The Ultimate Savings Plan
Money: it’s a sore topic when you don’t have any. I am going to let you in on a little secret.
I am 21 years old. For the past three years, I have been taking 15-18 credits a semester at a private university and working as a nanny. I am supposed to be be eating ramen and hoping that my debit card isn’t declined at Walmart, right?
I actually have a decent sized savings account, zero debt and an awesome credit score. Today, I am going to share with you how exactly I have amassed my tiny bit of wealth.
No pyramid schemes, no questionable investments, no selling sketchy things. You are just going to download an excel spreadsheet and follow a few simple steps.
Are you ready? Download the savings plan template now.
Shifting Your Mindset: Frivolous to Frugal
I have stressed in past posts the importance of living a frugal life when trying to save money. Frugal living definitely takes a ton of discipline, but it is worth the shift.
You may have no idea what “frugal” means, and that is okay. That is why you’re reading this! To live a frugal life is basically to live an economical one; you recognize the scarcity of your resources and adjust accordingly.
You have to take into consideration the opportunity cost. You give up one thing to have another. Do not look at things in the value of dollars but in the value of something else that is important to you.
You could spend $50 a week on groceries at Whole Foods on brand name foods or head across the street to Aldi and try the off-brands for $33. Some people are put off by the off-brands and are willing to sacrifice that $17 for no good reason.
If you give up that $17 every week, you are missing out on $884 a year. Surprise! The food tastes exactly the same and you could’ve booked a flight to Italy and back.
Wanna know another secret?
You can pretend. You can pretend that your resources are scarce.
I pretend that I am “broke” so that I don’t spend money. I try to live like I only have $100 to my name so that the other $xxxxx in my bank account stay there. People think I am crazy for this, but it has worked for me thus far! My bank account has grown.
I do have to say that since I have “trained” myself, I do let myself spend a little more than I used to, especially since my income has greatly multiplied.
This is important to note: I have not allowed my spending to multiply at the same rate as my income.
How to Grow Your Savings Account
Like any growth, this cannot happen overnight. You will not wake up sitting on six-figures. You are going to have to work for this.
Although increasing your income is a great way to increase your savings, my recommendations and strategies do not necessarily require that (unless you are currently living paycheck to paycheck and only covering necessities). Everything that I am sharing with you today is related to financial literacy and money management.
There are a few major steps to take to put you on the right track to growing your savings accounts.
Steps in Growing Your Savings
- Download my savings plan
- Set realistic goals
- Track your progress
- Stick with it
With my savings plan, you can easily input your goals and record your progress. This document is set up with monthly and weekly goal sections where you can track your income and expenses for that time period.
I highly recommend writing your daily income and expenses by hand because this allows you to become more aware of the money that is coming and going from your “pocket.” It can be so easy to swipe a card and not pay attention. For me, writing the numbers makes it painfully real.
The document is set up with formulas to add and subtract to show how much you net each week and month. You don’t have to do any math except adding up what you spent in the week and inserting it into a box. Your phone probably has a calculator so that step is cake!
More Money Hacks
In business, if you want to increase your profit, you have to increase your revenue or decrease your costs. You’ll want to look at your situation similarly. You have to increase your income or decrease your costs.
My best advice is to shop only shop when there are sales, clearances or promotions unless it is an absolute necessity.
A site that has become my go-to is Ebates. This site gives you cashback and applies promotions to all of your favorite online shops. I love this site so much that I even wrote an Ebates Guide so that you guys can navigate it like pros!
The sales are out there. You just need to find them!
Download your free savings plan!
It Is Time to Save
Looking for additional resources to help you save? Here you are!
- Student Discount Hacks
- How I Saved $4000 in a Summer
- How to Make Money on the Side
- Living a Frugal Lifestyle
- How to Have an Inexpensive Social Life
It is time to save some money, honey!