Let’s say you have to make a large purchase, but you are flat broke, with so many large purchases essential to everyday life, and so many emergencies that can happen regularly, there’s never enough money to take care of it all.
It’s All Money Earned, Money Spent
If the former is less than the latter there is just no way saving will ever be possible. But as humans, we survive to thrive, and in the most recent years, we have become quite thrifty with how we do the surviving part.
By no means is this a comprehensive list of ideas below, but hopefully, one to spark some interest or inspiration. Because after all, finances and saving is a case by case situation. Each of us is a unique scenario with our opportunity to make money and the obligations that demand where our money is spent.
Identify The Big Purchase
The super big purchases, like a house, maybe even a car are so exhaustively overwhelming that when saving cash for larger purchases I like to think of the smaller-big purchases as solid goals. These are usually things that maybe you have a less quality version of already, an upgrade would be nice, but because there is always something else to spend money on, it can wait.
Let’s say you haven’t been sleeping well and you wake up achy every day. Your bed is not your preferred sleeping location because of how uncomfortable it is. Maybe you have osteoarthritis and you’ve been doing your research on the best mattress for arthritis, one that will help you sleep better and more comfortably which will help you move better during the day which will ultimately help you improve your health and overall efficiency as a human being.
Calculate the Last Dollar Price: You’ve found your mattress, it’ll probably run you around $2000 for the mattress, delivery charges, the pillow, a mattress pad or cover, and you’ve decided you want to treat yourself to a new set of sheets and a blanket to complete the package.
Identify the Timeline: Now that you have your item, your cost, and a date to look forward to you should have all of the motivation you need to stay on track. Do whatever you need to remind yourself daily.
Start Saving: Now how do you pay for it? Best practice is to pay for cash to avoid possibly overpaying for the item, but there are other options. Try a weekly savings plan where you slide just a few dollars aside every week for a few months or a year.
Budget: Create a budget plan per paycheck. Stick to it. Allow for a little wiggle room for the things that come up unexpectedly (car registration and vet appointments). Put your extra funds in a savings account for emergencies. Get crafty with shopping – use all of what you have before you buy more and avoid marketing of “new products” that catch your eye as they intend. Buy only what you need, remember what you want is at the end of your commitment timeline.
Make it Automatic: It is extremely simple to open an account and have direct deposit land right in it regularly. Once it is automated, it is easy to forget about which means it’s less likely spend. Try to pick an account that earns interest, that is a little extra free money every month, (little extras add up to big extras even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment). If you aren’t able to have a portion of your funds automatically deposited make sure you stick to a schedule of depositing manually and deposit often… cash in hand is easily spent and not easily replaced.
Know Your Priorities: Things come up, it is okay to rearrange your priorities how you see fit. As long as it isn’t detrimental to your budget, you can take a break from saving up for that mattress, (don’t touch the funds you’ve already saved), and switch gears to paying for that emergency car repair.
No Cash: When you’ve just exhausted all options or can’t find the opportunity to make or find any more cash, there is always the zero interest financing options that come and go throughout the year. Check in with your favorite stores and brands for saving opportunities. Make sure you can afford the payments in your monthly budget!
Last Resort: Credit Cards. We all know these demons. Make this the last resort on everything. In theory, it sounds wonderful, and they really can be if used responsibly. But unfortunately our need for expendable cash flow, and their willingness to give it to us, usually results in a hole too deep to ever climb out of – and then the thought of saving up the cash just doesn’t seem very daunting compared to the interest fees and monthly payments we’re subjected to. Again, make sure you can afford the payments in your monthly budget and be mindful of your debt to income ratio and how that looks for future purchases and needs.