Just 22% of us have six months of expenses saved while nearly 30% have no emergency savings at all, according to post sometime last year from NZIER. That’s surprising because “spending less and saving more” have ranked in the top 5 list of most popular resolutions in the last three years.
Clearly, we want to increase our savings but feel like we can’t. Maybe you can relate. Your income is tied up in bills, insurance, and day-to-day expenses. And you wonder, How am I supposed to save on top of all that?
Even if it feels like you don’t have any cash to spare, you can save more this year. Find out how with these three simple questions: You just need to be determined and disciplined, plus get on with it and stop procrastinating. There isn’t any magic wand that will sort out your finances, get you saving more or get that debt down faster.
1. What are my saving priorities? Successful goals start with a plan. Determine what you’re saving for before you do anything else. Here are some savings priorities to cover first:
- Emergency Fund. Start by getting $1,000 in the bank. Then get rid of all your debts. After that, bulk up your emergency savings to three to six months’ worth of expenses. This should protect you in the event of a job loss, death in the family or your washing machine breaking down.
- Deposit for a House. After you’ve fully stocked your emergency fund, you may be ready for a place to call home. (If you’re already a proud homeowner, skip this step and go straight to retirement savings.)
- Retirement to begin to invest at least 10% of your household income in good growth-stock mutual funds, gold /silver, maybe an investment property or Kiwisaver. You decide what suits you, speak to someone experienced and doing well in one of these areas themselves.
2. What else do I want to save for? Sooner or later, you’ll have some other savings goals to meet. If you have a child from college in a few years, you may want to bulk up their college fund. If your decades-old car is about to start costing you money, it’s time to think about a replacement. Save for the following purchases as they make sense for you:
- Kids’ University
- Car Replacement
3. Where do I find the money? Now that you’ve decided what you’re saving for, it’s high time the Savings Fairy dropped in for a visit, right? The hard truth is she isn’t coming. You have to save this money—no one else can do it for you. But that’s okay because you’ve so got this.
- Make a budget. First, figure out where all your money is going. Create a monthly budget so you can better understand your monthly income and expenses.
- Pay yourself first. After you get paid, put the amount you want to save in a separate account (or retirement vehicle) and don’t touch it! Do this before you assign yourself that restaurant money or getting your nails done?
- Trim your budget. Replace a few meals out with some Crockpot recipes, buy generic paper products, and shop used. There are plenty of simple ways to save on the day-to-day. Never go to the supermarket without a list and only go once a week.
- Sell items you no longer need. We all have closets (or entire attics!) full of forgotten snow boots, sunglasses, clothes, toys, and electronics. Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you haven’t seen it—or missed it—in a year, get rid of it. A good way to cash in your clutter is to have a garage sale or give it to a local clothes stall where you will get some money in return
- Turn your hobby into income. Be it photography, jewellery making, art, you well be surprised what people will by and it all helps, plus you never know where it may lead.
- Consider renting out a room. Kids have left home, get in a student or border.
- Try a temporary spending freeze. Give yourself a quick win via a short-term spending freeze. Rather than eating out or buying new clothes, direct all that money toward your savings goal. This is a great way to save for Christmas gifts or vacation cash.
When you make a budget, you know exactly where your money is going each month. Finally! It gives you freedom as you know where your money is going and exactly what you have to spend on yourself with no guilt attached to it. That means you can direct more of it toward whatever you want—including your savings account. The key to saving more money this year is you!
If you need any help with this then do give me a call. Whether it’s to financially become more educated on how to manage your money, what loopholes to watch out for, how to save, or if you are willing to change and are needing to form some good habits and change your existing mindsets that are not helping you to get ahead and so be able to manage your money to save. Call me. 0273483207 or firstname.lastname@example.org Love to help.