Today is my first article of many I will be writing about spending less and how to do it. This whole month I will be talking about how to save/coupon/being frugal and even about some money making opportunities for stay at home moms! Today’s topic I will be talking about SAVING!
THE IMPORTANCE OF SAVINGS
First of all, I have to start out by saying, my husband and I used to be terrible at saving. We still aren’t the best (there’s always room for improvement), but we have built a nest egg that I never thought would have been possible 5 years ago. If you are struggling to make ends meet–there is hope. I have been there, and done that. I know how it feels to have NO MONEY. And I feel for you. But, there is something you can do! You can save, be frugal, and spend less. Bit by bit, you can shape your financial future.
Did you know that ONLY 41% of Americans save regularly? And 70% live paycheck to paycheck? That’s a scary figure! SAVING is a huge part of becoming financially responsible and seeing the benefits from it. Many financially successful people suggest saving at least 10% of your income. To some of you that may seem impossible, and if so, just save as much as you can. Think. What if you saved just $100 off your groceries for the month to put towards your savings? That would be awesome, right? And that is so possible! Couponing (which I will be writing another article about soon) is one way to save on groceries. Your grocery bill is one of the only bills you can actually control.
So how do you start saving? I found this awesome 1-Year Savings challenge printable for adults and kids to track your savings. It seems like an easy way to save! And then of course there is budgeting. There are a thousand ways to budget, but this is one way I have heard great things about. The YNAB program is free for the first 34-days. I just signed up and it did not even take my credit card, so it is a true free trial.
Making more money to put towards your savings is another route to take. I will soon be writing an article about ways I am able to make extra cash as a stay at home mom, so stay tuned!
Also, I want to suggest using cash. Using cash has saved my family thousands. It is the strangest thing, but when you are using actual paper money (and not plastic) the spending becomes more real. It’s harder to spend. Give yourself an allotted amount for each area, (groceries, gas, etc.) and do not spend over what you have allotted. I have used the envelope system before and it is very effective.
Make 2016 the year you turn your finances around! I am far, far from being a financial expert (but I do kind of consider myself a frugal expert ;)) So leave it to the money experts to help you! One book that helped me and my husband pay off $14,000 of debt in six months, leaving us debt free besides our house, is Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. I can’t even begin to tell you how much you need this book. It is AMAZING! Grab your spouse and sit down and read together. Seriously. You will not regret it.
Good Luck, and get to saving!