How to save to do what you love
How to save without realizing it?
How to avoid putting our travels, our little treats, or “follies” on our credit card?
We should start saving when we are old enough to work or even before. As soon as we begin to receive money, we should encourage our children and those around us to put a portion aside. But the good news is that it’s NEVER too late to start!
In this article, I will talk about some ways that have personally helped me save. I am not a financial planner, but I am sure that if you implement just one little thing conveyed in this article you will save money that you do not even think you have. If you want to know how to manage your budget, have tools to plan your finances or are simply curious, I invite you to explore Fortunate Trader to find real gems.
First of all, this article.
The first thing to do is to make automatic deductions on your payments. It is very simple to ask your financial institution to deduct X amount from each paycheck in your account. You can even request that they take X amount in any desired period (for example, every 2 weeks or every month). You can start with a small amount ($20, $50 or $100 per pay). You will not even see the difference and your savings account will grow. You will forget that this amount is removed because you will not see it in your checking account. It will end up in your savings account. If you decide to put away $100 per pay, for example, you
‘ll save $200 a month; that’s $2,400 a year!
It’s only the beginning. A good start!
Imagine if you start today and decide not to use it for a few years. This amount will continue to increase without you having changed your lifestyle. Otherwise, you can decide to use it for your travels or your little “follies”. It’s a SIMPLE and EFFICIENT way to save.
Another effective way that I like, but that takes a little more time to implement, is the JARS SYSTEM. With TANGERINE, (use this referral number to get a free $50 to $100: 44619926S1) it is very easy to set up this system, because this institution allows you five sub accounts in which you can move around and save your money. You have the possibility to name these sub accounts whatever you want. For example, I have the accounts: HOME, TRAVEL, FUN, SAVINGS and EDUCATION.
In addition, there are NO account or transaction fees with Tangerine. It is MAGIC and very “user-friendly”. You can open a checking account for free and they offer a very good service. That said, here’s how the JARS SYSTEM works:
How to do it?
You take your pay every two weeks and you divide it into 5 categories to save money. The rest of the amount goes to your current expenses (groceries, gas, rent or mortgage, others).
Ex: if your pay per 2 weeks is $1,000: you take 10% of this amount and you put it in the FFA account = $100, the same for LTSS = $100, EDU = $100 and the PLAY = $100. As for the GIVE, you take 5% of the amount , $50 in this example. At the end, you will still have $550 per pay for your current expenses. If the amount is less than your expenses, you can adjust the percentage to put money into each category and pay for your current expenses. Also, since the percentages are suggestions, you can change the numbers according to your lifestyle! You can place more in the FFA or PLAY depending on what you do. On the other hand, it is necessary that there is money in each of them.
- FFA (Financial Freedom Account): 10% of your pay
In this account you save in order to find financial independence.
This account serves you in your old age. You do not have the right to spend this money unless it is used for an investment that will make it grow. Investing in a business, real estate, or the stock market are good examples.
The sooner you start, the more opportunities you will have! You should never touch this account except to withdraw a certain monthly or annual amount at retirement.
Along the way, you can consult a financial planner to instruct you on how to make this money grow faster.
- LTSS (Long Term Savings for Spending): 10% of your pay
This account saves on a short-term average for medium to large projects. Realize dreams that you have or projects such as, going on a trip, buying a house, buying a new TV; something you have wanted for a long time and that is more than your weekly paycheck. Also, I would like to propose considering a portion of this account as an emergency fund, also called a “safety net”. We never know when the car is going to need a major repair or when the roof of the house will sink. You stay on the trip longer, you have to replace your appliances, your rent or your mortgage has increased or you have received a ticket. It is better to be prepared, monetarily speaking, for this kind of unforeseen circumstance.
- EDU (Education): 10% of your pay
With regard to this one, it is always very important to stay educated throughout one’s life. In this category you can include the books you buy, the courses you attend, the trainings you do, the DVDs (documentary, informative, etc.), the games that require learning, or any other process that instructs you. Plus, if you ever have a family or plan to have one someday, you can save money here for your kids‘ education.
- Book to learn a new language or other learning
- If you go to Portugal and buy a book to prepare your trip
- Wildlife documentary
- Board game Scategories or a chess game or other board game
- Vocational training or other training
- Yoga classes
- Sudoku book
- Cooking lessons
- Surf lessons
- A course to learn something new
- PLAY: 10% of your pay
Here is the time to think about yourself and have fun! If you go to a restaurant with friends, you go to the movies, you rent a boat, you go skiing, you play golf, you go for a weekend in a cottage, you rent bicycles, etc. In short, all daily activities you can do are here! Also, in this category, you can find purchases to spoil you: new linen (which is not a necessity, but to refresh or for fun), a new bag, a new game for your PlayStation, tea between friends, a good ice cream, etc.
Some schools of thought suggest using the “PLAY JAR” as if you were living the life of a KING! So, no question of having the pasta meal with a glass of wine. You take the 5 seafood service and the bottle of Champagne. You do not rent the sea kayak for 4 hours, you rent the catamaran for 30 minutes. You do not rent the economy car on a trip, you rent the luxury SUV.
It remains at your discretion to use the funds from this account as he appeals to you, personally I prefer something longer that I love than the intensity of an excess.
- GIVE: 5% of your pay
This last category is for you to help to save in order to have money to give. We often hear: When I have money I will give it away. On the other hand, if you do not get used to doing it now, there is a good chance that you will never do it. Here are some examples:
- Buy a bar of chocolate from the children who go door to door
- Donation to charity
- Give money to the grocery store for young people who pack your items (for a particular cause)
- Give food to a homeless person
- Offer gifts (at a birthday, at a special event, at parties such as Christmas, etc.)
- If you do not have a present to give or want to do a little more, you can always offer your TIME, it’s just as valuable!
This method requires a little more involvement and management of expenses, but it is wonderfully effective! You will find yourself richer than you thought and you will have money to achieve what you want! You can even make automatic debits to make the process easier! Thereafter, it is natural to be disciplined, to put the expenses in the right categories and to spend only what you have aside for each of the accounts! If there is $200 in your PLAY account, make sure that what your spend does not exceed this amount. On the other hand, if you have $300 in your PLAY account and it has been there for a while, spend it! The only one you have to keep until your retirement is the FFA. Others, you have to use them! Live your life. If you are saving in your LTSS account to go to the Bahamas, for example, plan it and go on a trip!
Certainly, sometimes there are categories that are more present than others. That’s why you can adjust the percentages according to your lifestyle! Never forget, however, to keep something for each of them, even if it is only a few dollars. We must act to see a change, so take action today. A small step can make a HUGE difference.
Save and have fun!
Thanks for reading. A pleasure!