My Super Simple Savings Plan Secret
Hello and happy day to you. This is my VERY first post I'm writing, but this is so fundamental for how my whole year goes, that I decided to lead with this. I am going to share my Super Simple Savings Plan Secret. Okay, it's not really a secret anymore, but don't you feel special that I'm letting you in on this? You should. Because it has worked SO well for us and I think it could help you too, AND it comes with a free printable to make it easy for you to get started. And who doesn't love a free printable.
Maybe you already have something in place that works well for you or maybe you are so independently wealthy that you don't need a savings plan for this (let's be friends). But if you are like me, I want to have money ready to go for all of life's most important events throughout the year.
For this to be MOST effective, it should be done before the start of a new year. However, if you currently have no plan in place, or the plan you have isn't working so well, then implementing this at any time of the year could be helpful.
Have you ever gotten to a holiday or event, like say a 10 year anniversary and thought to yourself, "I sure wish I had planned a little better, so this didn't take such a huge dent out of our paycheck."
Or maybe you just wanted a holiday or birthday to be a little more special than it was, but you just didn't budget for anything that supports what you wanted to pull off.
Or even worse, did you go into debt to pay for an event or holiday. Maybe Christmas funds were low but you felt like you had to do something, so you 'had' to resort to debt to pay for it.
Well, I have been working this pain-free savings plan for several years now and I LOVE IT! To date it is the most effective, pain-free way that we have saved for all of our birthdays, holidays and major life events throughout the year. The best part is, the money is already set aside, ready to go and we never feel the pinch.
Are you ready? It's so simple, you might be 'kicking' yourself after.
1) Go thru the whole year and write down your budget for all major holidays and birthdays.
I include New Year's Eve/Day, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Pioneer Day (yes, it's a Utah thing and yes, it is real), Labor Day, Back to School, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve traditions (yes, this is separate and a big deal in our house), Christmas, Wedding Anniversaries and Family Birthdays. We celebrate nieces/nephews, moms/dads, and brothers/sisters but maybe your family has gotten so big that you don't do that anymore. Or maybe other holidays or traditions are big in your house. Whatever your important holidays and traditions are, write them down and decide how much you want to budget for each event. Like I said earlier, I'm even sharing a free printable to help make it easier.
2) Add it all up.
How much is the total amount you will be spending on holidays, traditions, special events this year? It may seem like a lot, but chances are you spend the money anyway and probably spend more money because there is not a good plan in place.
3) Now divide it.
Decide how many paychecks you have in a year or other sources of income and decide how often during the year you will be able to rely on that for savings. For both my husband and I, we get paid every two weeks, and it just happens to be the same week, so we have 26 weeks of pay we can count on. So we divide our total up by 26 weeks. Maybe for you this is weekly (52 weeks) or even monthly (12 months).
4) Now come up with a plan to put that money aside.
This part is KEY for us and maybe it will be the key for you too. I have this money automatically drawn out each payday and it goes to a completely separate account. Separate from our regular bank account. The reason this is KEY is two-fold. First, if it automatically comes out each payday, then it doesn't hurt to set the money aside. It feels like I am simply paying a bill. It's just something we expect and happens automatically. Second, it is not as easily accessible. This is important because it doesn't get easily mingled with other funds and if I access them, it is completely on purpose.
My account of choice is a Capital One 360 free savings account. There are no fees, no minimums and it currently has an APY of .75%. I also like that they have an automatic savings plan that is so easy to set up and transferring between this account and your regular bank account is a breeze. They also have an awesome referral program. You can refer up to 50 friends and if they open an account with a $250 initial deposit then you can earn $20 for each referral. That's $1000. That means just for sharing something you love, you can be making money! How cool is that?
Other methods can be used similarly. Your method might be that you withdraw it in cash each pay period and use an envelope system, which would work as long as you can remember to withdraw the cash each week and then keep track of it, without dipping into it for other things.
5) Lastly, access the money as needed for your events.
For me this means looking ahead at upcoming events and transferring the money at least a week in advance.
Can I tell you how nice it has been to have the money already set aside and ready to go? It makes gift giving and holidays that much more enjoyable because we are not stressed about money!
Saving for vacation can be done in the same way. If you are taking a week excursion to Disneyland with the kids in October, you could do a little research to find out how much you want to save for:
Theme Park Fees
Then total that up and decide how many weeks you have to save. Then come up with a way to set that aside until vacation.
As you can see there are many possibilities, so enjoy my free printable and enjoy the rest of 2017 with a PLAN for all those special occasions! Let me know your savings secrets!