Be honest, have you saved as much money as you resolved to when the New Year started? I thought so. Well the bad news is that you aren’t alone, most of us haven’t but the good news is that it’s never too late to dust off that dusty resolution and start saving today.
Keep in mind that saving isn’t just for the big things, like home, college or retirement. A consistent, deliberate savings plan allows you to provide for life’s smaller purchases without adding to credit card debt or taking out a loan.
Building Your Savings Habit in Less than a Month
In fact, Mary Caraccioli, host of We Owe What? from the Live Well Network advocates a take-it-slow approach to your personal finances. Her 4 step process for building savings and reducing debts starts with
- Week 1: Gather and Organize. Commit to 15 minutes a day for a week to get organized. Gather and sort your bills and other financial documents into piles.
- Week 2: Get Clarity. Take the pulse of your financial health. Look up your credit score. Check your bank, savings and retirement account balances.
- Week 3: Set your Goals. Keep it short term – if your goals are too big for you or too far in the future then you’re going to have a hard time sticking to them. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have big goals. It just means that you need to develop the habit of saving first and it’s best to do so by setting smaller, more short term and attainable goals to begin with in order to ingrain the habit.
Insuring Savings Success
Okay, you’ve organized your finances, assessed your financial strength and set some financial goals. Now it’s time to get started. But first, a question. If you need to lose 20 pounds are you more likely to think it doable if you reframe your goal to My goal is to lose 2 lbs. a week for the next 2 months?
From my own experience, it’s very difficult to lose 20 lbs. but much easier to lose two. Apply this principle to your savings goal. Take the Financial Goals you set in Week 3 and break them into easier to attain chunks. You want a new car, to go back to school, remodel your bathroom? Do your research, find out the cost and then break this cost down into paycheck sized savings goals. I don’t need to save $xx,xxx, I only need to save $xxx this paycheck.
Take I should save more to I want to save more because I have a goal I want to reach and do it in such away that your savings success is insured! Good luck and good savings.