One of the hardest things about starting life out on your own is saving. Here is a neat trick from the March 2008 REAL SIMPLE Magazine that I’ve found helpful:
“Make your savings goals feel intensely real. What do you want or need? a remodeled kitchen? a one-year sabbatical in Italy? To retire to a condo in Waikiki at age 55? Having appealing goals will make putting aside past of your paychecks palatable. ‘You can even try subliminally seducing yourself,’ says Zwieg. ‘Change your computer passwords to reminders like, gleamingkitchen and retiretohawaii. The more often you type those phrases, the more likely you are to internalize the goals and to feel that the future in now.”
Great advice. Alex and I want to get a Honda Fit so we officially have a Fit Savings Account. We put 20% of his income into an ING account for quarterly taxes (which is great because ING has an amazing interest rate and we’re getting interest on our taxes), 10% of our combined income goes to the church, and then 5% of our combined income goes to the Fit Savings Account. Because most people spend more than 60% of their income on basic survival (rent, food, clothes, utilities).
One other thing that is REALLY important when dealing with debt is not to exchange one debt for another. We could very easily sell both of our cars, pay off that we owe and then purchase the car, but instead… try to earn as much as you can for the car (whatever item you want to save for) to do more than just break even. Why not even have the first couple months payments ready as well? That way when you add on the car it’s not so back breaking when the first of the month rolls around.
Just a little food for thought.