Savings and You: a Beautiful Relationship to Start Cultivating Now
Saving money always sounds like a great idea. You’ve probably had good intentions to do just that, but the follow through – well, perhaps that’s where things have gone amiss. If you are like a some of us living paycheck to paycheck, holding on to the self-sabotaging thought that there simply isn’t a dollar to spare to stash away, well – it’s time to switch up your perspective. Take a few deep breaths, focus, tell yourself whatever variety of “You Got This!” that you prefer, and commit. Do it for yourself, your loved ones, your Aunt Norma so that she can stop regaling you with her financial prowess over Thanksgiving dinner: just do it. Start today. Even if it is exactly one dollar – it’s a start on the road to financial stability, security, and overall well-being. After all, are you really enjoying the level of stress that not having savings affords? Think of how much room you’ll open up in your brain, to focus on things that feed you. Yes, this is a little scary. Picture us holding your hand if you need to, and then get to work on these tips to get you started. #YouGotThis #SavingIsSexy
Do You Really Need that Pumpkin Spice Latte with Extra Whip?
So, the answer is: you don’t. “But it’s delicious! But it’s how I celebrate fall! But this is the only way I can satisfy my pumpkin deficiency!” Yes, these are all reasons you may have, but they are not actually reasonable. Take a good look at what you can cut out from your spending that you don’t truly need, things that, when it comes down to it – you’d be fine without. Start tracking your needless spending and you will be very pleasantly surprised by how much you save. Note: be cognizant of trading one needless spending item for another. That is not part of your financial plan.
The B Word: Your Budget
Oh boy, we’re sounding like Aunt Norma again. But really – this one you’re just gonna have to do. It’s far too easy to lose track of small purchases and then be completely blindsided when you see your statement balance. Thankfully, many free apps will do your budgeting for you. You set it up, plug in your numbers, and your budget app will keep you on track. It will hold you accountable. If you get irritated with your app and snap, it will be far less damaging than getting defensive with your family members over your financial indiscretions..err..choices. You’ll be saving money, and saving your relationships.
Have a Weekly Tupperware Party: 70’s Fashion Optional
This is one that will go a long way in helping your bank account as well as your waistline. When you don’t plan meals ahead of time, you are far more likely to reach for the easy, quick, comfort food options. You work late; you come home tired and hungry. Money is tight, so you’ve got stress on top of fatigue. What will make you feel better? Fast food! Pizza! Any sort of fried variety of really anything! Succumbing to this line of thinking is going to do damage real quick. Pick a day when you have some time to plan. This becomes your day to set the tone for the week. Plan out your meals, shop for all the ingredients, and then – and this is key – do the prep work for these meals on that day. Store everything in easily visible containers. Write out the weekly schedule on your kitchen chalkboard to hold yourself accountable. Once you start doing this, you will be amazed. No more guesswork at mealtime. No more unnecessary spending. And hey, your pants fit again. You’re welcome.
Make Friends with People Who Share Your New Frugal Outlook
Start surrounding yourself with people who won’t sabotage your new frugal lifestyle. Have game nights, go to free art openings, take up hiking. Start embracing all the free that is out there for you. Think of it as a fun game – have competitions with each other over who can find the best free activity in which to engage. Get nerdy with it! You will not miss overspending. Living within your means is going to feel awesome. It will be like having an amazing party that doesn’t come with a hangover. No more Walk of Shame. Your new mantra is: Walk Tall and Proud, Because You’ve Got Savings, Baby.
Remember, those savings are your ticket to your new home. Close your eyes and picture it. Godspeed!