It’s been 12 weeks since we started our 52 Weeks of Savings plan. How’s it been going? Are you still on track or are you way off course? Changing your spending habits can be tough, especially as spring approaches and there’s more opportunity for fun. This week, I’m going to share some tips to keep you motivated. It may be a struggle, but having a savings account is worth the pain that tightening your belt may cause.
Eye on the Prize
If you’ve been following the traditional 52 week plan, you should have added $78 to your savings account. Just think, in another 12 weeks, that total will be $300. If these growing numbers aren’t motivation enough, try keeping your end goal in mind. If you are saving to have an emergency savings, or if you are doing it for the holidays, staying present with your goals is important.
Since you’ll be adding larger amounts to your savings in the future, you will also want to see where you can continue to save a little more every week. This way, the task of saving more and more is not as daunting. One method of doing this is to give yourself small savings challenges every week or month.
Making small goals for every week or month can make the biggest difference. For instance, don’t download music or movies for an entire month. Get your kids in on the act. Have them gather up gently used toys they no longer play with and take a load of goodies to the consignment shop. You may be in for a happy surprise and few extra dollars in your pocket. These small modifications may be just what you need to stay on track and keep up with your savings plan. http://www.childrensorchard.com/component/option,com_store/store_num,122/action,home/
Personally, my little adjustments come from couponing. I buy groceries at sale prices, so my meal planning comes from what I have in the pantry, rather than going to the store to pick up what we need when we need it. I have to be creative when it comes to planning meals this way, but it really adds up in how much I am saving. And nothing tastes as good as savings feel!
Phone a Friend
If you still feel like you’re in a savings slump, consider recruiting a good friend or family member to join the cause. For instance, you and a co-worker can skip going out to eat and commit to bringing your lunches for an entire month. Or, if you get on well with the neighbors, consider starting a community garden that everyone can both help tend and eventually, sow. The season is certainly right for fresh fruits and veggies.
It’s been my experience that once you start thinking of small adjustments, it’s pretty easy to pinpoint five or six more that you can accomplish as well. Try going from room to room for inspiration on things, ways or habits you can cut for each space. With that kind of momentum, you’ll be saving more in no time. And don’t forget to check out our Twitter for more ways to save, @SavinMavens.
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Tina Mapes is an assistant branch manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens.