Are you guys savers or spenders? I'd like to cautiously say that I've been a pretty good saver through most of my life. I thank my dad for that one. I buy things, sure. And I spend a good chunk of money on food and travel, but overall, I do save a lot... as much as I can... without missing out on meaningful experiences.
As you guys know, I'm always trying to find a balance. With everything. It's fitting that my sign is a Pisces, right? Two fishing swimming away but also towards each other, creating a bigger current, and trying to find that balance. That’s me with all things. I feel like lately there has been a constant theme on this blog: minimizing as much as I can to maximize everything else. I guess this is the year for that. For me, anyway. Do you choose a word each year? I don't really, but if I had to choose one this year, it might be "save." Save money, save time, save the planet, save grace, everything.
I've never really had to sit down with my finances too much... I just save as much as I can, while spending as little as I can. You guys know, if I don't have money, I don't spend it. Simple as that. I use my credit card so that I can save points to travel, not for me to spend invisible money. My debit card is what I reach for almost exclusively. But I'm wondering, what would happen this year if I did try to save? If I sat down to budget and looked at all my expenses and made a plan? Where would I be this time next year? Could I grow my savings? Double it? Maybe triple it? I don’t know. It'd be interesting to find out.
It's tough because life goes on and undoubtedly expenses will come up. Everything from the thousands and thousands I had to spend on medical bills last year or the looming car purchase I will have to make in the near future. My little red car (that I've grown to despise) has been holding strong for 10+ years now! But I am optimistic that if I make and follow a plan-- more money can be saved.
Despite being a good (great) saver, I have my downfalls when it comes to banking and money. I don't follow up on my accounts as much as I should at all. I have ended up with re-occurring payments that continued for far too long that should have been canceled months prior. Little things that could have been avoided, had I followed a short and long term financial plan.
And since we're here, talking about money, I should tell you, I'm hoping to save even more money to buy a second house... a much smaller house! I'm hoping to downsize our life! We're looking to rent out the house this year to help that process. But we'll see how it goes! Small(er) living here we come!
As I work this year to make saving a part of my routine, I'm gladly teaming up with Regions Bank to offer some super helpful tips on how you (and me, duh) can create a successful yearly money saving plan.
Regions Bank actually has a great little check list for your yearly calendar. You can check out their super useful checklist: HERE. And in general, their whole website has SO many tools, blog posts, calculators, charts, etc. to help save money for your future. Like THIS financial check up list-- of things to do in the beginning of the year.
- January: Look back; look forward; check your withholding status at work
- February: Check your credit regularly; compile tax information
- March: Meet with your tax professional; get rid of old information
- April: Meet with your tax professional again
- May: Review your insurance plans; do some spring cleaning; check your credit
- June: Plan for the summer; go over your will, advanced directives for medical care and
- estate plans
- July: Tend to any home and car repair or maintenance issues
- August: Plan for back-to-school expenses, refocus your financial goals with a mid-year
- check in; check your credit
- September: Prepare your home for winter; plan for car repairs or purchases
- October: Make a holiday budget
- November: Give back; check your credit
- December: Create and stick to a holiday budget; make an extra mortgage payment and
- apply it to your principal
Regions also has this great article on the importance of setting financial goals. Like I said, I've never done it too much-- but now that I do have a lot of business ideas and life plans, it is time I start. And why wait, you know? Why wait a month or a year to start saving, when I could start now? Anyway, all the articles are super straight forward and helpful. And instead of just reiterating all of them, I totally recommend you click over and read through them if you're hoping to save a little or a lot of money this year and in the future :)
Edit: Soooooo I wrote this post last week... and intuit time to now, the little red car got totaled (luckily no one was hurt.) Sooooo now I'm off to spend big chunk of money to buy a new car today. boo/yay.
This post is sponsored by Regions Bank. All opinions are my own.