We’re gearing up for (off beat drum roll pleaseeee) NOspendvember!
This is when you do not spend any extra money other than on essential items. At the end of the month you get to see how much money you’ve saved, and if you’d like… apply it to debt. Remember the ultimate goal is to be completely debt free. Yep! That means no credit card debt, no more car payments etc. This is not an overnight process, so please do not get overwhelmed.
Now on to the stuff you actually clicked to read.
You hear almost everywhere how important it is to save. A lot of people struggle with saving due to bad spending habits, not really knowing how to save, or even trying to save while living paycheck to paycheck. Trust me, it is possible. You just have to be willing to put forth a little effort, and some motivation. It is a good idea to get someone such as a family member, a friends, co-worker.. you get the point, to join in on this. What do you have to lose? Except for debt!
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Before you can actually start saving, you need to sit down (or stand if you’d like) and write down your expenses. ALL of them. This will help you get a visual idea of what’s coming in vs what’s going out. During this step, you should begin constructing your budget. This will be different for everyone, you just have to find out what fits your needs best and most important whichever works for you. I recommend on purchasing a planner. This will help you to stay organized with life, not just your money. Here are a few if you are having trouble finding one:
These are just a few. Also be sure to check out TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Hobby Lobby, or Michael’s store just to name a few. These places also have sales often, and even coupons so be sure to check those out as well. If you are in a situation where you can’t afford to purchase a planner or if you’re a crafty person you can always create your own using a notebook and a pencil/pen/marker etc. The choice is completely yours. Remember it’s not how you do it, as long as it works for you.
Only Use Cash:
“If you can’t afford to buy it cash, you really can’t afford it”
Swiping your debit or credit card can become almost instinct when going to the store. Have you ever planned a Target trip for bathroom cleaner, you $250 later you come out with a bunch of things that you didn’t intend on getting? I know I am guilty of it. To minimize this only use your debt cards to pay for bills. For everything else, use cash! This is also called the cash envelope system. The amount of cash that you will have for expenses will depend on your budget! That is why it is important to do step #1 first. Using cash will make you think twice, or even three times before making a purchase. Which is great when you’re working on budgeting.
Here are a few cash envelopes that you can purchase, or you can also turn it into a DIY project (:
- Save Me: Cash Envelope Budget System
- Jam Paper Plastic Envelope System
- Modern Grocery Coupon Organizer
- (even though it is a coupon organizer, it is awesome for a cash envelope)
Build Your Emergency Fund!
Emergency funds or Savings Accounts are so important! Unfortunately It seems like every time you get the ball rolling, something just has to happen! The A/C unit crashed, or your tire went flat, or an unexpected medical expense came up. (It happens to the best of us, so don’t feel alone). See, when you have money set aside for these unexpected catastrophes, you don’t feel as discouraged when it is time for you to come out of your pockets. Having an emergency fund will also decrease the chance of you swiping your credit card when you don’t have the immediate funds. I know what you’re thinking, “How much should I have in my emergency account?”. The answer will vary depending on the person and the circumstances. According to Dave Ramsey, when you are going through the saving/debt-free process you should save up at least $1,000. After you’ve saved up at least $1,000 you should dump your extra cash into your debts. (Starting with the smallest balance and snowballing on up).
DON’T GET DISCOURAGED! Trust the process, it works! It just takes some self-discipline and the motivation.
There you have, 3 of my top savings tips when you’re broke. I hope that you’ve enjoyed