When I first started Family Friendly Frugality
The main complaint I hear about saving money nowadays is that it is too darn overwhelming to know where to begin. If you have $20,000 in credit card debt, is clipping a few coupons realistically going to make much of an impact to your bottom line? If you are drowning in student loans and house payments, is living within your means even possible?
The answer to all of the above is yes. While the small things you do might not add up to financial freedom, they do make a big difference. Some of them will chip away at your debt or create more wiggle room in a tight budget. Some of them will simply give you more confidence and a self esteem boost, proving to yourself that you can save money!
So I am starting a Make a Change Monday series where I will simply give you one task to work on for the week. You might already be doing it…so you get to skip that week! If not though, try it out and see if it makes a difference! I’ll keep them small manageable changes that don’t require a lot of effort or learning the drugstore game .
This week’s Make A Change Task:
Don’t Save for a Car if You Have Never Saved for a Toaster
If you are scratching your head right now, thinking I’ve lost my marbles here…just hang on a sec and I’ll explain.
It’s tempting to want to dive head first into overhauling your finances. You start realizing that you actually do have money to work with and you start imagining all the possibilities! Now that you have an extra $50, $100, $1000 to work with each month, you start thinking about saving some of that money (well hopefully you do!) and you start dreaming big.
You could save for a house!
Hold on a second though. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t save as much money as you can, but instead of starting off huge…try starting off small.
If you decide that you are going to save enough money to purchase a car…that’s great. BUT, it’s going to take a while. Gratification is going to be months or even years down the road. When you are new to saving, that can become very discouraging after awhile.
I suggest you pick something small and focus on that. Learn what it’s like to go through the whole process from start to finish and how it feels to attain that small goal. Don’t buy things you don’t need of course, but focus on the smaller things you want/desire. You can still put money aside for the bigger goals, but really focus on something more small and attainable at first.
So what is a “small goal”? It really depends on your income. If you only have $10 extra a week, a nice toaster might just be what you should start with. If you have an extra $100 a week…think bigger. Maybe you’ll pay a bill off early in one lump sum. Or maybe you’ll save it for a much needed vacation.
To be successful in our big goals in life, we have to celebrate the little goals as well.
The stepping stones are just as important as the big mountain, in fact they might be MORE important because they build our confidence and teach us the process.
NOTE: Just because you are saving for a smaller goal, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be setting aside money for your big goals as well (especially if that big goal is a NEED). You might need to adjust your small goal down a notch so you can still throw money towards your big goal. That’s okay too. We’re just trying to build confidence here. 😉
Previous Make a Change Monday Tasks.