Happy New Year to all of our clients and friends! Have you, as many people do, considered changing or creating some personal habits this year? Hopefully the development and implementation of an improved savings strategy is among your resolutions. To encourage you to save money and live debt-free, we suggest the following steps that can motivate you to build your savings in the coming year.
1. Set your eyes on the objective: Great personal finance always starts with some great goals. When you’re setting your savings goals for 2010, make them obtainable and current so that you can stay motivated. Give yourself a little bit of instant gratification and think of something you can accomplish this year. After the short term goals are in place, start thinking of your medium and long term goals.
2. Divide and conquer: A method of setting up your savings that will keep you motivated (and actually excited) to save is to create categories. Grab a piece of paper or create a spreadsheet with your chosen categories written across the top, such as vacation, Christmas, vehicle, household, and a DO NOT TOUCH. Each month split up your savings among your categories and after a few months, you will see progress in areas that actually mean something to you! If you’re using a spreadsheet, it’s easy to project how long it will take you to save for a particular goal. For example, “if I stick to my current savings habits, I’ll be able to take that vacation by the end of next year!”
3. Seize the day: If you find change in the couch or in your dirty laundry, resist the temptation to blow it at the vending machine. If you receive a tax refund or a rebate check, don’t spend them on toys. When you come across these little bonuses in life, place them in savings and decide which category you’d like them to go into. You may have missed out on that candy bar, but you’ll know that you’re one step closer to that car, vacation, or home improvement.
Even though you have divided your savings account among your categories, at the end of the day, it’s still your money. If disaster were to strike, you’ll have a lump sum in savings that can be used however you deem necessary. This system will, however, discourage spending your entire saving on one purchase or one vacation.
Best wishes as you continue striving to live debt free. We know it’s not always easy, but it’s always well worth your effort.
If you have any questions, would like to discuss ways to meet your financial challenges, or, if you’re a current or former client, simply want to update us on your present situation, please contact us at your convenience. We are here to help you and look forward to hearing from you.