If you’ve been following this blog in chronological order, you may notice I haven’t exactly been doing a stellar job at saving. My savings go up and down more than a toddler’s moods in an average day (for those without toddlers, that’s a lot!).
But despite what has already happened, I know I’m going to succeed in dramatically increasing my savings. How can I be so sure? Easy, I’m making it impossible for me to fail.
I can’t trust myself to be perfect all the time, heck, I’m lucky if I go an hour without thinking of something I want to spend my extra money on. An average day for me goes something like “Okay, today I’ve already resisted the cute Fitbit I saw on Facebook, the spray tan machine which is practically all I need to start my own business, the down payment for a trip to Hawaii, the adorable swaddle blankets I’ve wanted since my daughter was born (sure, she’s already too big to be swaddled, but they’re just so cute!), and the new camera tripod my husband says he “needs” (that was the easiest one to say no to). So surely I deserve just one little splurge for all that mental hard work.”
But luckily for me I don’t have to resist every moment of the day, because I’m setting my up my environment to do the work for me.
Almost every other day, I’m making small changes in my environment that will eventually lead me to success despite all my attempts to self-sabotage.
Some of these changes include:
- Cutting down my fixed expenses as much as possible: lowering the internet plan, lowering my cell phone bill, getting energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances, cutting out cable, raising my insurance deductibles to lower the premiums, etc. You may think it’s not worth the effort to save $10-$15 per month on each bill, but that’s $150-$180/year you’re earning yourself usually for just making a phone call.
- Automating my savings with Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTs) so the money automatically transfers to a savings account on payday without me having to touch it or think about it.
- Striving towards a minimalist lifestyle: this not only should prevent me from wasting money on unnecessary stuff, but I make money by selling the stuff I no longer value around my house. I made $105 this week alone from selling a bridesmaid’s dress, change table, play mat and diaper genie.
- Making sure I pay all my bills on time to avoid any late fees or NSF fees.
- Researching ways to constantly increase my income: we choose not to pay for daycare so I look for ways to pick up extra shifts on days and times my husband is off work, or work side projects for friends and family. I sell things on Facebook and sometimes if I see something for sale that’s priced super low and know I could get more for it, I’ll buy it just to sell it for higher on a different group.
- Staying out of debt: having no debt means not paying interest, or late fees, or over-limit fees, or yearly fees. I’ll admit though, it’s easy to not go into debt when you have no access to credit.
- Setting up my financial necessities: I haven’t completed this yet, but I’m working on setting up life insurance for my husband and me, making our wills, choosing critical illness and disability insurance, and eventually (hopefully in the next two years) setting up our children’s education funds.
- Constantly reading articles and books on financial planning to not only help me learn all my options, but to remind myself why it’s so very important to take an active roll in increasing your wealth.
I know if I just keep working at these, I’ll have no choice but to succeed. My expenses will be lower, my income will be higher, my savings will be automatic and I’ll be covered incase something terrible happens without having to resort to a Go Fund Me.