☀ Photo from our recent trip to Phuket Thailand ☀
As soon as the idea of leaving the corporate world to work for myself got stuck in my brain, I started saving a percentage of my income. The last few years that I was working in my full-time marketing job, I was able to save 50%-60% and live off the rest.
At the time, I was working towards the goal of self-employment. I wanted to aggressively stash away money, so I could turn this dream into a reality without the worry of being completely broke. This goal made saving a large percentage every month feel worth it. The possibility of leaving my 9-5 far outweighed my desire to spend money on things that didn’t matter.
Things have changed a little since then. I’m currently freelancing and my income is variable. I’m not able to save quite as much as I used to. Since getting married and combining our finances, my husband and I are now saving upwards of 40% of our combined incomes. It may not be as much as it was once upon a time, but we are making forward progress and I’m super happy about that!
We want to travel, buy a house, live comfortably, and keep our options open. If we want to move somewhere, invest in something, or change career paths, I want to be able to do so. Life is too short to be held back by the lack of money.
Here are a few things that help us save close to 50% of our income every month:
Monitor your Spending: Keep track of your spending and evaluate where your money is going. This can be hard to face, but you need to know this information in order to make changes in your behavior. My husband and I have a marriage meeting every month where we talk about life things, as well as the budget. This gives us the opportunity to talk about past expenses and future purchases. We are accountable to each other which helps move us in the right direction.
Know your Why: Having a good reason to save such a large percentage of your income is the key to making this all worthwhile. If you don’t have a big dream, or you do but you feel as if you’ll never reach it, it’s going to make saving feel like too much of a sacrifice. Daydream a bit and understand what you could do once you build up a little nest egg!
Treat your Savings like a Bill: I’ve mentioned this before in a previous post and I think it makes all the difference. When you make savings a priority, you will follow through every single month. Set up automatic withdrawals just like you would your electric bill. My savings withdrawals come out every month and I don’t view this as optional.
Move it Out of Sight: Move your savings out of your primary bank so you can’t see it every day. If I’m ever feeling tempted, I get reminded that I’d have to transfer that money to the checking account and that will take a couple days. Usually, I realize that it’s not worth the trouble. I use an online bank for general cash savings.
There is no “right” savings amount or percentage. Everyone has different needs and goals. As long as you are putting something away for your future, that’s all that matters.
As you slowly begin to lower your spending habits be sure to replace it with something you love that’s not costing you money. If you try to take everything fun away at once, it’s going to be tough to sustain long-term. As you start building your savings, momentum will kick in and it will become easier and easier to make sacrifices and save even more.
What dreams or goals are you saving for? Comment below =)
“If you live for having it all, what you have is never enough.” -Vicki Robin
Thanks for Reading,