For the first year of our marriage, my husband and I talked all about how we needed to save more money. Did you know that saying it doesn’t actually make it happen? WHAT?! You can imagine how shocked I was to see that our savings was literally stagnant for a year even though we talked ALL. THE. TIME. about how we need to save more money. If someone figures out a way to save money with the snap of a finger, I will make them the most delicious pumpkin chocolate chip streusel cake (seriously, my all-time fave!)
Just like me, I know you wish with all your heart that saving money was easier. Sometimes you don’t feel like saving any money and just want to indulge a little in yourself. It takes too long to save money for lasting things, we just want what we want right now. Without having to save money for it.
Sure, you could live paycheck to paycheck and just have continuous immediate gratification without actually setting yourself up successfully. Or … you could do this one thing that will set fire to that sense of hunger to save money religiously for that new house that has a ton of space that you’d LOVE to finally move in to. Maybe you just want to get the new Jeep Grand Cherokee because everyone on your block has one so why shouldn’t you? Even better, you could finally take that relaxing vaca to the Bahamas that you daydream about just to get you through the work day.
Wouldn’t it be so freaking nice to have the kind of motivation to save for those things?! Now, imagine actually following through with it …
You’re cooking in your bright, open kitchen that has so much storage that you have EMPTY cupboards. The kids are enjoying the huge space in the backyard and are actually giving you a break from asking a million questions. You’re finally excited to have other couples over because you don’t feel self-conscious about how outdated your home looks (despite your efforts to try and remodel like Chip and Joanna).
Think of how much you’ll enjoy driving the new Jeep. You slide your sunglasses on, open the sun roof and actually drive somewhere because you WANT to and not just to a school because your kid forgot their homework. With all the technology of a computer in your new car, it basically drives itself. Making you the favorite chauffeur and your kids friends totally thinking you’re the “cool mom”.
Imagine the waves at your feet as you bury your toes in the sand. You can feel the sun shining on your face as you tilt your head back and can feel your skin thanking you for finally getting some sun. No obligations, no meetings, no work; just the beach calling your name.
You so want it. All of that … You crave it so much that you instantly think, “It’s too good to be true.” “It’s literally impossible for me to save money, I don’t even have any extra money to put in to savings!” You’re thinking of every single excuse possible because you don’t want to get your hopes up. It’s easier to make excuses than do the work. Always being jealous of people with bigger houses, newer cars and who take more than one vacation a year. Too afraid to fail, you give up on saving completely and come to terms with the fact that that will never be you.
But …. what if it could be you?
In fact, it can be you!
I would never tell you something to lead you astray or get your hopes up. Yes, there may be a little work involved. But, I’m here to tell you exactly how you can buy a bigger house, get a new car and even take a family vaca to the Bahamas. All by simply saving money.
There is literally one trick to 10x increasing your motivation and actually get you to put money in the bank.
The trick is …..(pretend there’s a drum roll because I feel like this is too anticlimactic without it)…..
PLAN IT. Figure out EXACTLY what you want, how much you need to save and set a date within 1-2 years to achieve it.
WHAT IF I WANT TO SAVE FOR SOMETHING BIG LIKE A HOUSE?
If it’s your dream to finally own your own home then you’ve found your saving grace. I’m right there with you and couldn’t be more anxious to move into something I call mine. I mentioned above that my husband and I weren’t really motivated. Of course we want to move, but when it feels like that’s so far away you don’t care if you skip a month – or 5 – of saving money.
I had to seriously get us excited to save. I needed to do something that would make me rethink my decision to go to Target every day (that dollar section can add up real quick $$$). And instead, convince me to put the money into the actual savings account.
So …. we went house hunting. Do you know that house hunting is so much more FUN and waaaaaaaaay less stressful when you’re not actually planning to buy a house right away?
We looked in different areas that we’d potentially want to move to. Then deciding on an area, we went to the open houses and model homes – trying to be swayed by the sales agent that NOW was the only time to buy a home. Hey, they’re good and you may think for a few seconds that now is the only, and best, time to buy. But don’t give in just yet! You’ve still got some more planning to do 😉
When going in we knew what type of budget we’d want to spend on a house in the next couple of years (yes, I know things can change but you just need a reasonable number to work with people!) What happens next is that you’ll more than likely find a couple of houses that you totally love. And you’ll more than likely stay up all night thinking about how much you want to move in that gorgeous, move in ready home with tons of space.
And then BAM! You’ve got your motivation! If you’re anything like me, you’re not going to stop obsessing over the houses until you’re finally into one. Making you question every decision and asking yourself ‘would I rather have a new pair of shoes or a new house?’ (You can bet which choice I’ve been picking!)
Remember to continue your plan and find out exactly how much you need to save for the house (or whatever other big purchase you’re making). I live and die by putting 20% down. First reason, PMI – do you seriously want added insurance because you were too freaking lazy to save? Second, if you can’t put 20% down can you really afford the home? There’s a reason they tell you not to purchase a home at the max amount you’re approved for. You need that wiggle room and putting the 20% down will give you that.
When figuring out how much you need to save up for a big purchase, don’t just include the 20% down – remember any extra costs like closing costs, appliances, furniture etc …
Now that you have a ballpark amount of how much you need, plan it. Make a goal for how many years you want to save for, then from there figure out how much you need to put into savings every month, every 3 months etc. Knowing exactly what you want can you give that motivation to actually go that extra step and put the money into savings. If you’re just saving because you were told save, you’re going to get super bored super fast. P.S. You can totally use these exact templates that I use that help me keep track of my savings and literally everything else.
WHAT IF I WANT A NEW CAR?
First off, my stance on new cars is this: don’t buy brand new. Unless you like wasting money, then go ahead. I’m not saying you need to get an old car, you could easily find one that has just a couple thousand miles on it and isn’t even a year old. (and seriously save like $10,000 on it)
Second – I believe that you should pay your car with cash or at least pay cash for 90% of it. Honestly, if you have a plan, it really doesn’t take that long to save up.
Having said that, saving for a car is essentially the same process as saving for a home like I mentioned above. Go car shopping! Seriously, you can’t imagine how much stress is reduced when you’re just looking for fun instead of looking to buy right away.
Find a car that you absolutely love and is in a reasonable price range to where you can save enough for it within the next 2-3 years. Even one year would be great!
Personally, I’m a total Jeep person. I’ve always loved them and know that when I have more than 2 kids I’ll want to trade up for a bigger vehicle. (So I can get my Jeep! Yay 🙂 ) My husband and I have looked at Jeeps, we have a model in mind and know the price for it.
After finding a car that you love, want and can’t live without – make it happen and plan it out. Same as above, find out the cost of the vehicle – add extra for registration and taxes – then make a plan. Figure out a time frame for when you’d like to purchase the vehicle and write down exactly how much you’ll need to save for 1 month, 3 month, 6 months etc cetera. You’re excited to go car shopping now, aren’t you?? I am aware that models and prices change – the idea is that you have something to look forward to and to motivate you to be a crazy person about saving money.
WHAT IF I WANT TO SAVE FOR A VACATION?
This is what we all dream about. A vacation is one of the things that actually motivates you to even get through the week. (Let’s be real, the weekend is the only kind of vacation we get!) Not anymore because I’m totally going to help you get on that plane to Hawaii faster than you can say Aloha.
I feel like a broken record right now, but you’re going to do the same things as above and actually PLAN IT. I’m serious. Plan the whole stinking trip from flights, to hotels, to excursions … But DO NOT book anything yet.
Plan a trip with your family and figure out a total price of the cost of the trip. Don’t forget to include new clothes and bathing suits! Then decide if you want to go within the next 6 months, year or two years. (I guess you can wait more than 2 years, but I don’t know why you’d want to wait that long.)
Then, do the same as above. From the cost of the trip plan out how much you’ll need to save in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year …. Now when you go to Target all you’ll think about is going to that nice sandy beach with the palm trees swaying and eating some yummy pineapple – that you’ll actually leave Target empty-handed. Okay, that’s a little far, you definitely won’t leave Target with AS MUCH stuff 🙂
WOW, IT’S SO EASY TO SAVE MORE MONEY!
Yes, it really is seriously possible to save that much money for literally anything. The problem is that most people just brush it all off by saying everything’s too expensive. You would be so surprised that it’s really not as much as you think. When you put it in perspective and are prepared it can make all the difference from being miserable and jealous of your neighbors who are always vacationing – to GOING with your neighbors on the vacations.
Finding a house you love, a car you love or even planning a trip you’re beyond excited about can make the difference from only saving $100 for the year to saving $10,000 in the year. When you know EXACTLY what you’re working towards and have a reward at the end, you are far more likely to have the needed motivation to finally put money in the bank.
This process can work with literally anything. Whether you just want to save for some new furniture, or want to save up for your kid’s college. Making it specific to you will help you reach your goals far sooner than you even thought possible. Go ahead, try it. The worst thing that could happen is you end up spending less at Target (which probably wouldn’t be a bad thing …)
Let me know in the comments below what YOU are planning on saving for!