How to Power-Save

bankThere is a tendency to ignore the asset side of your budget balance sheet, especially if the short term focus is paying down debt.

You want to build up some savings for the long term- or for an emergency fund- but what if something arises that you’d love to do, don’t have the cash on hand for- and can’t justify in good conscience whip out the plastic to fund?

That’s when you try to employ some strategies to build up your savings in a hurry.

What’s your Timeline?

Let’s say your bestie is heading south this winter, and you really, really want to go. Or your family would really cherish that new, giant TV to watch their movies/Sunday football/Disney Channel ad infinitum.

Identify the goal and the timeline- and then work backwards. What is the sum you need to have stashed away- and how much time do you have to accumulate it?

Negotiate with Yourself

Chances are, you’ve already constructed to budget to account for most of your expenses. If you need to ramp up the savings in favour of a single event or purchase, then something else has got to go.

Essential spending stays on the table, but what could you live without for the time period that you’ve identified in step one. Eating out at work? Date night? Give up cable or magazine subscriptions for six months?

Swap out some items to sacrifice that closely match the amount you need to accumulate over the time period identified.

Motivate Yourself

Remember this is a specific goal with a specific time period. Help keep yourself motivated with visual cues, that will also help remind you of the time-limited nature of this undertaking.

Put up pictures of the purchase alongside a calendar and “X” off the days as they go down. You can even use a “thermometer” with your goal at the top, measuring your progress along the way.