Last year I shared our biggest financial lessons we learned throughout our twenties. You can check out both posts here: Financial Lessons We Learned In Our Twenties & Financial Lessons Part 2. Money is such an interesting topic because we all need it but many people feel strange discussing it. I feel like it is one of those topics we tend to avoid in conversation because everyone has different feelings/circumstances surrounding finances. I know these past couple of months have been financially devastating to many families and I can only pray people begin to get back on their feet.
During this time I have thought and felt many things. Every day I have remained grateful for our finances and the safety net Mason and I have created for our family. I wanted to share what I have learned when it comes to saving money and being diligent in saving. I know it can be hard to continuously think “big picture” or “long term” with savings, but it is definitely worth it.
Taking ownership in your finances reminds me of creating a health and wellness routine. If you try to do everything at once it becomes completely overwhelming and hard to manage. However, if you take small steps and implement one thing at a time it turns into habits which generate results.
What has helped you save? I would love to know any tips or recommendations!
Savings Step One: Pay Off Debt
Look at what you owe or make payments on and come up with a plan. Write it down and hold yourself accountable. Cut back on other things and prioritize your finances. Start with what is manageable to tackle and go from there. Also be realistic with some debt, such as a house.
Savings Step Two: Don’t Spend What You Don’t Have
Really look at your finances and situation and assess where you are. Know what you bring in each month and on average what you spend with bills, food, etc. If you are constantly putting things on a card and unable to pay it off, think about if they are things you actually need. Look at ways to cut costs of certain things if applicable. I am a huge believer in if we don’t have the money to pay for it, we are not purchasing it period. Credit cards can become a tricky game of constantly paying off/catching up…
Savings Step Three: Eliminate Multiple Credit Cards
If you are tempted to constantly put things on a card and worry about it later, try to eliminate having multiple accounts. Pay off any cards that are not primary and focus on having what you need. Those amounts on multiple accounts can add up fast and then accumulate into something difficult to manage.
Savings Step Four: Set An Amount
Set an amount from every paycheck that you are going to pay yourself. Write it down like it is another bill that has to be taken out each and every time…no exceptions. If you are able to, set it on auto draft so you eliminate any temptations of keeping it where you want to spend it. It does not have to be anything big, small amounts accumulate over time. Choose something reasonable that is not overwhelming and be consistent with it.
Savings Step Five: Create An Emergency Fund
Have a goal when you start saving. This will help you stay on track and motivated to be consistent. I have mentioned our emergency fund is 3 months of living plus what we think is a good amount for any house things that happen unexpectedly (ex: ac unit). This will become your safety net if anything happens and should be treated as that. It is not for vacations, pampering, material items, etc. Once we hit our goal, I didn’t even consider that amount as part of our “savings” anymore since it serves a completely different purpose.
Once you get to a comfortable point in your savings, consider doing other things such as investments, retirement accounts, stock, mutal funds, etc. You can read more about those in my previous posts!