By Brianna Lieser, Client Service Associate
You are done with college and working in your potential forever career. What are you saving up for… is it a new house, a new car, a new golf cart, a wedding, a baby on the way? Now is the time to start budgeting for your future.
Start with setting aside emergency funds. Your financial advisor might suggest setting enough money to cover six months of bills. Once you have saved enough money for emergency, it’s time to start saving for the fun and exciting items.
Ways to save:
- Go out to eat less. Limit it to one day a week or less. Try only going out eat for special occasions.
- Limit grocery shopping to once a month- use up what you have in the house
- Work a second, part-time job. Even if it’s one day a week, every little bit helps. There are also options to work a side job at home. (Ex. Norwex, Thirty-One, Color Street)
- Organize your “fun money” spending habits and decide what can be cut. Is going out to eat with your best friend more important than getting your nails done?
- Watch your bank accounts and set weekly spending budgets. Short-term goals can be more effective.
- Set a goal to save 10-15% of your monthly paycheck. Remember the phrase “don’t spend what you don’t have.”
- Save unexpected money. (Ex. stimulus check or tax refund)
- Avoid impulse buying. Think on it for 2 days, if it starts to slip your mind, do your really need it that bad?
- Unsubscribe to marketing emails so you don’t get tempted.
- Plan out your gift-giving money. For example, you have birthdays for 3 nieces and nephews coming up, set the same limit for all three.
- Bring a lunch to work. It’s about half the price to make a lunch at home then it is to eat out. Meal prep and freeze leftovers!
- Ditch the paper products because you can reuse and wash rags and dishware.
Once you start budgeting, it will become a habit. It’s a good idea to let your “fun money” build up to about $3,000 before you start spending or making payments because it’s always nice to have a little cushion money in place. Here is where the phrase Work Hard, Play Harder comes into play. When you work hard to save up, there will be extra money to enjoy life with.
Yes, saving for extra fun money or upcoming life changes events is important, but be sure to consider your retirement savings too, as this is just as important. Talk to your employer or financial advisor to help you get your retirement account started and if possible, make sure you are maximizing your employer’s matching contribution as it will give you a good jump start for your retirement.
It’s never too late to start saving up for your future!