Do you feel like you can’t save? You can. Learn how to set up and stick to a savings plan that suits your budget and lasts! Make saving work for you finally!
Reading time: 4:30 min
Did you ever feel like you just can’t save? You tried so often but nothing ever worked. You can’t save money. It’s you.
You live your life and your saving account gets ignored. Every once in a while it comes to your mind and makes you feel uneasy. You decide to save. But you give up on your saving plans soon enough. You can’t seem to save any money.
There are many reasons why saving plans fail. Maybe you rushed into an ambitious plan that you could not do while staying within your means. Or you don’t have a budget so you don’t know how much saving margin there is. Or you were saving for something that you actually didn’t care about but thought you should have.
Yes, we all need to save some money, right? That’s why I have shared some ways to save money painlessly.
But how do you set up a saving plan that fits your budget and situation? A saving plan you can stick to, no matter what, day in and day out.
How to start a saving plan that lasts
You can do this. Take a minute to think about what you want and how you can get there. Start with a few questions.
What are your saving goals? Get them all down on paper, then prioritize them.
Do your saving goals have a due date? Write it down next to the goal.
Do you need a certain amount of money or just “as much as possible”? And how much IS possible? How much can you afford to put into savings?
You need to find out to make it happen! Let’s do this.
The foundation for a saving plan: Find out about your saving margin
First, set up a simple budget. Add up all expenses you have as well as all the incoming money. In this post on how to set up a super simple budget in three steps, you’ll find guidance if you need starting-aid.
After you have set up your simple budget, you will need to take care of and payments that are due yearly or quarterly. Read more on how to prepare for irregular and yearly payments in this post. If you are subscribed to Mom’s Newsletter you can download a spreadsheet that will help you stay on top of yearly payments.
If you included those payments you will finally know exactly how much money you have in one month to spend or save.
Of course, you cannot save this amount of money entirely. You need food on the table, right? Be realistic. Set aside enough money to buy the everyday necessities.
You can put more into savings if you didn’t need to spend your monthly household money and be happy about the extra. But if you plan too tight you need to steal money from your savings. You will get frustrated and give up on saving money. You don’t want that any more.
If you want to know exactly how much you spend on food, gas, or other stuff, track your spending in a household budget book for a while.
- 5 Rookie Mistakes You Are Making With Your Budget Book – and how to fix them
- How to include the right categories in a powerful budget book
You now see how much margin there is for saving.
If you need inspiration on how to create a budget for your family, read this full guide featuring different ways of creating a budget that works for you over at The Dollar Sprout.
Where does your saving money go – you name it
Now, do you have one or more saving goals? Depending on your saving goals you can split your saving money up.
You may have these saving goals (If you don’t have an emergency account yet, your goal will be to save up 1000 Dollar ASAP):
- Pay Grandma back the loan of 500 Dollar
- Go on a family vacation, 800 Dollar
- New computer, 500 Dollar
Maybe you found out, you have 100 Dollar each month to put into savings. (Or 1200 Dollar in one year) You can reach all three goals in a total of 18 months. You could save up the entire amount and cash it in in 18 months.
Or you don’t want Grandma to wait 18 months and go on vacation earlier, then you can split the saving money up. Divide it into 2 parts and do this for 10 months. (Ignoring the new computer for now. You can still start saving for a new computer by using a change trap saving box.)
After 10 months:
- Grandma gets back her entire money
- Your vacation saving account has 500 Dollar in it
Now, you can plan afresh and set up a new saving plan.
Picture your saving goals for a saving plan that lasts
Put up a photo of Granny besides the saving box. Imagine how you will feel giving her back all the money. Put up a picture of your dream vacation and read about things you can do there. You can even get a bit more excited about saving for your emergency fund: Imagine how you’ll be able to help out a loved one who lost her job without stressing your own family budget.
Use a saving tracker to stick to your savings plan
Draw a simple saving tracker in your journal or, as a subscriber, use the saving tracker from Mom’s library. It has 12 spots to fill in. You could put it on your wall and track saving your 100 Dollar each month to stay on track all year long. Or you split up the amount of money you need by 12 and track how you are moving closer to your goal in 12 saving steps.
You can do this, step by step
- Set up a simple budget and know your ins and outs
- Budget your day-to-day expenses and find about about your exact saving margin
- Take a close look at your saving goals and when you need/want to achieve each one
- Prioritize goals and decide on how much to save for each of your goals in a given month
- Make your saving goals tangible. As a subscriber, you’ll find a saving tracker printable in the resource library. Use a saving tracker to motivate yourself and make your progress visible. Print out a picture of your saving goal for extra motivation, for example, a beautiful vacation location. Picture yourself reaching that goal and how great you will feel.
- Take your savings plan seriously. Treat it as a fixed expense that has to get paid each month. Automate saving if possible.
Recommended read: How to save big money painlessly
Recommended Resources in the subscriber library:
- Digital Budget Worksheets
- Yearly and seasonal payment tracker
- Household budget book spreadsheets
- Saving Tracker