Today I thought I would share something I am personally trying to work on, which is saving money. John and I have some financial goals for the year 2020 and I want to make absolutely sure I am doing everything in my power to help us work towards them.
A few months ago, I wrote a pretty straightforward blog post on how to create a budget. If you missed it or need a general review, just click the link here to check it out. Now, it is time to take it a step further and implement some of my favorite, simple steps for working faster toward your financial goals.
Tip #1: Go through your spending via your online bank account for the past 30 days. Take a look at everything, line by line, item by item. This tip is super helpful because it allows for awareness. Just like in everything else we do, awareness is key. If you are now aware that last month you spent $150 dollars on Starbucks, you may hold yourself accountable to consume it a little less. Or, perhaps you notice how those little items you purchase here and there, were adding up to way more than you thought. This tip is by far the easiest and simplest way to begin cutting costs without really noticing you are doing it. Instead, you are just exerting a little more self control. But tip #1, brings me to tip #2…
Tip #2: While you are reviewing your line by line spending for the past month, I want you take note of all of the “subscriptions.” If you are anything like me, over the past…oh I don’t know….three years??…you’ve signed up for a whole bunch of things that when added all up can be huge costs. For example, when I added up all of my subscriptions (this included apple subscriptions, netflix, workout classes, etc), I was spending close to $300/month. That is insane (at least to me it was). So, I wrote them all out and then with a number in mind of how much I would “like” to be spending, cut them out and cancelled things one by one. Now, instead of spending $350/month (which I was), I have cut it down to $75.
Tip #3: I heard about this one a podcast and immediately started implementing it – when you have the intention of spending money, but it doesn’t happen…for example you really want that pair of jeans, but use better judgment and don’t buy them, you should immediately transfer that money into a savings account. Another example includes, you go out to dinner with a friend, but your friend ends up buying your dinner – whatever money you would have spent on dinner, is then transferred to savings account. You will find that in this way, you start saving sooooo much more money. Plus, you are now making more intentional buying decisions, which also boosts your confidence.
Tip #4: Pay your smaller debts first, then move to the bigger ones and pay whatever you were paying on the smaller one to this one, then continue on until all debt is paid off.
For example, you owe $500 on your credit card ($38/month payment), $1200 on your Nordstrom Card ($120/month payment) (because, girl you like to shop), and $4,000 in student loans ($150/month repayment). On your Nordstrom card and your student loan, you will pay your monthly payment as normal, but on your credit card (because it’s the smallest), you will pay $100/month instead. Then, once you pay that off, you will move to your Nordstrom card. For that one you will now pay $220/month, until that one is paid off. And so on, and so on.
I hope that makes sense.
This is what is referred to as the “debt snowball” and is actually a concept created by Dave Ramsey. He makes this a little bit more specific, and I suggest that if you have a lot of debt, giving his podcast – The Dave Ramsey Show, a listen. In this way, however, you will pay off your debt way faster than you ever would have.
Tip #5: For my last and final tip, I recommend trying an envelope system. This works by taking out in cash, your allotted budget for the week or month. You then separate them into their perspective sections, like clothing, nails, eating out, etc. and can only spend what is in your envelope. When you use cash, the manual transaction is taken more seriously, making you question all of your spending. Plus, you can really see what is left in your envelope, which also encourages you to make more responsible purchasing decisions. I use to do this when I was in college and it worked so well for me! I need to get back to it.
I hope these tips helped and I can’t wait to hear if you implement any of them.
As always, feel free to email or DM me with any questions you may have.