Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What is the hands down, absolute best way to save money?

What is the best way to save?

Time to start saving!  

You know you should be doing it but you have been putting it off.   Maybe you are saving for a new car, the holidays, a vacation or even a downpayment on a house.

So what are your saving options?

  • The envelope system. Basically dividing each paycheck into envelopes per your budget and ONLY using that money for it's intended use.
  • Well, you may have heard of the 52 Week Money Saving Challenge which encourages saving money in increasing amounts each week or the "response" Don’t Do the 52-Week Money Challenge which encourages saving in a money in decreasing amounts each week.
  • You may have also grown up with a coin jar or a shoebox.
  • You may have been advised to invest in IRAs or 401ks.
  • Store it in your mattress or bury it in the back yard.
  • Have money from your paycheck automatically deposited into multiple accounts (if your employer does this).
  • Have money from your checking account regularly transferred into your savings. Some financial institutions will even offer seasonal or multiple savings accounts for organizing.

All of these options can leave you with analysis paralysis and you end up not making the decision to save at all but it doesn't have to immobilize you!

So which of these is really the best way to save?  

The answer is easy. It's going to be the plan you will commit to doing.  The one you will make a habit of doing.  The important part ot to pick a goal and implement a plan to achieve it. Here are the THREE basic steps:

  1. First, what are you saving for? If you want to save $2000 this year for a downpayment on a car, break it down to the smaller amounts it would take to get there.  This is about $166.67/month or if you get paid every two weeks, $76.92 per pay check.
  2. Decide where you have to move things around in your budget to make this happen.  The old saying goes, PAY YOURSELF FIRST. So work your budget backwards and see if you can still pay all your bills after you have put this amount in savings.
  3. Lastly, decide how you are going to stash that money. If you want to physically feel the money and put it in a jar or an envelope or under your mattress, your choice.  If you want to save on "auto-pilot" then contact your bank or credit union and set up the automatic transfers.

Keep yourself motivated with a photo of that new car (or just your goal written on a sticky note) taped to your bathroom mirror so you see it each day.

Sources or the programs I mentioned:
My mom.  Yup.  She is a saving guru.

The Envelope System: http://www.daveramsey.com/blog/envelope-system-explained

Don’t Do the 52-Week Money Challenge (At Least Not Their Way):   http://www.pocketyourdollars.com/2014/01/why-you-shouldnt-do-the-52-week-money-challenge/

52 Week Money Saving Challenge:   http://www.goodshomedesign.com/52-week-money-saving-challenge/

Need help financial planning?  I have referrals for you! Call me today and I will help you get connected to the right people.
CallSarahFirst.com, 651-964-0289

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