Today is a Monday just like any other Monday. You wake up early to get ready for work, drink your morning coffee, and attempt to snap yourself out of the weekend excitement. Everything seems like a normal day until you attempt to start your car and realize that something needs to be fixed. What is your next move? Hope and pray that you still have enough money leftover from last week’s paycheck to cover the repairs? We have all been through it, and tell ourselves, “next time I will plan ahead and make sure I have the money set aside before the car breaks down, or worse.”
Unfortunately this is easier said than done, but here are some quick ways that will help you put these plans into actions.
We all want to save but that takes patience, planning, and time that we don’t have. These steps can be bypassed by automating your saving. Paula Pant from Afford Anything is a woman who currently saves over 50% of her income, and she says, “I’m a massive advocate of the easiest, laziest, more awesome budget hack: Yank your savings from the top and go wild with the rest.” What she means is, figure out what you are going to save, whether it’s $10, $50, or $100, set up an automatic deposit into a savings account and the rest is for you to spend however you want.
Here are the steps that you need to follow to be successful:
- Create a separate account for this money only
- Set up an automatic transfer into that account
- Sit back and forget about it
Before you know it, you will be on your way to your savings goals.
Be a 1 Percenter
We’ve all heard the rule of thumb, save at least 10% of your income. Forget about this rule. When you are currently saving little to nothing each month, jumping straight to 10% can be difficult and stressful. Instead, start small, saving 1% of your income is more than enough when you are just getting started. If you don’t know how much that is, simply estimate your monthly take home pay and as Paula would say “lop off the last two digits” and save that.
Once you are comfortable with saving 1%, try to add 1% more and then another, and eventually you will be saving that 10%. The best part is that you won’t feel it in your wallet!
3 Tools for getting started
- Digit is a tool that analyzes your spending habits and automatically saves little bits of money for you a couple times a month. It requires almost no work to get started and will help you max out your saving potential.
- Acorns will round up purchases made with your credit card and automatically saves and invests that money for you. The pennies will not be missed and it will be exciting to see how much they have grown into.
- Betterment is an investing platform that is user friendly to all levels of investors. You can set up that 1% automatic deposit and they will take care of the rest, based on your age and investing preferences.
What methods of saving have been helpful for you?