Make a Change Monday: Don’t Save for a Car if You’ve Never Saved for a Toaster

When I first started Family Friendly Frugality, I knew I wanted to approach frugal living from a very relaxed and welcoming mindset. I wanted to create a blog about frugal living that didn’t leave people  feeling overwhelmed or less than when they walked away.

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!

A car!

A yacht!

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.

Published by

Heather

Heather is the creator and owner of Family Friendly Frugality. She calls Texas home and is married to her best friend. With 2 children 22 months apart, she has her hands full. So full that she decided to start blogging as a hobby. That hobby blew up into a full time job. Now she's got the husband, the kids and the blog. We're not exactly sure what she was thinking, but she's too busy for us to ask. Find Me On Google + View all posts by Heather

4 thoughts on “Make a Change Monday: Don’t Save for a Car if You’ve Never Saved for a Toaster”

  1. Looking forward to this series. You are absolutely right about focusing on the small goals.
    We are finished with all of our small goals and only have the house to work on. I have taken that HUGE number and broke it out into small goals so that I can see progress.

    Thank you for taking the time to post about this topic.

      1. Well, I have just changed my plans and so has my “little goals”. At first I was “pretending” that my house payment was higher and paying that extra money towards principle along with any other CENT I found/saved. Now with the economy and the fact that I live in Las Vegas, I owe about double of what the house is worth. So instead of paying it off faster, I am putting that extra money in the bank for a down payment on a bigger home (and just rent this house out until the market turns around, in about 50 years ha ha ha)
        I just wrote my “mini goals” on my mirror (with a dry erase marker) yesterday. You are going to laugh at how I came up with the numbers. My goal is $10,000, a very unattainable goal in my eyes but I have broken it out to look like this:
        500
        650
        735
        1150
        1200
        1350
        2165
        2250 Makes NO SENSE RIGHT?
        Right! I just made these numbers up, because in my eyes they are no where near $10,000 just looking at them, but together they are.
        I wish I had some wonderful reasoning on why /how I do my goals but I am just making it up to trick my brain into believing I can save it. ha ha ha

        1. No, I actually think that’s a great way to look at it. It’s actually how most weight loss experts recommend splitting things up when you have a great deal of weight to lose. It’s totally a mental thing!

          I wish you luck on your goals!

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