gotten used to setting aside your initial amount - challenge yourself to do better. Increase your savings incrementally each month to see what you can do without. There are a lot of things we think we need that we can actually do without, given a change in mindset and some creativity.
There are tons of small ways you can add to your savings each month and a number of expenditures you can cut. Give these tips a try as you begin getting used to the habit of saving. You can always add bigger challenges as time moves on. Right now, the goal is to make a change that sticks.
This is also a great time to teach your children. Set up four mason jars with labels: savings, spending, giving, and investing. Allow your child to spend a percentage of their earnings; they may also save their spending account for larger purchases, but they should be allowed to make these decisions for themselves. They should also determine the charity or tithing they would like to do and use their “give away” money. The savings and investment earnings are different in that the investment monies are not to be touched; they are invested for long term earnings, while the “savings” are put into a savings bank or cd for educational expenses.
Until next time...
P.S. My blog posts contain stepping stones from A Pilgrimage to Self Lifestyle Coaching Membership. The membership is currently closed, but you can learn more at www.ahousewithfourrooms.com and sign up for the VIP Waitlist for updates.
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