Establish a Savings Goal – Focus on Finances

Establish a Savings Goal

Alright, it’s time to get serious.  We’re about half-way through the month of February and we’ve been financially focused all month.  It’s been great.  We’ve been keeping an eye on our spending, watching every penny.  It’s paying off too.

By looking at our budget, we’re on track to really accomplish some great goals this month.  However, there is one goal I want to add to our list.

Why add something that could mess us up?

Well folks, I like to live on the edge.  I want to push our boundaries.  Why?  Because I can and I know we can rise to the challenge.

Our newest goal is to establish a savings goal.  We are going to save $300 by the end of the month.  That’s right, 300 big ones in less than 20 days (17 days to be exact).  It’s going to be a lot of work and take a lot of sacrifice, but it can be done.  Why $300?  Well we’ve had a few necessities come up in the past few weeks (darn hot water heater going out!) and an extra $300 in savings would really help us get over the hurdle.

Think about it! In less than 20 days you could have an extra $300 saved.

That’s huge!

Your goal doesn’t have to be the same as mine.  Talk it over with your spouse to set a realistic goal for your family.  Get your whole family on-board with this one!  We’re going to skip going out to eat these next two weeks which will easily save us close to $100.  Boom!  Now we only have $200 left.  We’re going to stay in town, which means quite a bit of savings in gas and having to spend money on food.  We’re also going to only buy the necessities at the grocery store and use up the extra meat we have in our freezer.

Here’s how to hit your new savings goal:

Start using your cash envelope system – today!  Not sure what a cash envelope system is or how to get started.  Read this post.  It will help.  I also answered a few questions about getting started with the cash envelope system – you can read that one here.  It’s super simple to use and really makes you aware of your spending.

Cut additional spending.  Take a look at your budget and wipe out everything that you don’t need to live on – eating out, shopping, etc.  No more going to the local coffee joint for your morning jolt.  Make a list of what you’re spending money on every week and see what can be cut out.  If you’re keeping up with your budget, then this is an easy step.  You should already be tracking what your spending.  I recommend using Google Sheets to track your spending.  We use it as a check register so it can be accessed anywhere!

Start your creative juices.  Start thinking of things you can do with your spouse, your family and with friends that doesn’t cost money.  I like hosting pot lucks with friends.  That way everyone brings a dish and you can sit around visiting.  J and I like doing movie nights together.   We’re cuddle up on the couch with our pups and have a nice date night at home.  We watch a movie we have on hand or see what’s on TV.

Plan your meals.  By planning ahead on what you’ll be having for breakfast, lunch and dinner then you can really save some money.  We like to meal plan on Sunday nights then we make a list of the items we need to make it all happen.  Make sure you’re checking your fridge, freezer and cabinets for anything you might need that week.  You could start by seeing what you have on hand and planning around those items.  That way you can save even more!

Don’t spend money you don’t have.  This is an easy concept, but some many people fail at it.  You tell yourself that you’re using your credit card for the reward points, but don’t actually pay it fully off.  You send in about $1,000 a month, but are spending close to $2,000 or more.  That’s how your debt can spiral out of control!  Use cash or debit cards for purchases.  To hit our goal of saving $300 in 17 days we will only be using cash or our debit cards.  Our credit card, though it offers nice reward points, will be sitting at home.

What are you going to do to save that extra money this month?  Make it a big goal that you can really see yourself achieving.  It’ll be a nice accomplishment in 17 days to see all the money you saved. Let’s get started!

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Meredith Rines, a budget and financial strategist helping fans pay off debt and live the life they've always wanted.

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