During January I am focusing on getting my life more organized for success for the new year. While I can say, we have a budget, it has been rather loose these last six months or so. Since we have been buckling down to save for the new house, it has given me renewed zeal to get us back on a much stricter budget. Since we will be placing our savings into down payments, new flooring and a new roof, I want to get a plan to help us start building our savings back up.
Your reasons for wanting to build your savings may be different from mine, but the reality is, most of us start off the new year with the desire to buckle down and feel in more control.
If I had found a money tree, I promise I would share! Since I have yet to discover one, I realize if I want my money to grow, I have to create a plan to save money. I really like the 52 week plan because it gives you flexibility. Each week, we will be putting away a set amount of money from $1 up to $52. Some of the plans start with $1 the first week, $2 the next, $3 the next up to $52 the last week. Some plans start at $52 the first week and work backwards, $51 the next, $50 the next and so on.
I am going to take a little more flexible approach. Life happens after all and some weeks, things will come up! I don’t want to set myself up for failure, that is never good. So let’s agree to set ourselves up for success, shall we?
I am going to start with the highest amounts I can deposit each week. Rather than work in sequential order, I am going to allow myself to skip around a bit. If I can deposit $50, that will be my number, if it is a tighter week and I can only deposit $12, that will be the magic number to check off. With trying to stretch our money in the first few months to cover housing expenses, I may not be able to come up with an extra $250 (5 Fridays in January) but still want to start by saving more than $15 in January.
My plan, I am going to print off the 52 week savings goal worksheet and cross-off the amounts I tackle each week to keep track. By the end of the year, by crossing off each amount on the list I will have a nice $1378 in the bank to jump-start my raining day fund. Is that enough? No, it isn’t really a big enough savings to feel comfortable, but it is a great place to start! The goal is to create a new habit, that moves us in a forward direction.
I would suggest starting a separate account to track your progress and hopefully keep your hands out of the cookie jar. I have chosen to use an account I have had with what was ING Direct that is now Capital One 360. I have had an account with them for years and love it! It is my account I slowly trickle money into for vacations or specific items I want to save for on the side. You can easily transfer money from your current checking account and get a free debit card all with no account minimums and even earn interest.