Pay Yourself First: Savings
When we are working on the nitty gritty details of our lives—the budgeting, the scheduling, the shopping, the lunches – it is easy to forget about the Big Picture and our view from the Castle. Taking time each week – maybe through journaling or vision-boards – to keep an eye on those dreams will keep your life on track.
Making savings a part of the monthly detail is a must. Even when you are in the middle of your debt rehab, putting funds toward savings each month is essential. Here’s a good example of why:
Suppose you’ve spent four months gathering your financial muscle, layingout your budget and changing your habits to focus on paying down more debt each month. But you do not have an emergency fund of any kind. Then your dishwasher decides to die a spectacular death, and floods the kitchen while your family is away for the weekend. Plumber, new dishwasher, carpenter to fix flooring. All on the credit cards –
If you had an emergency fund, at least part of the damage could be paid for outright – without interest and without going back into debt.
Pay Yourself First:
Remember the 50/30/20 Rule? Put your savings action into your “20” bucket, but make it as important as your “50” bucket! Pay yourself and your dreams first!!
One of the simplest ways to begin saving is to open a savings account attached to your checking account and automatically deduct a certain amount each month as soon as your paycheck is deposited. Even if it’s ten dollars, that’s 120 a year.
Now, let’s ask some serious questions:
Do you REALLY need cable? Your cable bill is probably costing you at least 100 bucks a month. What are you watching? Can you get that from Netflix or Amazon for one quarter the price? Can you get your news from an online service instead? Adding $100 per month to your savings just made your emergency fund interesting; $1200 per year.
Can you think of any cheaper substitutes you can make in your life? Tweet us your ideas (@GatherGrowGive) and see what changes other women plan on making in their lives.
Insurance is necessary, but there’s lots of competition. Check out a few competitors for your homeowners, renters or auto insurance. How much do you eat out or take out? Even trimming $25 a month on your eating habits is $300 per year. Are you going to the gym enough to warrant that monthly expense? Can you trim your cell phone bill? Do you really need that Starbucks each morning?!
Saving money is always easier with a big beautiful goal in mind—what are three of your goals? Be super-specific and very clear. If it’s a vacation you're imagining, where is it and what will you be doing? What will the vacation make you FEEL like?
Grab your journal to reflect on what you've discovered this week.
What are 3 of your savings goals?
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