Do you have a savings goal for 2021? This past month we ran a savings challenge over on our Instagram account. On Day 1, we surveyed our audience and asked if everyone was saving for a new home, renovations, a home emergency fund, or something else. The overwhelming response was: Saving for renovations!
Here are some easy ways to start building your savings:
First, schedule "no spending months" throughout the year. February IS the shortest month of the year, so this may be a great place to start. Also, because of the pandemic, you're probably already spending less on commuting, dining out, and entertainment outside of the home.
Second, use the envelope system. Each envelope corresponds to money you spend, so, for example, one for gas, one for groceries, one for takeout, etc. When the money is gone, you can't spend anymore on that category. That will teach you to budget!
Third, stop binge buying in its tracks by waiting 72 hours before making an impulse purchase. If you're online shopping with Amazon, for example, click ADD TO CART instead of PURCHASE NOW and sleep on it. If you're like us, Costco is where you make most of your unexpected purchases. We go in with a list but always leave with a super-sized something we didn't know we needed. It would be better to go home and sleep on it. If a few days later I'm still thinking about whatever caught my eye, I can drive back to get it...if I really want it badly enough.
While we may be spending more time at home these days and ,therefore, less money, it's still a good idea to analyze your last 30 days of spending so that you can highlight unnecessary expenses and determine what you can eliminate. These days it's easy to use your Notes app on your phone to start tracking and being more mindful of where your money goes. For instance, you might think you're saving money by not going out to eat as much, but that take-out you have delivered and eat on the couch can add up, too.
Finally, make it a point to learn more about finances. With podcasts, YouTube, and good old books, you don't have any excuses not to. Make it a point to read a certain number of pages, watch a certain number of videos, or listen to a certain number of podcasts a week, and you'll be more knowledgeable in no time.