Once upon a time, there were two full time working individuals.They made good wages, worked hard at their jobs, yet somehow never seemed to have savings.
They mostly spent more than they earned, and couldn’t understand why they were still in trouble after all their hard work.
What’s more, their jobs put requirements on their family. They had to keep working this hard now, no longer was it an option. Daycare became a requirement, whether the kids liked it or not, and family time seemed to be a thing of the past.
If your position is anything like mine was, there is something to do about it. You have everything you need, you just need to make a careful plan to live within your means instead of above them and you will see.
When I was in this position I knew something had to change, but I wasn’t sure what. My husband and I had to learn from scratch, and that’s why I’ve written this article – I don’t want that for you. You’re already reaching out for advice, that’s the first step. This article is going to overview some of the other things that you can do to get your financial house in order.
A big part of any financial order is a plan, one with your goals and aims so you know where excess dollars should be spent. For us, we wanted to pay off the house in the next five years. This meant we had to plan savings, and we did so by literally cutting our pay cheques in half and depositing half into an expense account that we could spend from, and half into a savings account that was not to be touched. If the expense account got low, we knew that meant we had to cut back. If this sounds simple, it’s because it is! It doesn’t feel easy at first, but over time the habit truly takes hold, and the money comes in.
We actually haven’t had to take from our savings account in years, and we did end up paying off the house! I cannot tell you the relief you feel when you take these steps, people often focus on the challenge but let me assure you – the reward is great too!
Keep separate bank accounts
While it may seem like it makes sense to share a bank account as partners, often times it reduces responsibility. You may well assume he overspent rather than looking at your own habits. My online shopping addiction was out of control, yet still I blamed us eating out all the time – in reality both were responsible for our position.
Simply by keeping separate bank accounts, you get a much clearer view of where expenses can be trimmed and what needs to stop to live affordably. It sounds scary, but in reality it’s actually very peaceful knowing that at the end of the road you will be living within your means with no creditors hounding you.
Do this even if your income fluctuates
A lot of people use the excuse that they don’t know what they’ll earn, so it’s impossible to budget. We actually both had fluctuating incomes at the time, and I ended up leaving my job, so believe me when I say I know exactly how you feel. The reality though is that if you split that pay cheque in half, and start saving the other half, you’ll learn the types of habits that will end up making this still entirely do-able.
We would leave a little padding in the account in case the next month went badly, and put it right back to savings if it didn’t, so we never worried even though we didn’t know how much was coming in!
Saving half your money may sound like a lot, but the reality of it is you are very capable of doing it just by taking the time to plan and be aware of what’s going on financially.
Finally, avoid get rich quick schemes
Honestly, as much as advice is useful, everybody understands the basic principles of saving. You know what you need to do, and you know it will take time. Avoid anyone or any system that tells you that it won’t, such false promises often yield only heartbreak.
You will achieve your goals soon enough, there is really no need to rush to get there!