When it comes to saving money, sometimes it can be easily overlooked in these debt focused times. Deservedly so, paying down debt has its importance. Typically, with any budget, money is set aside each month for all the bills and other monthly costs. Leaving savings to sometimes take a backseat to those credit card bills or student loans. Which only puts off those savings goals another month. Before long that vacation fund is four months short and sitting on a beach in December is looking very unlikely.
There’s a reason company retirement plans tend to work well from a savings perspective. How many 401k deposits can you miss when the money is taken out before you get paid. It’s basically an automatic bill pay for your retirement account. As long as you show up for work, your retirement savings gets it’s monthly payment.
A Lesson From The Past
As a kid getting any amount of money is a big deal. It can be hard to grasp what things cost and how it relates to the value of the dollar. So, even getting a few quarters can be exciting. At least it was when I was growing up. A quarter back then got me a game of Pac-Man or a bunch of candy.
Anyways, there were two basic ways of getting money, birthdays and chores. Doing chores paid fairly well or so I thought. It wasn’t like all the neighborhood kids were thinking of unionizing to improve our income. A couple dollars each week sounded good enough and after being told a half dozen times, the work finally got done.
Birthday’s were obviously the big payday, at least it seemed like a lot of money back then. But before I could stash any away, it was already in my Mom’s hands with a “that will be going into the bank.” The automatic savings kicked in. Straight to the savings account it went and usually with a good percentage of chore money I had built up too.
Obviously, saving money is a lot less complicated when we’re kids. But the lesson is still there. Saving money gets a lot easier when you pay yourself first. I would have eventually found a way to waste it, if I didn’t have automatic savings built in.
A Different Point Of View
If you have a debt first mindset, it might be time to start looking at your savings from a different perspective. Maybe that vacation fund or retirement account will get monthly deposits if it’s viewed as another unpaid bill. Would those savings be given greater importance? It’s money you owe, to yourself.
If you’re into the automatic bill pay features most banks are using now, give the automatic transfer a try. You can schedule any automatic transfers to go through on a specific day each month. There’s also the option to setup a new savings account just for those automatic savings. Not having a debit card attached to the account will make spending it that much harder, too. Guaranteeing that you save money and making it that much easier, too.