Right now is a great time to set new habits!
Remember when you first started tying your shoe laces? First you may have started with the 'bunny ears' method, making two little bunny ears and then carefully tying them together. Then as you were more confident you progressed to the traditional 'grown up' lace tying technique and day by day you got better and better until you were proud to proclaim that you were a true shoelace tying professional! Now many years down the track, you do not even think about how to tie your laces. Its become so well engrained in your system that you do not have to think about it even more.
What if your savings plan was like that? A system so well engrained that you could effortlessly save on autopilot. Think about how you would feel if your mortgage, living expenses and savings where automatically taken care of and the money you could get out of the ATM each week was yours to spend, guilt free, on whatever you wanted.
Let me share with you a simple system which you can set up once and then let the autopilot kick in. This very simple system was shared with me when I first started out in my working life and I've never looked back. I always save money without even thinking about it. In fact, its as easy as 1 2 3! Imagine this … you have three piggy banks.
Piggy bank 1: Mortgage payments / personal loans / Savings
Piggy bank 2: Everyday living expenses
Piggy bank 3: Spend away!
These are the steps to set up your autopilot savings plan;
1. Make sure you open 3 separate bank accounts
2. Have your pay paid electronically by your paymaster a) Instruct your bank or building society to split your pay into three accounts when received from your employer OR b) Have your paymaster split your wages into your 3 separate accounts for you.
3. Set the amount to go to each piggy bank: a) Set piggy bank account 1 to cover your mortgage, ongoing loans and compulsory savings. b) Set piggy bank account 2 to the amount you need to cover your electricity bills, grocery shopping, school fees, water, gas etc. All the bills you MUST PAY at the end of each week or month. (I personally have this set up as a visa account). The best way to work out how much should go into this account is to dig out your last three accounts for each expense and average them out so so you can see how much you will need to put away. For example, if your electricity account is $ 1000 every three months then you will need to divide that amount by 12 to bring it back to weekly, or dividend by 6 if you are paid fortnightly. c) The balance can now all go to piggy bank account.
3. This is money you can spend each week, guilt free, knowing that you have taken care of all your expenses and your new compulsory savings.
Now this is the key to your successful saving. DO NOT TOUCH PIGGY BANK NUMBER 1. Pretend it does not even exist. Treat this account as if that money does not even belong to you. In fact, set your goal not even look at this account for 6 months!
Now reward yourself. After 6 months of autopilot savings, take a look at your bank account and work out how much you have saved. Once you see how easy and effortless it was to save that money, you'll be hooked!
TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN TO SAVE: It's great to pass on good habits to those you love, so if you have children, why not teach them how to save from an early age. To keep it simple, when you give them their spending money each week, get them to put 50% into a piggy bank and at the end of each month take them to the bank and have them deposit their hard earned savings. Again, make this account something they can not touch until they're much older and let them spend the remaining 50% on whatever they want. They'll learn to love seeing their bank account build up each month (or quarter if this suits you better) and will create a savings pattern which is likely to stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Source by Angela E Cooney