There’s no question that people who have the saving habit have a much greater chance of getting the things they want in life, living debt free and have the ability to recover faster when disaster strikes. But how do you save when there never seems to be anything left over? If you have a decent income and you keep finding yourself in this situation, it’s time to break that mold. Mel Robbins in her new book, the 5 Second Rule suggests that when you want to change your behavior that you stop and count backwards from 5 to 1 – she says that disrupts old patterns and that’s kind of what you need to in some cases when it comes to saving. Often the hardest part to saving is getting started, then once you build the habit your contributions will grow.
So as you count backwards from 5 to 1, here are three strategies to get you started:
- Track what you’re spending. The best way to do that is to keep a record of everything you spend — from bills you pay to snacks at work. Track your expenses for at least a month — three months if you really want to know where your money is going because then you can begin to see patterns and trends to your spending.
- Plan to save. Now that you have some idea of where your money is going, make a plan to divert 5-15 percent of your income to savings. If you use a budget, add it in just like any other bill. If you don’t use a budget, just take it off the top. That maybe painful at first, but it will get better over time. Then as your income increases, instead of increasing your lifestyle, increase your savings.
- Save for something you want. Saving for savings sake is not fun, but when it’s something you want it gets a lot easier. For example, maybe a new outfit, an exotic vacation, or maybe you just want some peace of mind so you start an emergency fund.
Remember, saving is a choice. The benefit is that making the choice to save now can lead to bigger and better choices for your future.
And, that’s the minute for today. Got a burning question? Send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for listening and as always remember that minding your money really is the path to a richer life!