How I Plan to Save $10K in 7 Months
I recently made a goal to save $10K by May of 2018. In order to meet that goal, some changes needed to be made. I knew I had the money to save, but I wasn’t sure initially how to do it. Here are the ways I started this month to move towards my goal of saving $10K by May 2018.
Look For Opportunity
The first step in my process was to identify all my spending. I was already using a budgeting software called You Need a Budget (YNAB) that I liked, so I just actually looked at it. If you don't have budgeting software or don’t want to buy it, you can easily do this in Excel. Categorize your spending and track it over two to three months. This will give you a good idea of how much you are spending in each area. Once you have the data, look for places where you can reduce.
I found that I was spending too much money on groceries, clothes, vacations, and eating out. My grocery bill was most out of control, so I focused on it first. I was using a meal prep delivery service called Sun Basket. I absolutely loved it but it was pretty pricey. Instead of using the service, I decided it was worth it to plan my own meals. I am using Pinterest to find healthy and quick meals and plan them out a week at a time.
Another non necessity I was using for convenience was a grocery delivery service called Shipt. Like Sun Basket, I loved this service. I would order my groceries on an app and they would be delivered to my door. The problem was there was an upcharge on the items, so I was paying a premium for the service. To reach my goal, I decided I could handle going to the grocery store myself!
To help me save even more on groceries, I stopped buying my household items from Publix. Walmart now offers free delivery on orders over $35. I buy everything I can monthly from Walmart now and it is delivered to my door. This has also helped me stay away from Target and buying other things I don't need! Some things I still need to get from Amazon, like my hair products and supplements because they don't sell it at Walmart.
This week ends my first month of attacking my grocery spending. I went from spending $900 in September to $600 in October!
I am one of those people that will find ways to spend money. With that self awareness I decided I would put the money I needed to save each month directly in a separate savings account. I had one already that I was diverting some money to, so I calculated what I would need each month and made the change.
My savings account is at the same bank as my main account but the logins are separate. This way, to see how much I have I need to log into a different account. I can periodically check it to see my progress, but it won’t be taunting me.
I love that direct deposit through my current company lets me divert it from my check. I never see it, so I don't need to even think about it.
A great side effect of this is that I will learn to live with a smaller paycheck. This will help me simplify my bills and spend less.
Lower Fixed Expenses
Most of your fixed expenses like your mortgage and car payment won’t be able to be changed. There are some opportunities to lower your regular monthly expenses. Start with cable. We had UVerse for years and the price steadily went up. I called Comcast and we were able to lower the bill over $100 per month! The process was completely painless.
Cell Phones are another that you can shop around for. We had ATT for about 13 years and had no problems with the service. My problem was the bill was about $250 per month and that was with a company discount of almost 25%! We shopped around and I was able to go with TMobile for $161. We haven't noticed changes in coverage and I ended up getting a new phone out of the deal.
If you have credit card debt, another way you can lower monthly expenses is by consolidating them into a personal loan. We did it with SoFi to reduce monthly payments from about $700 to $353 per month. We are saving a ton on interest and have a final payoff date in sight.
One month in I am feeling pretty good about my progress. I have $1400 in my savings account and am committed to this goal. I will do a check in next month to let you know how month two goes!
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