It's time we take control of our future ladies!
Building strong savings habits sometimes sounds more difficult than it actually is. Sometimes, all you need is a thought out strategy and a little willpower to save! Unfortunately, creating good savings habits does not come as natural as we would like. Most of the time we believe we do not have enough money to begin saving. There is always this idea that we can start saving once we get a “raise”, but the reality is that with more money, comes more spending... if you do not have a basic savings strategy in place! The truth is, the more money we make, the more money we should be able to save! With the help of our 5 beginner friendly savings tips, you can go from being a non-saver to a super saver in no time!
Tip #1 - Create a Budget Worksheet
Before we can become the master savers we are destined to be, we must first understand our spending habits. Where is your money going? Are the bulk of your expenses essential purchases, or random shopping sprees? To kick off your new savings journey, start by completing your very own budget worksheet! With the help of this worksheet, you will analyze your spending habits over the course of a typical month.
The goal is to get familiar with where your money is going. Be sure to record each and every expense, no matter how small or large the price. Once you complete your budget worksheet, you’ve practically organized your entire savings journey! Now we can see exactly where we should decrease spending and attribute those unspent funds to savings!
Tip #2 - Start Small
The key to a successful savings plan, is starting off small and working your way up! Most people attribute their lack of savings due to a lack of funds. The truth is, if you earn an income you can save! As a beginner saver, savings is more about consistency and accountability than it is about quantity. This means that it is better to start small and develop strong saving habits. Once you find what system works for you, you can gradually increase what you save.
For beginner savers, try committing to saving $25 a week. While $25 may seem like nothing, just remember we are working on creating better habits. As time progresses, you can re-complete your budget worksheet and adjust accordingly. Once you become more comfortable with saving, you can increase your weekly savings contributions!
Tip #3 - Card vs. Plastic
Credit and Debit cards are fan favorites amongst spenders. All we have to do is swipe & the product/service is ours! Sometimes we can go entire days using our cards, without even checking our balances or how much we’ve actually spent! While these cards may be convenient to use, they can also burn deep holes in our pockets. The best way to help combat this idea of frivolous spending, is by using CASH.
Making cash your primary form of payment will help decrease your spending. The goal is be more aware of your purchases. As you watch your money slowly disappear from your wallet, you will be more aware of how often you are spending money. This is also a great tool for those who find themselves running out of money to save due to frivolous spending. Withdraw a set amount of cash each week and stick to only spending just that, your cards will now become your secondary/ or backup for of payment. You may even find that you have cash left over at the end of the week. Instead of spending your leftover cash, SAVE IT! Attribute any left over funds to your savings stash. Seeing your savings grow, as a direct result of you spending less will help motivate you to save even more! It is truly a win-win solution.
Tip #4 - Security & Growth
When I was younger, I would hide my chore money in my sock drawer. Saving up for a rainy day! Now of course back then I was 10 years old, and my only expense was junk food and maybe a toy here and there. As we get older, saving money in our sock drawers or under the mattress just doesn’t cut it. If you are saving your cash in an old shoebox, it’s time to open up a savings account! There are hundreds of options when it comes to savings accounts, all varying based on balance limits, withdrawal restrictions, interest rates, etc.
The goal is to find a savings account that works with your needs. It is important to do your research and find what works the best for you. The key to having a successful saving experience, is by choosing an account that is not linked to your checking account. Separating these two accounts will help secure your savings and make it less accessible for everyday use, allowing your money to grow.
Tip #5 - Smart Spending
To become a master saver, you must also become a master spender! It may sound like a master spender is one who spends the most, but in reality a master spender is one who spends the smartest! The truth is, there are some expenses that you can not get rid of. The best savings strategies are ones that help you with savings, but also allow you to continue making your essential purchases. Weekly groceries, transportation to work, and other daily necessities aren’t expenses that you can easily erase. Instead you need a few smart spending hacks to ensure your are spending wisely.
The trick is to never accept paying full price for anything. Try buying your groceries in bulk, or from discount retailers such as Walmart. Need new clothes? Try waiting for a sale and browse the interest for discount codes! If you sign up for email newsletters from your favorite stores, you will find that every store has a deal at some point. Use these sales/ discounts to your advantage!