Hello, Kansas City! My name is Tina Mapes and I’ll be filling in for Kat while she is on maternity leave! I’m very excited to spend some time with you and help you save some green at the same time. The start of the year is a great time to set financial goals. Read on for some clever challenges and techniques for putting money back in your pocket.
This popular challenge sounds easy enough. The basic premise if that every week of the year, you make a deposit into a savings account, starting with a single dollar in corresponding week one, and every week following throughout the year. Your contributions rise a dollar each week as the year progresses so on week 37, when you deposit $37, you’ll have a total of $703. If you make this deposit every week, you’ll have $1,378 saved. According to CNN, the majority of Americans don’t even have $1,000 available in their emergency fund. https://www.cacu.com/savings-challenge
My husband and I have three children so we hoped to save for Christmas with this challenge last year. Full disclosure, it didn’t quite work as planned, but I’m here to discuss the reality of budgeting and saving, and it can be very challenging. We started off well but by the ninth week, I was already forgetting to make deposits. After continuing this path for a few months, remembering about every 2 or 3 weeks that I need to make a deposit, it got to the point that I was playing catch up and ultimately just stopped saving. I want to help you succeed where I failed…last year! So let’s do this together!
The other reality of these challenges, while well meaning, don’t work for everyone. Some people find much more savings success by reversing the challenge. They begin by depositing $52 and winnow down their contributions from there but it’s still a matter of making these weekly payments. Try different timelines and find out what works best for you.
http://4hatsandfrugal.com/2014/01/new-52-week-saving-plans.html#_a5y_p=2929626 . Remember, the goal is to save money no matter the methodology!
12 Months of Savings
Finding ways to save and actually sock that money away is the key here. So be sure to sit down and make a list of things you’ll do every month to rein in your money. For instance, in January, you’ll give yourself and your family the challenge of not eating out at restaurants or picking up fast food. Another a month you may try restricting all online shopping or boycotting your favorite store.
Another idea for kicking the year off with savings is a total spending fast. Stock up on those necessary supplies, recipes and create a game plan for not spending a dime (other than essentials, such as gas, perishables, utility bills, emergency fund, etc.) for the whole month of February. The second month of the year is a good choice since it’s the shortest and if you repeat this spending freeze later in the year, you’ll be even more prepared.
Making money-related resolutions for you and your family to follow is more than just a clever way of tucking away funds – it’s also a great way to get your children involved with how a household spends money. And those kinds of lessons are always priceless.
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.