I have been diligently saving my money over the past several months. With dreams of quitting my day job to become a fulltime freelance writer, I’ve had no choice but to pinch pennies, cut costs, and temporarily deprive myself of life’s little luxuries.
With only a couple thousand dollars left to a fully funded emergency savings and a few more weeks of working at my day job, I am starting to feel a bit burnt-out.
Luckily for me I have no consumer debt, a low budget, and nearly eight thousand dollars in savings. But, I still have several other savings goals that need completed.
As I progress on with my savings plans I am going to take a slightly different approach. This way I can diligently save without feeling burnt-out. Here are a few ways I am going to save money stress free and hopefully you can do the same.
Build a Checking Account Buffer
You’re probably thinking “how is saving more money going to prevent savings burnt-out?”
Well, if you’re anything like me you like to save every dollar possible. You feel excited when you see the numbers in your savings account inch on up. Since I love watching money accumulate in my savings account I sometimes run on empty in my checking account.
And, it’s stressful.
My checking account covers all of my monthly budget needs. Nothing extra. Since my emergency fund is through an online bank and my checking account through a brick and mortar bank it takes a few days for the transfers to complete. If I was to have an emergency or forget to pay a bill I’d have to wait 3-4 days for the money to transfer.
I also force myself to have no fun by doing this. Sometimes I feel like taking my kids out to eat or to a movie but my checking account balance is so low that I can’t do it. While this helps me save money it definitely limits life’s little luxuries to the point of almost nonexistence.
Building a buffer in my checking account will help relieve stress and therefore some of the savings burnout blues. If you’re anything like me it will help you too.
Save Percentages for Fun Money
As of right now my emergency fund is top priority. Once it’s complete I get to move on to a whole new set of financial goals. And, in the name of fun I’ve decided to set a percentage of my income toward a slush fund.
For me, 10 percent seems like the magic number. Here’s how it will work. When I go full time freelancing I will pay myself sixteen hundred dollars each month. This covers all of my budget categories.
Whatever I make over the sixteen hundred dollars will be split across my savings goals. If I make an extra fifteen hundred dollars I will put one hundred and fifty of it in my slush fund.
This fund will be used for whatever I see fit. This could be vacations, home renovations, clothes, or entertainment. This money is saved for guilt free spending.
Having the slush fund will definitely keep me from savings burn out. If you don’t like the idea of having a savings account specifically for fun money you could give yourself some extra cash each week to spend as you please. Another option would be planning fun days and including them in your budget. Whichever route you go just make sure to sneak a little fun into your budget!
Another great way to easily increase savings without feeling any burnout is by making small, incremental increases in the amount you want to save.
You could start with fifty dollars a week and slowly increase this as time progresses. This is a great strategy for beginners. You can build up your savings without feeling any major pain.
I have a couple of savings goals that I use this on. One of them being my daughters’ college savings. Right now I don’t have a lot to put toward this goal so my contributions are small. Over time I will slowly increase my contributions. And, since the increments will gradually increase it will be much easier to part with the money.
Give Yourself a Break
Creating and working on savings goals is important, but if you go full force you can easily lose your ambition and suffer from burn out. To make your savings goals stick for the long haul you need to formulate a balanced plan.
Creating a checking account buffer, slowly increasing your savings rate, and budgeting for fun are great ways to stay on the savings track stress free.
What tips and tricks do you have to avoid savings burnout?