The Ultimate Money Savings Hack That You Can Start Using Today
We’ve all heard the advice to work smarter, not harder. Doesn’t it make sense to apply this same mindset to your money?
Here’s a quick rundown of a few tips that really work if you want to give your savings a quick boost:
- Do the 52 Week Savings Challenge. This is a way to gamify your savings and painlessly save a little extra throughout the year. During the first week of the challenge, you put $1 in savings. The next week, you save $2 and the week after that you save $3 — and so on for every week in the year. During the last week, you’ll save $52. At the end of a year, you’ll have saved an extra $1,378.
- Automate it. Taking yourself out of the equation is a great money savings hack. Instead of manually transferring money to a savings account, set up an automatic transaction for a set amount each week. You could start small, with something like $10 or $25, and bump up that number as long as you don’t feel pinched in your budget. It’s a good way to stop dollars from leaking out of your account and getting spent. You can’t spend the money on things you don’t need if the money is already in savings!
- Pair savings with a bad habit to pay yourself more. Like to treat yourself to a daily latte? Go for it — just put the same dollar amount you spend on your coffee habit into a savings account each time you grab your caffeine fix. Or every time you grab a bottle of wine, put as much as you spent on alcohol into savings. This doesn’t even have to be a “bad” habit. You could say for every dollar you spend on an impulse purchase, you’ll put a dollar into savings. Or for every meal you eat out instead of preparing yourself, you’ll put $10 into savings.
- Just ask. Many service providers will switch you to a lower-cost plan or offer a small discount if you call and (politely!) ask for cheaper alternatives to your current bill. The worst they can say is no. Best case scenario: you save.
There are a lot of other hacks and tricks that can help or encourage you to save more money. They work because they give us structures or frameworks to use. Some make a game out of saving more. And others show methods of saving that put the basic math in our favor.
But being able to save money really comes down to the simple act of just doing it. It sounds simple, and yet so many families struggle to successfully save on a consistent basis.
Why is that?
It might be because they’re missing the ultimate money saving hack that could change everything.
Your Ultimate Money Saving Hack: Get Clear on Your Values
There is no better savings hack than getting laser-focused on what’s truly important to you and your family. Sure, the financial tips can help support your efforts to save more.
But saving money is a bit like a diet: the quick fixes don’t last over the long term. For lasting success, you need to change your mindset and your lifestyle.
Both of those things are difficult to do. They require a lot of work and effort. It’s like trying to reroute a river. It’s not going to happen overnight, and it’s not going to be easy.
Which is why it’s critical to be motivated to make change and stick to your new habits over time. Getting clear on your values can provide the motivation you need to implement that change and save more money month after month.
Saving Money by Putting Dollars Where Your Priorities Are
When you identify what’s important to you and you understand your priorities, you can make sure your spending is actually aligned with those values.
Spending money isn’t a bad thing — and saving money shouldn’t be about cutting out all the fun stuff and feeling deprived. It shouldn’t be about spending all your time and energy trying to follow all these little hacks and tricks, or spending hours clipping coupons to save a few bucks.
What family has time for that, anyway?
If you can identify what’s important to you, you can review your budget and your recent spending to ask yourself: am I using my money to move me closer to what I value in life?
Where the answer is “no,” it’s time to make a change. If you value experiences with your family, then buying your lunch every day during your workweek takes away from opportunities to do more of what you value.
Imagine if you spent Sunday afternoon preparing lunches for the week ahead. You could cook and prepare food with your family, for your family — and take the money you save on meals out and put it in a savings account for the next family road trip.
The changes don’t need to be dramatic. Simply start by looking at each transaction you make, and asking if that aligns with one of your core values. If it does, move on to the next purchase.
Be honest with yourself. If buying new furniture or clothes doesn’t actually align with your values, eliminate spending in these areas.
Eliminating the spending on things that aren’t actually important to you is the easiest, simplest money saving hack there is. Spend on what you care about. Save on the things that just aren’t as important to you.
Want to learn more about budgeting for your future?
Contact FamilyVest today!