Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Advice on Saving

Truth: I've never been very good at saving money.  Well, technically, that's only partially true... I am really good at saving for a vacation, especially for destinations abroad.  Once the seed of a travel idea is planted, I am 100% on board the saving bandwagon.  My bank and I become BFF again, and every penny counts.  

Saving for other things; car, house, life, (you know, the important stuff), I'm not so good at that.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not raking in the credit card debt either, I just have a harder time pinching my pennies during Nordstrom sales and the like.  Luckily, my husband is an excellent saver.  He was born to save.  His saving habits numerically put my saving habits to shame.  But I'm learning, and converting into a saver, just a wee bit more each day.    

I read all kinds of magazines that claim to have the answers to saving, but I figured I'd put this question out there and see what YOU all have to say.  How do you save?  What's your system or strategy?  A certain number per month?  Cash envelopes?  I am BEYOND curious and eager for advice, feedback, and everything in between.  A "by golly this works" end-all-be-all solution would be fantastic, but I'm not holding my breath. :)  So if you have some words of wisdom from your own experience, I'd love to hear your thoughts; what works, what doesn't, and any tips for the future so I can further my saving endeavors.

image/bloom

11 comments:

Mary said...

My best piece of advice would be to set up auto-transfers out of your checking account into savings the day after your paycheck hits. Forget it was ever there. This kind of "forced" savings on the front end is so much easier for me than waiting until the end of the pay period to see how much is left.

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

Have you ever used mint.com? I love it and it's a great way to see where your money is going. Once you see where it is going (eating out, coffee shops) I find it easier to cut back.

Chloe Moon said...

I actually just did a post about how I'm putting $25 a month at least in an envelope for Christmas shopping next year. That would be at least $300 to spend that won't have to come out my pocket then. I live in a bottle deposit state, so I ALWAYS bring back my bottles for that 5 cents back. In six months this extra change added up to $200 I was spending extra that I got back. For everday saving, I recently budgeted myself to eating out at lunch to once a week. I've noticed this adds up. Also I try to keep a $500 spending limit per month on everything, food, gas, clothes, life...Once I've hit that mark it's board game night for me! Good luck on saving journey!

Ergo - Blog

Ashlee Gadd said...

I totally agree with Mary. Brett and I have a savings account with ING (which I highly recommend!) and you can create mini accounts within it. We have accounts set up for: our next house, our next car, our next vacation, Everett (braces, school, anything he needs), and an emergency fund. Every week we transfer set amounts into each account, and over time, it's crazy how big they have gotten! When you need the money, you just transfer it into your checking account, and then start saving again. We've been doing this for about seven years now and it's how we paid for our house down payment, trip to Greece, Ev's hospital bills, etc.

I think I have a referral link for ING that gives us both $25 if you sign up. E-mail me if you're interested! ;)

Meghan said...

i have a hard time saving, too, so i set up automatic transfers from checking to saving every payday. that way it's out of my hands!

Sara Marie said...

I'm a horrible intentional saver too! Definitely agree with Mary and Ashlee on the forced savings. See if you can have your work direct deposit into two accounts, then you can designate a percentage or dollar amount to come directly out every pay period. My bf takes it a step further and has the savings account at a separate bank so that he can't easily transfer from savings to checking. Good luck!

Erica said...

In Japan, they have a $5 coin and everything is very cash based so I used to put every $5 coin I got in a jar at the end of the day. In a few months, I had enough to go to Okinawa! :) I'm pretty sure you could do the same thing with $5 bills. Sure switching to cash doesn't earn you miles or cc points (and it's kind of a pain), but seeing how fast my wallet empties definitely helps me rethink purchases before going for my wallet- or taking a quick trip to the bank.

Leslie said...

I'm an awful saver. I can't wait to hear everyone's advice. Also, my husband is a terrific saver (he basically doesn't buy anything!), so we balance each other out.

Meghan said...

I second what Carol said and use mint.com. It tracks your spending and gives you a great idea of where your money is going each month. It can be very eye opening! For me, it was surprising to see how much I spent on dining out and shopping, even though I didn't feel like I did either excessively. My husband and I both use Mint for budgeting and have found it to be very helpful. Let me know if you have any more questions!

Sarah and Stewart said...

When we first got engaged we started putting $1,000 per month into a savings account for the wedding. Now that the wedding is over we're still putting aside that same thousand dollars but calling it out "vacation" account. That way whenever we take a trip we can pull the money from that account and not feel guilty about taking it from our regular budget.

That being said though, I was always an awful saver when I was single... a lot of this is the influence of my husband!

Ug Lee said...

I am also a horrible saver and have always loved to shop. To add to that, I also picked up traveling a couple of years ago. But recently my bf has inspired me to save more and what he calls "downgrade my lifestyle" so I have a better appreciation for things in life. I've set aside a monthly budget and use an app on my iPhone (expensense) to track how much I spend and what I spent it on.

I've took drastic measures to cut down on the main culprit: shopping! No more closets full of clothes, shoes of the month, Chanel handbags...and Starbucks! Just by cutting down on at least one cup of Starbucks a week will save over $200/year ;) It's a huge lifestyle change and takes A LOT of perseverance but it becomes easier with time and when you think about what you are saving for.

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin