HOW TO SAVE $$$
Saving for a home can be one of the most overwhelming feelings in the entire world. I know when Connor and I were first looking at the big jump from apartment living to home owning we thought we were NEVER going to make it. Saving tens of THOUSANDS of dollars definitely doesn't happen over night either!
I wanted to share a few tips on how we are managing to save for our down payment in hopes to inspire you to save as well. So here we go!
Tip #1: Make a Goal Chart
My personal motivation factor in life is to make a crazy goal and accomplish it. However, it's hard to accomplish any goal if you don't have a plan in which your goal is broken down into smaller more accomplishable sections. SO! When Connor and I decided to officially 'pull the trigger' on our build, we came home - got out the poster board and started marking it up. We drew little $1,000 thermometers (like the ones that we used to have in elementary school for fundraisers) to the amount that we needed. In the top hand corners we made a month - month calendar and wrote our over all goal. The philosophy behind this was that if you're trying to save thousands of dollars, every penny counts. That's why we broke it down to obtainable $1,000 marks which makes the addition of $100, $50, $20, ect have a bigger impact! You're also able to track your goal so you'll always be on top of it!
This is how we started ours! -->
Tip #2: Stop the Automatic Subscriptions
Automatic payments make life sooooo much better! However, do you even know everything that is being automatically subtracted from your bank account every month? And once you do figure this out....do you need ALL of it?
This is obviously a tough one as we feel like we ~need~ everything, but when we took a fine tooth comb and figured out what all we were paying for with just '$7.99/mo' here and $14.99/mo' there we were shocked by how much we were spending! Just for TV we had Hulu, Netflix, Prime AND HBO! While this was fantastic for us to be able to have such a variety of shows/movies to watch, for this season of saving we decided that we didn't need ALL of it.
Just figuring out what you do and don't need for the time being can end up saving you BIG time! Let's say that you saved $100 a month in automatic subscriptions...that's $500 in 5 months or $1,200 a year!
Tip #3: Comprehensive Grocery List
This is a tough one too because how many times have you started off the week by saying 'I'm going to the grocery store this week because IM NOT GOING TO EAT OUT!' But then on Tuesday you realize that you hate everything in your fridge and you don't feel like cooking anyways. This ALWAYS used to happen to us and I felt so wasteful spending money on both a HUGE grocery bill as well as eating out.
We fixed this by identifying what we always went to the fridge for, bought things one week at a time and set a grocery budget. For us, we always keep our fridge/pantry stalked with sandwich ingredients, chips, hummus, salsa, cereal, milk, eggs, rice and carrots. From, depending upon how much we have left over in our grocery budget will allow us to have a different splurge meal for that week (ie: tacos, pasta, ect.).
When we stopped trying to buy for the month or for two weeks at a time - we actually ATE all of our groceries! #winning
Tip #4: Every Cheat Counts
But it's just a $4 Starbucks drink...it's just a $5 Happy Hour....
But that $4 coffee everyday for just one month is $120...that's $1,440 a year in coffee. If we add this savings to our above savings of cutting out subscriptions that's $2,640 a year in savings!
This is why it's SOOO important to have your goal chart easily viewable at ALL TIMES. So when those tough decisions come up about 'it's just one meal...' 'it's just one coffee' think about if you would rather have something that you are going to eat/drink in a matter of minutes or if you would rather complete your goal.
*NOTE: THIS IS NOT TO SAY GO CRAZY AND COLD TURKEY ON SAVINGS. Let yourself have those moments where you go 'off your savings diet' but don't let those moments happen all the time. Life is all about balance.
I know that this is a lot of information to comprehend and sometimes saving money literally seems impossible. I PROMISE you that you can do it! I cannot tell you how awesome it has been to have our goal chart in our living room always. It's also fun to show to friends and family that come to visit just how much progress we've made and they instantly become our biggest cheerleaders in supporting us towards our goal!
YOU GOT THIS!