I am so proud to enter a third year of writing financial advice columns for the Crusader! As one decade ends and another begins, there is one message that I share that remains the same – SAVING MONEY IS CRITICAL TO YOUR FINANCIAL STABILITY. This article is not about a New Year’s resolution but strategies to get started on what many have avoided for too long – aggressive saving.
The biggest myth I work to dispel with clients, potential clients and anyone who will listen is that everyone can save some money! The amount may not be as large as you would like, but we have to start somewhere! I’ve lost count of the stories I hear from those who claim they can’t afford to save, yet they are planning a luxury vacation, shopping for a new car or carrying the latest designer bag!
The key to becoming an aggressive saver is to follow the money trail. Take the time to write down every expense for the next two weeks. You will begin to see a pattern as to where your extra dollars are going. It’s potentially fast food, clothes shopping, lending money to others, guilty pleasures like gourmet coffee, candy, gambling and the list goes on! You’ll be surprised and/or embarrassed by the amount of dollars spent on unnecessary expenses!
Once you have come to the conclusion that saving is indeed a possibility, then it’s time to get down to business. I have a suggestion. For the first quarter of 2020, let’s treat saving like it’s one of your monthly bills! As you write out all of your financial obligations for the month such as rent/mortgage, utilities, car note, groceries, tuition, credit cards and other expenses, add SAVINGS to the list in red letters.
Select the amount that you plan to save each month and the date you will deposit it into a separate account. Stick to this monthly commitment just like when paying your other bills. Remember, no amount is too small! You can even up the amount later in the year as you see the opportunities.
Want to take this aggressive saving thing a step further? Assess a fine to pay yourself if you miss your savings deadline. Bill collectors do it, why not you? Besides, that extra fine will benefit you in the long run as you watch your savings increase. Don’t want to go it alone, then enlist your family and friends to join you on this aggressive saving journey.
I know I may sound like a financial drill sergeant, but some of us need some “tough love” when it comes to money management. The good news is that financial advisors, like me, are here to help you get started. Take a leap of faith in 2020 and make an appointment with an advisor to talk through your savings goals and other financial benchmarks you aspire to achieve. You won’t regret it!
Happy New Year from Atled Financial! May 2020 be your most prosperous year yet!
Connect with Delta Jones-Walker and Atled Financial on Facebook, Twitter: @Atled_Financial and LinkedIn! To schedule a complimentary consultation or a presentation to your group or organization, call 219-513-3710 or email [email protected] and mention this column. Topic ideas for this column are welcome!