Welcome Back! I CAN'T even believe we're already in April and it's officially been ONE MONTH in our new apartment! Things are settling down a bit, visitors are rolling through and Im settling into my little office/vanity situation! So now that I feel like I can breath again I wanted to share with you my journey to save $3000 in 3 months and some helpful tips I think we all could use hearing!
So let's dive right in! Scroll down and lets get into these tips!
So here we are! So much has happened, and while I want to tell you everything. Ive got to take a few steps back and tell you how I got here!
It started with deciding it was time to get real, all the frivolous spending had to come to a screeching halt! A and I sat down and took a hard look at our budget, what we spend our money on and how we could START to prepare to save for our apartment! Let me start off by saying we really did not have any real good concept of saving real money or even how to budget, but with both of our new jobs we had to start somewhere.
So with a lot of conversation with young couples/people who had already done it, talks with financial advisors, we got started on our plan of action!
TIP #1 Clear up your Debt
Before we moved out we had to take a look at our debt and what additional payments we needed to squash if we could. While I have student debt (which as we all know takes MUCH longer to get rid of) A only had a couple thousand owning. So we starting looking at paying it off, as well as an overdue credit card I had. Before we did just about anything, we took a look at our debt and began working on paying it off completely OR stabilizing and maintaining a payment plan.
TIP #2 Stop Shopping
Get ready to buckle down on the spending. Amazon, Etsy, your favourite clothing shop, prepare to just COLD TUCKEY CUT IT OUT!!! For the duration of saving I bought myself NO CLOTHES, NO SHOES, nothing I would normally go out and shop for. If it's during the holidays (Like it was for A and I) DO NOT be ashamed or too proud to let your family know you have some important goals and so Christmas this year will ONLY be for the kids for you. We started shopping early and mainly for the kids ( we got our parents things too because they help us so much). But you have to decide that shopping is a luxury and your priorities must come first!
TIP #3 Set a budget & Live within it FIRST
Once you've calculated the rent you can afford, BEFORE even applying for an apartment, begin to live as if you ARE ALREADY paying rent. Set aside a certain amount each pay that you would likely set aside if you were already paying your own rent. This is useful in TWO different ways.
1. It helps you to start saving with purpose.
2. It teaches you how to live within a budget and WHAT type of budget you can ACTUALLY manage. A and I originally were looking at places for $1400-1600 and after saving and looking at the other things we spent our excess money on, we quickly realized that was NOT realistic, just a fancy dream that would leave us broke!
TIP #4 Get a Savings account that puts $ away each time you DO SPEND!
Now a days there are a variety of savings accounts, and I've found that the ones most useful for beginners is one that takes a little out and sets it into a savings account each time you spend/shop. It makes it easier because if you are having a problem starting to save, this way you'll start to see money building slowly even if you're not ACTIVELY contributing to it. This way you'll want to STOP spending and putting your money in a place with a big goal behind it! These savings plans are just an overall great idea, not just for saving for something big/special.
TIP #5 Any extra cash that comes in, goes straight to savings.
Get a holiday card from grandma with some cash in it? SAVE IT.
Win $5 on a scratch lottery. SAVE IT.
Find $20 in your jeans pocket? SCORE, SAVE IT!
I think you catch my drift.
TIP #6 Look for extra work, Cash paying if you can!
This is an extra and optional choice. A and I did this because we had a deadline we did not want to miss! So we sent out feelers to family and friends, looking for odd jobs on the weekend that would pay reasonably and in CASH. And we made the choice to sacrifice for a while because we knew what we wanted! I stress the in cash portion because that means you'd earn what you worked for, not takes to take from it!
After hustling for three months the first week of January we had saved $3004 to be exact and were FINALLY ready to start looking!
I hope this post was informative and helpful to anyone who comes across it!
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