How To Not Spend All Of Your Money
Disclaimer- I am not a professional professional adviser and just wanted to share my personal experiences. If you are interested in any of the things I've done, please do your own research to ensure you are making the best choice for you or seek council if you feel the need.
I'm the first to admit that I used to be terrible with money. I would spend whatever I got and live paycheck to paycheck without much to show for it. My savings account yearned for even a single penny to keep it chugging along. Not only was I not very good at savings but I was also terrible at paying things on time. I have had my water and electric turned off several times solely because I forgot to pay them.
Funny anecdote- I'm off on Fridays and I was laying in bed awaiting a furniture delivery. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flashing light peeking through the curtains. I jolted up. It was the county water truck. I was in a panic. I threw clothes on and stood at the door for a moment before I opened it. A woman was in my front yard, digging at my water meter. My heart sank. I didn't have enough time to pay my bill before the water would be shut off and I'd have to pee outdoors for the foreseeable future. No tap water for making tea, no showers. My future was flashing before my eyes. I call out to her, "Excuse me! This is embarrassing but, are you here because I forgot to pay my water bill? I could have sworn I did but I've forgotten before." She chuckles and replies, "Don't worry, baby. I'm just uncovering the meter so they can read it." Relief washed over me and I told her thank you and retreated back to my cool bed.
So, as you can see, I'm not perfect. BUT I've found some budgeting/saving/organizational tools and tips that make me feel a little less crazy.
- Automatic transfers from checking to saving- This is the hardcore way to ensure savings is done. This is when you schedule funds to be transferred and it can help a lot. Sometimes, we see our bank account after our direct deposit and get excited and before we know it, the money we meant to save got spend at Trader Joes, Ulta, and Target (just me? I don't think so).
- Transferring funds manually- If you have more self control, transferring money to savings as soon as possible is a great tip. It's similar to the above idea BUT it's good for if something comes up and I can't do an automatic transfer every single month. Sometimes a really good sale comes up or a down-payment sneaks up and it's harder to be as successful at saving that month. This one is also good because there are only a certain amount of transfers out of savings per month (my bank,I believe, only allows for 6).
- Using cash or a prepaid debit card- This one scares me the most, personally. It's the idea that you budget out the amount you're allotted to spend for a time period and either use cash or a prepaid debit card. Actually seeing the money disappearing when it's in cash scares me and makes me want to hold onto it more and with the debit card, when it's empty, it is supposed to decline all transactions.
- Write down all bills and due dates- I write all of them down and sort them out so I know which paycheck will pay them so that I don't have to pay all of them at once. This allows me to have some spending money and some to save so that if something comes up between checks or if one of my bills is more expensive than expected, I'll have extra money to pay it off.
- Re-evaluate purchases and priorities- When I was a bit younger, I didn't even think very much about the future. I was living for today and being selfish. Instead of saving or buying things for my home or making good investments, I was buying things for myself. I look back at those times and I realize that that had to happen in order for me to do what I'm doing now. I almost solely buy things that are for my house. I put things in my cart that are specifically for my home and for my fridge. I don't buy more than I need and I've transformed my wants. This allows the cart to be less full, the conveyor belt to have less on it, for me to have more in my bank account, and then more to be in my savings account.
- 401k/Retirement Account/Investments- When I started employment at the company I'm at now, I was not automatically enrolled into the 401k plan (something they advertise that they do and somehow I slipped through the cracks). I was almost 3 years with the company and had no funds in account. Instead of letting this freak me out, I invested 6% of each paycheck in stocks that aren't incredibly aggressive but still left me with above average returns
***Please learn from my experience- if your job provides a 401k or retirement fund and you want to get involved or aren't sure if you're involved, definitely check with your benefits department.***
Pictures by Death to Stock Photos