Money Savings Challenge Part 2
In my previous post, I shared why I took the money challenge in 2015. I am going to share how I did it to be successful, and some various ways you can too. Saving money is very similar to losing weight, and what works for me may not work for you. So read on for some tips and tricks to be successful!
Set it and Forget it!
One of the more frustrating parts of this process for me was that I could not just tell my online banking what to do with a quick click of the button. Instead I had to set up each week’s savings plan individually. I essentially did them one month at a time until it was over. You may be thinking that sounds tedious, and it was. For me though, I liked seeing it pop out of my account each week. It helped me to skip a lunch out to eat that week or forgo one or two of my weekly Starbuck’s treats. I needed to see the weekly step up in my savings account to keep myself motivated.
You may find that you don’t need the weekly motivation. If that is the case, you could easily go into you online banking account and set up a monthly transfer. There would be some leg work in that you would have to calculate how much you would need for each month, but that wouldn’t take that much effort my friends. If you started with $100 per month and then increased it by $5 each month, you will hit $1530 by December.
Physically Marking it Off:
Some people like the idea of lists and checking things off as they happen. This gives you more freedom in your plan than step one. You could print off the entire year, and as you come into money each week, make a certain payment and then mark it off. So maybe you got a bonus on a paycheck that you weren’t expecting and it is only week 10, well rather than pay $10 that week, you pay $52 and mark that payment off of your list. Maybe you sell an item on ebay, and you want to pay $35 in week 7, by all means, GO FOR IT! Cross it off and move on to the next week. I could see how this might be a fun way to get some of the big payments out of the way early on. For me, I like the weekly payouts.
Get a Savings Buddy:
There is nothing better than having an accountability partner to keep you on track! Maybe it’s a friend or even your spouse. It doesn’t matter who it is, but it does matter that they are on board with you and are willing to push you when you want to give up. Maybe you and a friend could make a competition out of it. Set the goal and if you each hit your goal, you go out for a meal together, but if only one of you hits it, the other must dip into their savings and pony up for the whole meal. Or pedicures, manicures, drinks…whatever trips your trigger.
Sell Your Stuff:
If you’re being honest with yourself, you know that you are sitting on a bunch of crap you DO NOT NEED and likely aren’t even using. Have you ever heard the Goodwill commercial that tells you to turn all your hangers around and each time you wear something turn it the other way so that at the end of the year you can donate anything on hangers that are facing the wrong way? Well, yeah…first off this assumes that I have a somewhat organized closet, which I don’t, and second off it assumes that I am not already aware of the fact that I have clothes from high school that “I am going to fit into when I lose a few pounds…ok like 50 pounds. When I lose 50 pounds I am totally going to sport my letterman’s jacket again.” NOT! Goodwill, I already know what I can and should donate, but I am on a mission and so I must sell these items myself. And after taking a peek in your back room, I don’t think you are going to miss out if I don’t donate this year. Ebay, Craigslist, and Garage Sale sites on Facebook are great ways to unload your crap onto someone else who probably doesn’t need it either, but hey, they are not committed to becoming financially fit like you are and so…the jokes on them! Your closet will be slimmer and your bank account fatter. Win-Win!
These are just a few ways that you could take the 52 Week Money Challenge, but there are countless ways to make small changes to yield big results. I will continue to focus on how to get on track to a healthy savings account, but one thing I really want you all to take away from these last two posts is that saving money is vital to your financial well-being. I know some of you reading this may be thinking to yourself, “how can I save money when I am already living paycheck to paycheck.” I have been in those shoes, trust me, but to that I would say that if you were to really examine where your money is going, you might be surprised at how you are unnecessarily stressing yourself out by not being in control of your money. Is your money ruling you or are you ruling your money? Do you know where every dollar is going before you even pocket it? If the answer is “no”, I bet we can find some money in your monthly budget to save. Don’t become a debt victim because you didn’t prepare for an emergency. One bump in the road can set you back significantly if you aren’t prepared for it, and that is the last thing I want any of you to experience.
So tell me, what are you doing in 2016 to fatten that savings account?? Comment below!