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tips for saving money successfully

i am a horrible money saver. terrible. before i got engaged, i had zero savings.

but today? i have $1,243 in my savings account. in 2 months. not. too. shabby.

here are some helpful things i've discovered while on my savings 'journey..'

1. have a goal, and make it an important one
i know this one makes sense, but it's the truth. if you reallyreallyreally want something, you'll save for it. i want a nice wedding, so i've been an awesome saver. while it's great to save for 'a rainy day' or 'for the next 10 years,' vague goals don't make you feel as bad when you pull from your savings for a new coach bag or a new set of golf clubs. but if you're putting yourself further away from your dream home or sending little randy to college, you'll develop a sense of desire for those things that will help keep your sticky fingers out of the cookie jar.. i mean savings account.

2. be realistic.
one thing i would do before is try to save too much money. for example:

say i would get paid $500 dollars.
if i had $200 in bills, that leaves $300.
i would put $250 in my savings account,
which would leave me with $50 for two weeks until i got paid again.

obviously, you can't survive on $50 for two weeks with gas, food, extras, blah blah. so pick an amount that will realistically allow you to be comfortable in between paychecks. if your checks are pretty consistent, transfer the same amount into your checking every pay period. it's even better if you have direct-deposit, because then you've got no excuse and you might not even realize that the money is gone. but again, if you still leave yourself enough to get through until your next check, you won't need to pull money from your safety account.

3. treat unexpected money like it's invisible
you check the mail and there's a card from your aunt who lives in minnesota wishing you a happy groundhog day. surprise, there's a $25 check inside. put it right into your savings account and forget you ever checked your mail that day.

4. even if it's not unexpected, put any extraneous money right into your savings
this includes: birthday money, holiday cash bonuses, inheritances, being repaid by a friend who borrowed money from you 3 years ago, tax returns, finding $50 in a purse you took to vegas last year, couch change..

5. start saving visually
it's true these days that there's an app for everything! i use one called wedding savings. you input how much you would like to save, the date you started saving, and your deadline. it then shows you how many more days you have left until your goal, how much you've saved vs. how much you have left to save, and how much you need to save per day and per week to meet your goal. it is the most rewarding feeling to update the app every 2 weeks and see how my savings is growing. while a wedding maybe isn't the reason you're trying to save, i'm positive they have generic savings apps you can download.

happy saving!

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