Back to School sales are already upon us – the kids are heading back to classrooms all across the country. Next, coming up fast, will be Halloween, and the holidays with the Christmas season and the wonderful spirit that brings to families and children. While RED is the typical Christmas color, it is not the favorite financial color! Certainly not the color of choice on how you want to end the year financially! For many people Christmas is a budget buster, they spend through their savings, only to end up putting the balance on credit cards; thinking “this will be easy to pay off during the next few months.”
Here is a suggestion: Begin now creating your gift list, pricing each item, then shop around for the extremes – highest and lowest prices for each item (the MSRP: Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price vs. sale price). Save/budget for the highest price and make the purchase at the lowest price, then actually put the difference into savings. You will discover two things, as you exercise the discipline of putting the difference into savings: 1. You will enjoy shopping for deals more, instead of paying the regular retail price. 2. You can make this a game with your children – teaching the value of saving and how to shop. They will become more savvy consumers and they will enjoy growing their new saving plan.
When you make the transfer to savings you can set up some simple rules to keep working right: make a daily transfer or a weekly transfer and simply keep track of purchases and the savings on a pad of paper. I like using something like PayPal where they simply draft the money from my checking account and forget about it. You can also make a limit that you don’t make transfers of less than $25.00 so at least weekly you are moving something to savings.
Successful savings is found strictly on the principle of self-discipline. Nobody makes you save money, you have to do it all on your own. Its 100% you! So make a weekly transfer of something to the account, develop the discipline and commitment to follow through, even if the amount is small. Frequent small deposits add up! This simple tip will help your finances stay in the black!