I don’t know a single person who couldn’t stand to save a little more money. And the fact of the matter is that Americans are pretty bad savers. According to an August 2017 report, Americans are saving less money as income levels are not increasing. That means we’re earning less and saving less at the same time.
Not exactly a recipe for success. So now many be the time to start saving more money than ever before. Of course, we’ve talked about how to save money in a lot of ways here, but there’s one thing that is an ace in the hole when it comes to saving more money.
There are myriad ways to save money. But if you want to be truly successful and make a lifestyle shift where you save more and more as time goes on, you need to have a financial plan.
You’re much likelier to see success with saving when you have a financial plan to follow. A plan should take into account all of your finances and point you on a road towards your life goals. Money is a tool that we use to achieve other things in life: starting a family, buying a home, traveling the world.
None of those things can happen without money, but money won’t work for you without a plan. See how that works? You can get stuck in a cycle that leaves you feeling like a hamster on a wheel. Without giving your money a job to do it will never do anything.
It’s the premise of giving every dollar a job that shot both Dave Ramsey and YNAB to financial fame. It’s a strategy that ha worked for millions of people. And it’s the one thing you need to start saving more money that you ever have before.
Here’s a basic rundown of how to form your own financial plan.
Set a goal for yourself and for you money. It can be anything, but studies prove we’re more successful when we are working towards something concrete.
Organize your finances. You can’t put anything to work if you don’t know what it all looks like. There’s no law that says you can’t chase a dream while carrying debt, but you do need to know your financial obligations before you start anything.
Here’s where everyone’s favorite activity comes int play: set up a budget. You can use apps like Mint or YNAB to get going, or a spreadsheet of your own making.
Just get everything all together so you can see what you’re working with.
Using your budget, find out how you can slash expenses to reach your goal. You might not need to go nuclear to do so! It might just entail making a few adjustments.
What it boils down to is to set a goal and come up with a clear and concrete plan to reach it. When we’re in pursuit of something tat we really want, we’ll find a way to work around roadblocks. We’ll find a way to overcome our problems, or we’ll start asking for help.
Saving more money isn’t just about finding new hacks or tricks. It’s about living a lifestyle that works long term for you and is in accordance with your happiness. No one sticks with things they hate for very long. So tie saving more money to a goal that you’re excited about!
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Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.