Saving $10,000.00 in 4 months may sound absolutely impossible to you right now, but I'm here to take you step-by-step through exactly what I did to achieve this when it seemed impossible to me just 1 year ago. In the year since I started this journey I've saved an additional $25,000.00 to give myself a grand total of $35,000.00 saved in ONE YEAR!
1. Figure out your purpose
Saving was never a huge deal to me until I got pregnant with my daughter. I never had a good "reason" to want to save. All of my bills were paid on time and I had a small savings, but nothing crazy. Once I decided to get pregnant with my daughter, I knew that we had to make a big change in our finances. She is my motivation. I highly recommend figuring out what your purpose is before starting on this journey. It needs to be a purpose that is more important than any materialistic item, or doubt, or excuse.
2. Track your expenses for 30 days
For 1 full month I want you to track every single penny you spend. That $1.25 candy bar you just bought from the vending machine? Write it down. That $3.00 coffee you just bought at the drive-through? Write it down. Your $2,000.00 mortgage payment? Write it down. My Ultimate Finance Planner includes monthly expense trackers that you can use each month on your journey to getting your finances in order!
3. Create a budget
Once you've tracked your expenses for an entire month, you'll have a nice visual to help aid you in creating your very first monthly budget. Make sure to factor in all of your fixed expenses (i.e, cellphone bill, rent, insurance payments, etc.) as well as your variable expenses (i.e, groceries, gas, entertainment, etc.) It may take several months for you to perfect your budget, but I promise if you stick with it you WILL see immense benefits from doing so.
4. Use cash envelopes
Cash envelopes are exactly what they sound like. Envelopes that you store your cash in. Cash envelopes are great for your variable expenses that you can afford to cut back on as much as possible if you are serious about stacking up your savings (or paying off debt). You can find my custom designed cash envelopes by clicking here! Each month you will put your budgeted amount of cash in each envelope. Once the cash in that envelope is gone, that's it. You cannot spend any more cash for that category until next month. Of course, you can "steal" or "borrow" money from other envelopes if you are really in a bind, but I would not recommend getting into that habit.
5. Create a separate savings account
This one is pretty self explanatory. Open a savings account that is completely brand new and do NOT touch it for anything. This account is for deposits ONLY.
6. Brew your own coffee
This one may not seem like a biggie, but believe me- it's a BIGGIE. My fiance and I were spending $200 every month on coffee (sometimes more!) before I decided to really get busy with saving as much as possible. As soon as I saw that total from my first month of tracking expenses, I knew it was time to make coffee at home. I found that we could buy a $13.00 jumbo bag at our local Walmart and it typically lasts us at least a month. That's $187.00 right there I was able to save and put towards our big goal.
7. Stop eating out
If I thought our coffee spending was out of control, it was nowhere near what our eating out spending was. We would eat out for multiple meals a day, multiple days a week, and we ended up spending almost $500 on restaurants by the end of the month. I realized it wasn't just time for us to make coffee at home, but also time for us to start eating every meal at home. That brings me to my next step..
8. Make a meal plan
Not only will this help your wallet, but it will also help your weekly stress level. Meal planning allows you to make the most for your buck in the food department. You can grab one of my meal planners by clicking here!
9. Sell things that you don't use / need anymore
This step is more or less to really get you in the mood for saving. It's so exciting to sell something that you have absolutely no use for anymore and being able to put that money straight into savings. It's like money you never knew you had!
10. Start a side business
I was a nanny for 10 years and a preschool teacher before that, but now I'm a stay-at-home mom. My fiance works in the finance department at work and he makes more than enough to support our family without me having to work. However, I still wanted to provide more for my daughter and family while still being able to stay home with her full time. I had previously owned an Etsy shop selling diaper cakes and party decor, and while it was a very successful business it was taking up all of my free time. I decided to close down that shop and open up my Printable Planner Etsy shop. Don't get me wrong- I put in LONG hours during naptime and bedtime designing and working my customer care, however, I now make enough to cover almost all of our bills IN MY SLEEP. That means my fiance and I are able to put almost his entire paycheck towards savings. He also opened his own side business as a baseball instructor and brings home just under $1,000.00 extra a month doing something he totally loves. If you'd be interested in learning more about how I make such a great passive income in my sleep comment below!
These are the main 10 steps I took in being able to save $10,000.00 in 4 months and $35,000.00 in one year. It wasn't always rainbows and butterflies, and I needed to sacrifice a lot of wants to get here, but it is completely doable!
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