Let’s talk savings. More specifically, let’s talk about future purchases. I know what a challenge it is to try to save up for a particular thing, whether it is Christmas, a new car, or even a new TV.
Saving up money for short-term goals like a big purchase or a vacation can sometimes be taxing because we think of all the things that we could do with that money right now or life just happens and an unexpected medical bill shows up. Or even still, the temptation to have that new thing right now can cause us to seek other ways of getting that new thing, like carelessly applying for credit or swiping a credit card.
The reality is that saving for these big purchases doesn’t have to be challenging and can in fact be exciting. But, I do want to clarify one thing real quick – these big purchases should be on the back burner until you have an emergency fund in place.
One of the most exciting things to me about saving money is watching that money grow! I don’t know why, but it’s super exciting to me (maybe because I’m a natural Saver?)! And one of the ways we grow our money fairly quickly with little effort is through Acorns which is a program that takes your “spare change” from your purchases and then invests it for you.
You can choose short-term or long-term investments and you can switch between the two. We’ve been using it for a year and love it! We’ve only invested about $700 of our own money but we’ve grown that money to well over a $1,000 without even thinking about it! Sure, are we going to get rich by this? Probably not. But it’s an amazing way to save more money.
And in fact, we could have a much higher balance if we contributed more than just our spare change to that account. So we recently set up a reoccurring deposit and 2x’d our spare change amount. An account like Acorns can be super beneficial if you have a little bit more time to save or if it is a bigger purchase that may take some time to save up (like a car).
Related Post: 7 Money Saving Tips to Start Using Right Now
Any side hustle can be an incredibly quick way to earn the cash you need to pay for a big purchase! And the best part is that a side hustle doesn’t have to be a difficult thing or even a second job. It can literally be something that you do on the side – on the side from your “real” job or on the side while chasing toddlers.
Some side hustle ideas:
- Walk dogs in your neighborhood for extra cash
- Freelance your skills for cash (writing, proofreading, photography, creating recipes, tutoring, etc.)
- Tutor in your home – like music lessons, academic lessons, or even sport lessons!
- Clean homes
- Car detailing (a teenager in our neighborhood goes around every summer and offers to wash our cars for $15 and an extra $5 to vacuum – you’ll be surprised what folks are willing to pay for convenience).
There are so many things that you can do as a side hustle! My only word of caution here is to know when the side hustle needs to stop – like when it goes from being something you do for only a couple of months to earn a few extra bucks, to being a business. Or when the side hustle takes over your entire life. It’s one thing for it take over a season of your life so you can save cash, but it’s an entirely different thing to allow it to overtake your entire life.
This one will take a little work and it could result in saving you some serious cash – not just for right now, but for the long-haul! Take an honest look at your budget, and determine where you can cut or reduce expenses. One area to reduce expenses would be utility and insurance providers. If it’s been a few years since you compared quotes, it’s time to spend a little time getting quotes to see if you can lower any of your expenses by switching providers.
Related Post: How to avoid going over budget
Don’t be afraid to say “no”
Without fail, the moment you decide to save up for a big purchase will be the moment that everyone and their mama wants to invite you out for drinks, dinner, a movie, a birthday party, or wedding/baby shower. And you’ll be tempted to go when you could use that money towards your big purchase. It’s okay to say “no” when you’re saving up for a big purchase.
The key is deciding if saying “yes” is worth the postponement of saving for that particular purchase. If it is, then say “yes” guilt-free, but if it’s not, then say “no” confidently. You can always suggest a cheaper alternative (like hosting a potluck instead of going out to eat) or tell them that you’ll be available next month for a dinner out.
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