Saving money doesn’t come naturally for most people. We work hard and we feel like we should enjoy things. While that is absolutely true, so is preparing for your future!
Do you have enough money saved for your kids to go to college?
Do you have money saved if an emergency arises?
What about for your retirement?
Let’s face it, between moves and the military, you are slam broke! Finances can be a touchy subject, I get it, but this is a conversation that deserves to be had.
I have a little secret to share with my fellow military spouses looking to make the change~
5 Tips on Saving Your First $1000– On a Military Salary!
By the end of my tips you’re going to be ready to hit the ground running… Seeing green!
Suggested post: Preparing for Tax Time
Tip #1– Getting started
Write out your debt to income ratio. Seeing the numbers on paper will make it easier to come to terms with the necessity of finding your way out of the debt tunnel.
You might be stunned by what you see. You don’t realize the debt you’re in because you rarely look at all the numbers laid out together… This is why it is a good time to start snowballing the debt.
Tip #2– A step in the right direction
As soon as you can, ditch the cards. I’m not talking about making the adjustment to solely using cash envelopes right off the bat, but you need to make a conscious effort to steer clear of your credit cards.
A good way to keep yourself from being tempted by your credit cards is to place them in a safe or lock box.
Tip #3– Trimming the spending
Plan out your grocery trips. Not everyone has time to cut coupons, visit multiple stores, and stockpile. Check the ads for the store that you frequent, and plan your meals around the current week’s sales.
Making a habit of eating at home saves you a ton of money. You can use Pinterest as a giant recipe book.
Tip #4– Cutting unnecessary expenses
It is time to go through your bank statements and figure out where all your money is going. Split everything into categories. One category is ‘wants’ and the other is ‘necessities’. Water bills are necessities, but cable bills are a want.
Pack your lunch to avoid eating out. You don’t have to settle for cold meat sandwiches if they aren’t your thing. Take last night’s leftovers! Packing your lunch will cut a large chunk from your weekly expenses.
Tip #5– Building up the bank
Pull small amounts from each check to build your $1000. I’m talking about $20-$25 each paycheck. Yes, the faster you can save the money the better, but you are more likely to stick to a routine if it isn’t a drastic change to your life.
Saving money doesn’t always feel convenient. You think you want that new pair of shoes, but when is the last time you got rid of something in your closet? Can selling old clothes help you put money towards your savings?
You’ve got this! Saving your first $1000 puts you on the fast track to a debt free life, and believe me it is SO worth it. You won’t make millions, but you can easily live comfortably and save money in the military.
Dave Ramsey said it best, “Live like no one else, so you can live like no one else!”
The adjustments you are making now will make life much less stressful later on.
Check out my other military articles for even more information on this amazing lifestyle.