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Saving is something we’re told to do, but find the process actually really hard. Starting a savings plan that works for you might seem impossible, but I’m here to show you a couple of tips to help get you started.
Saving money is something I’ve struggled with in the past. But I wanted to share with you what has really worked for me, and hope you’ll find it works for you too.
There are so many different ways to save these days. I’ve included a couple of infographics of different plans you could try, but saving money is only saving until you spend it. If you get through week one, or week twenty of your plan, you have to count each week as a success. But here’s the thing: you’re going to have to find some self discipline. These tips will only help you, if you stick to it, and don’t borrow from the savings at the first sign of trouble. For me, sticking my new savings plan has been relatively easy (though it hasn’t been in the past.)
Saving has been easy because I recently purchased an incredibly inexpensive plane ticket to Europe in fall of 2017. Upon that purchase, I knew that if I didn’t start saving now, I wouldn’t be able to afford my trip! But I had some major goals for 2017, and I knew I had to make everything work.
Yes, as of writing this post, we are only 4 months into 2017, but it’s a good time to check in, right?
Apps for Saving
First, I set up an account at Acorns, where I stash away $5 bucks every week. It earns interest (potentially) and if nothing else, it’s a set it and forget it. Acorns can also roll up your change on your purchases (like putting away little acorns) and invest that as well. If you sign up through my link, you can open your account with $5 for FREE!
Stash the Cash
I don’t go shopping much these days; usually once a week. While I’m at the store, I pull out an additional $10-20 dollars, and stash that somewhere in my house. (Check out this really cool way to keep your dollars stashed.) Currently saved: $250.00
My day job is one where I get paid once a month. Some people hear that and think, “Oh hell no!” but for me, it’s a really good lesson in long term budgeting. I have to make my money stretch. But part of that is upon getting paid, immediately paying myself. It goes like this: Me, rent, electricity, phone, dog, internet, food, other bills. Those are the essentials, and anything left over is my play money for the month. But, if you get paid weekly or bi-weekly, chances are you also have the opportunity to work overtime. Anything you make, in addition to your regular paycheck should go straight into your savings accounts.
I even set up a second savings account that I can transfer money into, but never have to look at. Mine is through my main bank. Once a week or so, I log in and decide that I can probably put $10 bucks in to savings. You can even make automatic transfers. Ally Bank might be a good option for you if you’d like to set an account and forget it. Currently saved: $565.00
And of course, I started a second job/business: Millennial Life Skills Coaching. Through this, I pay myself, and my debts. Having a side hustle is an excellent way to save money. If you can live on your first income, then your side hustle income can go straight to your savings account. (#protip: Sign up to access the Millennial Life Skills Vault and access free resources to help you start a side hustle today!) Currently saved: $150.00
Filing your taxes is simple (usually) and can be incredibly lucrative if you keep your receipts, or have a diagnosis for Celiac Disease (which I don’t. Boo!) because you can add that money to your savings. No, I am not a financial planner or professional tax person so make sure you get some real advice and real research before filing. But I recommend (if your budget allows) to save 10% for yourself, 60% to savings, and the rest to any debts you could pay down. Those could be student loans, car payments, or to the principal of your mortgage. Currently saved: $400.00
With theses little pieces, I’ve been able to save over $1000, even though I moved recently, and doubled my rent. When I think back to how easy it was to start putting away a couple of dollars at a time, I wonder why I didn’t start sooner! It never felt like I was stealing from my future happiness or excitement. There are literally thousands of more ways to save but these are a really good place to start if you’re just figuring it out.
Sign up for the Millennial Life Skills Vault and get a free cheat sheet to help you start saving today. Plus, get access to information about how to start a side hustle, start a blog, and how to earn more money at your current job.