Raise your hand if it has come to payday and while your bills are paid, there is hardly any money left over. Almost everyone has been in this situation. Now, raise your hand if before payday comes, if there were some type of catastrophe that were to happen, you wouldn’t have any way to pay for it. While not everyone, still quite a few Americans have been in this predicament too.
While the numbers have shown improvement, with the statistical rate dropping for Americans that have absolutely no savings set aside, that still leaves millions without a safety net. For those with savings in the bank, it is estimated that just over 30% have only a few hundred dollars tucked away. Unfortunately, when tragedy strikes, that isn’t nearly enough to put a dent in a true emergency. Thankfully, there is a solution that can help prevent disaster from striking in the first place. It is a simple yet obvious answer — a savings plan.
There Is Never a Good Time to Save
For those that think that they will be able to save later or consider that, right now may not be the easiest time to put money aside. Know that there is never really a good time to save. Something is always going to come up or get in the way. The only real way to stop this from happening and get ahead of the curve is to plan for a savings account.
The second block to savings is that people tend to think about saving, but then they don’t actually do it. There is a big difference between thinking about saving and actually beginning to save.
The truth is, many Americans never get past the thought of saving. Rather than putting a plan into action, they have the thought and then move on to other things in their life. Perhaps it is because they don’t have the money, or more likely, don’t think that they have the money to put away. Others may not consider that they actually need the savings, thinking that they can handle unexpected expenses as they arise. There are those that simply get stressed out at the idea of thinking about money, whether it is savings or otherwise.
Step Out of Survival Mode
Whatever the reason, you can bet that not having money when you need it is far more stressful than planning for something bad to happen.
Are You One of the Millions of Americans With Little to No Savings Planned?
If you are nodding your head yes, take a minute and breathe.
Now read on to see that there are ways to cut down on your stress and save.
It is possible, for those willing to step out of the scary world of survival mode. By dropping the reactionary mentality, taking the steps to prepare a savings plan before problems arise, by organizing spending, taking stock of financial aspects, and applying a bit of will power to the process. Just about anyone can create a solid savings plan.
Making Savings a Reality
While many people think it is next to impossible to save, for most people, this is not the case. The thing about savings is that while people know that they need to do this, they ultimately don’t know how. When they look at their budget, it just seems like there is no money left over and rather than saving, they put the whole task on the back burner.
Thankfully, savings isn’t as hard as it seems, with a little bit of knowledge and willpower. Understanding how to save means understanding where the money is going and what financial responsibilities truly exist.
First Step: Deciding on Where to Put Money
Consider the following places to put your money:
- Bank or credit union savings account
- Reloadable pre-paid credit card
- Stashed in a hidden location
Knowing where one is going is a vital part of any roadmap because people often don’t understand savings. They think that by simply putting money away that they will create a nest egg for the future. However, they don’t have a designated place for this money. Without a designated place for that money, instead of saving, it gets spent before it can go anywhere safe. So, for those without any savings, before the thought of how is considered, you first need to think of where. This is where there will be the proverbial X on the treasure map.
Second Step: Establishing a Savings Fund for Emergencies
Once the where is figured out, the next step is the how. The how part of the plan dictates where the money is going to come from. Simultaneously, consider how much as well. Knowing the amount of the savings plan will give an idea of how long this whole plan will take and the expectations that can be created as to when an emergency fund will be in place.
Experts seem to agree that a person should have somewhere between one and three months stashed away for a rainy day emergency. This will allow for unexpected expenses to arise, as they tend to do, without causing financial ruin.
Creating an Emergency Savings Plan
After there is a goal of how much needs to be saved, create multiple methods of putting money aside.
Establish a Monthly Budget
Next, if there is any left over, take a part of that money and place it into the decided upon savings method. If there is no money left over, consider ways to save in other areas.
Save Up Until the Amount in Savings Reaches The Initial Intended Goal.
Once the goal is reached for the emergency fund, put that money away or even consider investing in an option that will allow this money to grow. This fund should be placed in a location that it can be retrieved from, so ideally a savings account or something similar. Investing this money into an annuity or CD or other savings plan may prevent it from being withdrawn when it is needed. For this reason, once the emergency goal is reached, it is suggested to talk to a trusted financial institution about the next step.
Consider the Following Ways to Find Hidden Money That May Not Be Accounted For.
Change! Rather than spending change or losing it in the depths of a car or purse, make a habit of putting it aside. It doesn’t take long before it really adds up. Consider putting it in a jar or bucket and don’t touch it until it is full. The average mason jar with mixed change contains about 50 to 75 dollars.
Get rid of unwanted bills or bills that are for services that aren’t being used much. For example, switching from cable to Netflix each month can save the average household 40 to 60 dollars a month. Consider how much tv is watched, how many minutes are used on phones, how much data is used and call providers to see what kind of better deals they can offer.
Avoid impulse buys with the 30-day rule. Rather than making purchases right away, take time and think it over. Consider whether or not the item or service that seems so tempting is really needed. Mull it over for 30 days. If, after that, there is a need or desire, then go ahead and make the purchase.
Make a Plan to Save More
Once the emergency savings is put in place, the savings isn’t over. There are still likely future purchases that need to be covered or big-ticket items that seem like a dream. Once you actually have a savings plan in place, it becomes easier to see that saving money is possible.
Changing habits to make this all a reality creates a money making mindset that can help to build a better future, attain financial goals that never seemed possible before, and for individuals to build their wealth… even if they never thought that they could before!