Unplanned, unexpected expenses are going to happen at some point in our adult lives. Hospital bills, car repairs, home repairs, etc; although these things can be a minor inconvenience, they do not have to lead to financial ruin. Having a savings plan and the willingness to make it a priority will not only lead to financial security, it will eliminate the stress and headache associated with financial despair.
Saving does equal sacrifice, but it doesn’t mean life has ended! Take an in depth look at where you spend your money and start from there (Mint.com is a great website that categories your spending, so you know exactly where your money is going). If you notice you are spending $200-300 a month eating out, or shopping, try reducing that by a forth. That gives you $50-75 a month that can go towards saving. Seems like chump change, but slowly adding this miniscule amount to a savings account adds up. In twelve months you will have effectively saved $600-900, plus any interest earned. Larger financial sacrifices ultimately lead to a larger savings. If you aren’t someone who has enough residual income to spare, look at your bills. What changes can you make? Do you REALLY need cable? The average cable bill is $125-200 a month! Canceling (or lowering) your cable subscription can equal a couple thousand in savings each year. If you were to cancel your $200 cable subscription, and deposit those funds into savings account, you would have $2,400 saved up in a calendar year. Yes, saving really is THAT simple.
Once you have successfully chiseled away at your spending, start adding that money into your savings account. Try not to use one that is directly linked to your checking account. This will eliminate the impulse transfers into your checking account, plus you are only allotted so many transfers out of your savings without incurring fees. Try opening a bank account at a separate bank, or using an online banking intuitions such as Discover Bank or Ally. Online banks give you the option to transfer money into your checking account for the sake of emergencies, but do so with a 3-5 business day delay, allowing more than enough time for you to rethink your financial decision.
Saving doesn’t have to be difficult. Minor adjustments to your every day spending habits can help create the financial stability and security you are committed to having. It just takes commitment and consistency. Making the act of saving a priority gets you one step closer to being the #baus of your financial future.