How did you do financially in 2017? Did you meet your savings goal, knock down a good amount of debt, or build up your retirement funds? If you did, congratulations! It wasn’t easy, but you did it. If you didn’t achieve your financial goals, don’t beat yourself up – another year is around the corner to try, try again!
In this blog post, we’re going to tackle how to save money in 2018. One reason that saving is hard for many people is that it comes across as…not fun. Taking part of your hard-earned money and setting it aside…and then not touching it for any length of time – can feel very difficult when there are a TON of ideas you have for how it can be used RIGHT NOW.
Here’s the simple truth though: Saving money saves YOU in the end. If there’s an emergency or some other surprise that pops up, you’ll have the cash to handle it instead of stressing on where you’ll find the money. It’s also nice to have some dollars set aside if you want to treat yourself to something really nice once in a while, like some expensive shoes or even a vacation.
So how can you make saving fun? Here are 5 ways:
1. The Weather Wednesday Challenge
This challenge can be really easy or challenging depending on the season. The concept is very simple though: every Wednesday, find out what the highest recorded temperature is in your state. Once you have the number, deposit that dollar amount into your savings account. For example, if the high is 16 degrees (like right now in Connecticut!), you would put $16 into your account. The flip side is that you could be saving at least $100 a week in the summer, with the hot weather. At least your savings will build up quickly! Kudos to the blogger who came up with this idea.
2. The Spare Change Challenge
This is another easy challenge. Simply take all the spare change in your purse or wallet at the end of the night, and deposit it into a jar at home. Some days you’ll have a lot of change and other days you may have none, but it’s a fun way to actually physically see your savings racking up.
3. The Raid and Save Challenge
Now’s a good time to raid your house and declutter since it’s the end of the year. Grab any and everything that you haven’t used in months or just don’t want anymore, and put it up for sale online. Items in good condition like clothes, shoes, purses, and furniture can always bring in some extra bucks. Think outside of the box too. That psychology textbook from last semester might be a hot item for someone specifically looking for it. Some toys and video games from the 90’s can even be worth a lot today. Carve out some time to see what you want to part with that can help pad your savings.
4. The Ghost Money Challenge
Ok, so we were a little creative with this challenge’s name. With this challenge, all you have to do is set up automatic weekly or monthly deposits that will be transferred from your checking account to your savings account. That’s it! Designate a specific amount of money that will be transferred without you having to literally do the transaction yourself. The money will be “disappearing “ from your checking account (like a ghost) and find a cozy new home in your savings account. You’d be surprised at how much money can be saved this way.
5. The 52-Week Savings Challenge
This challenge is a classic! It’s another simple way to save on a weekly basis, and is great for people who are not sure where to start with building savings. Check it out here in a prior blog post.
One way is not better than the other. What’s important is that you start somewhere and stay consistent with your efforts. It helps to first write a goal down for how much money you want to save by the end of 2018, and then work your way from there on how to go about it. And remember, things happen in life sometimes that might throw a wrench in your plans. Don’t quit though; save a little less money if you have to for that week (or month), but don’t miss saving altogether.
Happy New Year and Happy Saving for 2018! What has worked for you to stack your funds?