If you’re a regular reader of Girlfriend’s, Budget… you’ll know it’s no secret that saving is my very favorite part of this whole budgeting thing! While I do love that accomplished feeling of knowing all my bills are paid on time, my debt is minimal or non-existent, and I have some extra money to blow (because I’m living below my means), it’s just something about saving that makes me feel so bo$$ every time I hit that transfer button and see those digits in my account increase!
It’s like my little pot of gold that I know is tucked away at the end of the rainbow, ready and waiting for me in the event life throws me any major financial curve ball.
As a Financial Coach, I teach all my clients how to get on the path to financial freedom by using a very simple budget pyramid. The lessons of one step leads up to the next... until this budgeting thing becomes your normal way of life. Saving is like the 3rd step in the budgeting pyramid, but talk more about steps one and two below...
The foundation of getting your financial sh*t together starts with knowing how to first manage your money by living below your means and paying all bills on time (since that is 35% of your credit score). The second step is to then pay off some debt in order to free up funds to start saving… because you can’t really save if your debt is eating up all your extra cash.
RELATED:How to Dig Out of Debt.
Once these two steps are tackled. You’re now ready to move on to saving, girlfriend!
But it’s not just one pot of gold, there’s several.
I’ll explain what I mean…
When it comes to savings accounts, I always encourage people to try to have more than just one, because if you really think about it, often times you’re not wanting to save for just one goal. Most individuals want to simultaneously save for a new house or car, while also wanting to save for a vacation and stash a little away for a rainy day. So that probably seems like a lot of freakin’ saving, right?!… But it’s all possible with a well-planned out budget. I cannot stress this enough. Your money can go so much further than you think when you really learn to use it as a tool to do the things you want… instead of blowing it on meaningless frivolities. Trust me... I’m a living witness. So today... I'm sharing with you some savings accounts that I’d recommend and the purpose for each one. Let’s start saving, girlfriend!
Incidental Savings An Incidental Savings is an account that allows you to have money set aside in the event of a minor or major emergency. I’d highly recommend building this account up to equal at least 9 to 12 months of expenses. You can calculate how much should be in this account by adding up all your monthly bills and multiplying by 9 (on the low end) and multiplying by 12 (on the high end). There’s your range… and that's the goal you should shoot to achieve in this account. You really want to reserve this account for emergencies only though. Here’s a few scenarios to think about: Scenario 1: You get into a car accident and your insurance is requiring you to pay (at minimum) a $500 deductible to get your vehicle repaired. Scenario 2: In that same car accident you hurt yourself and now need to get x-rays at the emergency room. Scenario 3: Your job is downsizing and you have just been laid off. So where’s a girl to turn to for help?... Your Incidental Account, girlfriend! You see... when you set yourself up to be financially prepared for some of life’s gut punches, it truly makes disastrous events like the ones listed above much less stressful.
Personal Savings Here’s where you get to be a little selfish, girlfriends! A Personal Savings is an account that you’ll want to build on in order to make a pricey purchase for yourself… that way when something comes up that you just gotta have, you’ll already have a little money stashed away and won’t have to go digging in your Incidental Savings. I actually highly recommend this account specifically for couples who have intermingled their finances together. I suggest this because… let’s face it, we all want a little stash of our own. Let’s say you want to save up for a fancy date or a nice gift for a birthday or anniversary celebration. Or what if you just want to treat yo’self to a trip or a hangout with your girlfriends. You can use this account to save up for those types of things without your partner feeling like you’re taking from the money you all have saved together. It will be your own money that you’ve set aside for yourself… to splurge just how you like. I’ll give you a personal example:
Recently my all-time favorite artist, Janet Jackson, came to my city to perform. And if you know me personally, or follow me on Snapchat… you’ll know how much I absolutely LOVE Janet Jackson. So, of course, this was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up, because who knows when (or if) she’d be going on tour ever again! Thank Heavens for my personal savings... because this concert was definitely not something I had budgeted for. But since I already had a nice cushioned amount saved up in this account, I was able to pay for the ticket in full without the worries of havin