Have you ever struggled to save? I know I have. I struggled in many stages of my adult life until I realized that most of the battle rested in the lack of acknowledgment of opportunity. It was the only thing holding me back. Let’s keep it one hundred, saving is saving – whether your annual income is $25,000 per year or $250,000 per year. Truthfully the ability to save has everything to do with intention. And the inability has to do with intention too – intentionally choosing other areas to direct your finances into.
Often times we tend to dismiss any amount that does not resonate as “large enough” and in turn, pass up the opportunity to make small changes. But, small change is what adds up. Last time I checked 100 pennies still equal one dollar, and so does twenty nickels, and ten dimes, and four quarters, etc. etc. You get the point? Small change means something different to each and every one of us. And while a greater income seems like an easy fix, it does not necessarily save you from “lifestyle creep” – that’s a modern term for keeping up with the Jones’.
So if you’re done checking your wallets for this extra cash that I claim you have lying around, keep in mind that opportunity resides in sacrifice. I get it, that word sounds restrictive, it sounds difficult, and probably even boring. The most important thing to remember is that you set the parameters for your lifestyle; now and in the future. Sacrificing in order to save is by no means a new concept, but in order to create a bearable future we have to revisit our values at times. There’s always some fat to trim (no pun intended to all you vegans out there).
What does a small lifestyle change look like to you? Perhaps eating out one night per week versus three nights, or bringing your lunch to work instead of buying that fifteen dollar salad could make a difference for you. I can admit that I have waivered with the lunch idea. However, when I manage to prep ahead of time it’s easier in the morning to grab and go. For a period of time I only allowed myself to eat lunch out on payday. Think about it, you can easily spend north of twenty dollars a day on lunch and a cup of coffee. That is at minimum four hundred dollars a month allocated to just one meal! Do the math on your small changes and test it out.
What’s your motivation?
Are you saving for the short term or the long term? This is not a trick question by the way. When it comes to saving you have to identify your timeframe. Time ultimately dictates how aggressive you have to be with your strategy. Trust me it is not for the faint at heart and will quickly reveal your money-saving weaknesses if you are not truthful about your motivation. If you don’t know what your money weaknesses are print out your last three months of bank or credit card statements and identify where your money is frequently directed to.
The power of multiplication
I’m sure you thought you left that back in the third grade. Well, this type of math can be fun. We are in a day and age where one income seems to be a long lost thing of the past. The robust gig economy has paved the way for many of us to make extra money and have our money work for us while we are sleeping. My advice would be to save the extra in either a high yielding savings account or investment account automatically. You can do this with both eyes closed thanks to the power of automation. Although I’d advise you to keep at least one eye open.
Keepers, it’s always about the choices we make. The power is in your hands.
Let’s keep doing the work.
Photo Source: Freepik