Okay, okay I know this is supposed to be a debt payoff story, but our financial goals have recently made a slight shift. Don’t worry too much, we still plan to have the debt paid off in our 4 year time frame, but our very immediate priority is saving for a house.
I’ll talk more about that later, but for now I wanted to throw out a quick suggestion regarding saving- one that can work regardless of the situation you are saving for- and that is automation. For me, this is key. If I am saving for something, I need to have a way for that money to be set aside automatically before I even have time to see it is there or think of other ways to spend it. My suggestion is to decide how much you want/are able to save and then take 10 minutes to set it up so that the savings happens automatically. For most banks, it is an easy and straightforward process to have a pre-determined amount automatically transferred to a savings account at a set interval (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly…).
Another easy way to automate your savings- if your employer offers it- is to participate in a 401k or IRA fund that will automatically deduct a portion of your pay from your paycheck before you ever see it. I do this through my employer and also receive a company match of my contributions up to 4%, which is kind of like free money, so this has double benefits. And I can honestly say I have never missed the money, because I never even bothered to factor it into my budget- I just pretend for now that it does not exist, but I know in the back of my mind that I am slowly but surely helping to build future wealth.
Anyway, automation. Go. Do it now. You won’t be sorry.