Pay yourself first.
Whaatt??? That’s not new. I know! It’s been around for years!
As my dear regulars know, I’ve attempted no spends, low spends, etc. for years trying to save money. My goal was always to stop my impulse spending and to be able to save some cash. Usually, it worked for a couple of months, but then I would ditch it, which in turn, made me feel like a failure.
This past year, I attempted the Low/No Spend idea again, but got bored with it and fell off the rails. However, we were still able to save a little bit of cash, and in June, my husband and I purchased IBonds with the savings we had in the bank. The IBonds were paying 9.6%!
It was then that I had one of those light bulb moments. I decided to stop focusing on what I couldn’t buy (the spending) and focus on how quickly I could pull together large chunks of money (savings) to take advantage of the new higher rates of CDs.
This new focus changed the way I did the monthly budgeting. I started sending money I wanted to save to Ally Bank before I even paid my bills. Then, after fixed expenses, whatever was left was what we could spend, without guilt. As each month went by, I tried to up the savings amount and lower the spending amount, which in essence turned out to be a low spend anyway (with the added bonus of not beating myself up for buying a lipstick!)
Once the desired savings amount was in Ally Bank, I quickly transferred it into a non-penalty CD. (Interest rates aren’t huge for the CDs, but they are finally adding dollars (and not pennies) to the bottom line.) And, because it was in a CD, I was less inclined to pull the money out for something I really didn’t need. It absolutely worked, because after 12 months, we now have an extra $50,000** dollars in our cash savings accounts!
Our plan is to retire in early 2024, and I’m excited to keep up with my savings goals!
Have you been taking advantage of the CD and savings rates?
**Having said all of the above, I must mention we are empty nesters. We do not have college tuition payments (anymore!), or other child expenses. My husband is at the top of his game with income. This is our last push towards adding to our savings before my husband retires in 2024. Also, I say ‘I’ a lot because I’m the one who handles the bills. The savings would probably be $100,000 if it was up to my husband because he spends literally NO money. 😉