I’ll be the first to admit: I’ve never been huge on ‘financial planning’.
In the past, I’d just pray to the paycheck Gods and hope that my earnings were enough to not only cover my basic expenses…but hey…maybe even a little something more?
While that kind of mentality was certainly easier, it meant that I was ALWAYS living paycheck to paycheck.
I’d envy my friends as they seemed to be saving up for all the finer things in life: Trips around the world, a car, a nicer apartment.
I finally bit the bullet and started applying some basic, no hassle ‘budgeting’ techniques into my lifestyle, and I’m telling you… I get it now.
When it comes down to it, a great savings strategy begins with smart planning.
Here’s our no nonsense guide on wrangling in your pesky finances once and for all:
I’M SENSING THAT MY FINANCES ARE…… ANGRY WITH ME. VERY VERY ANGRY.
- Assess Your Financial Temperature.
This is the icky part.
Truthfully though, you won’t know how much you’ve really been spending on those lattes, or how much you can truly devote to booking awesome discounted massages with us until you figure out where you are.
This is as simple as making a list with two columns like this:
MONEY I HAVE + MONEY I HAVE TO PAY = ?
Add the two columns together, and if you find yourself net positive, yay! Go book yourself a super cheap facial.
If you find yourself in the red, no worries.
We’ll be sending you a TON of information on how you can save money on everything from groceries to your phone bill.
Our goal is to get you net positive so that you can start spending your hard earned cash on amazing appointments and other things you love.
For an awesome guide on how to take your financial temperature effectively, you can click here.
- Map Out Your Financial Goals.
What exactly are you trying to save up for anyway?
A new car? A trip to Thailand?
A NEW CAR IN THAILAND????
This needs to be established so you can break down exactly how to get there. The more specific the goal, the better.
How much is a trip to Thailand going to cost and how much time do you have to save for it?
Lucky you, we put together an awesome post breaking down all the steps you need to know to budget like a boss. You can find that here.
- Create Your Financial Ecosystem.
Now that you know where you are and where you want to be, you’ll need to start tracking your expenses so that you can stay focused.
And don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be tedious!
There are several awesome apps you can download that sync up with your bank accounts and do the tracking for you. Our favorites are Mint and Simple.
Simple is an online bank that saves for you by automatically withdrawing exactly what you need to contribute on a daily basis, in order to reach your goal on time.
Mint links to your bank accounts and lets you know exactly where you’re spending your money. This knowledge is super useful for figuring out which area you might need to start cutting back on and start getting creative with.
- Elect a Family Chief Financial Officer.
If this is you, all the better.
The CFO will be in charge of making sure all bills are set up correctly, will alert the family to changes in money situations and will be in charge of organizing bi-weekly financial dates.
Preferably over a bottle of wine and chocolate. And cheese. And pizza.
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FORGET THE WINE.
Heck, the more you can look forward to these check-ins, the better! Rent a clown if you’re into that sort of thing.
BUDGET WHILE SINGING AROUND THE PIANO!
While this is definitely the least sexy of the savings tips we’ll be hooking you up with, there is a reason it’s the first. This stage is SO critical to setting yourself up for success.
Once you’ve gotten through this stage alive, you’ll be ready to unleash your inner savings freak.
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