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NOTE: Sarah Hollenbeck, Seige Media Senior Content Marketing Specialist, provides today’s story.
Sarah Hollenbeck is a homeowner, writer, marketing specialist, and yoga teacher from Austin, Texas. Once an avid shopper, she has learned the benefit of budgeting and now prides herself on making smart money moves to make her dreams come true. You can connect with her on LinkedIn by clicking here
How to Use Discipline to Make Your Dreams Come True
My partner and I had been renting apartments and houses in Austin, Texas, for several years. We switched around frequently, determining what type of home fit our lifestyle best and which part of the city we wanted to live in. But with each move, we both longed to own a home. Something that we could take pride in and update to our specifications. However, home buying was not cheap, especially in Austin, where housing prices are soaring. So we knew we’d have to budget well to make this dream a reality. The underlying goal was to prove to ourselves that dreams come true.
Whether you have a similar goal of becoming a homeowner or having your sights set on another (still expensive) plan, such as going back to school or buying a new car, you will have to budget to get there. And if you have a long way to go to reach your goals, you’ll need to do more than fill up your piggy bank. You’ll need to grow your discipline and create a real savings and budgeting plan.
The Importance of Discipline To Make Dreams Come True
For us, discipline was the hardest lesson to learn. We could easily set aside a specific amount to save from our paychecks each month. But learning how to stop unnecessary spending? That was another story. But to reach your goals, this is a vital step. To determine where you need to implement more discipline into your life, make sure to consider the following:
How much do I spend in each of the following categories each month?
- Dining Out
1. Are any of these above expenses unnecessary?
2. Can I lower some of these expenses without drastically changing my lifestyle?
3. Which categories will be the hardest to reduce my spending?
4. How much do I want to save each month?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be in a better place to determine where you can reduce your spending. For us, we discovered that we were spending too much money on dining out and clothing. While it took some discipline, we eventually learned to stop unnecessary shopping. Instead, we got into hiking to pass the time on the weekends and learned how to cook our favorite meals for ourselves. We also used these budgeting worksheets to track our spending habits better.
Some categories above are necessary expenses such as transportation and rent. There are always ways to flex your budget to save even more. For example, can you take the bus or ride your bike instead of driving your car? Can you turn the AC up just a few degrees? These changes are small, but they can make a big difference in your savings account over time.
Though there are some categories above that are necessary expenses, such as transportation or rent. There are always ways to flex your budget to save even more. For example, can you take the bus or ride your bike instead of driving your car? Can you turn the AC up just a few degrees? These changes are small, but they can make a big difference in your savings account over time.
Budgeting Strategies To Make Dreams Come True
So how do you create a budgeting plan that works (and that you’ll stick to)? You may try several strategies to determine which avenue works best for you. If you don’t want to spend much time creating a budgeting plan, the 50/30/20 system may be right for you. On the other hand, if you are a highly organized person, you might love the zero-based budgeting system.
No matter which strategy you choose, sticking to the plan is essential. It is where the power of discipline can come in handy, helping you create new habits that increase your wealth rather than the amount of stuff you own. It’s the better way to make dreams come true. Below are a few budgeting strategies you might want to consider when trying to save to reach your goals.
The 50/30/20 System
The 50/30/20 system is an easier way to think about your savings goals. In this system, you’d put 50% of your income into necessities such as rent and food, 30% towards wants such as subscriptions or entertainment purchases, and then the final 20% would go into savings.
However, when starting this strategy, you’ll first want to consider your taxes, health insurance, and other costs. That way, you know exactly how much money you’ll receive in your account.
The Zero-Based Budgeting System
Another option to build your savings is a zero-based budgeting system. This system requires you to calculate your monthly expenses, including how much you want to save, to account for every dollar you make. That way, you know exactly where every dollar is going, ensuring you don’t spend any money.
After trying out these savings strategies, we could save enough money to purchase our first home! We’ve even made some DIY updates since buying our house, turning our dream into a reality. And you can do the same by following these budgeting tips from Hippo!
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- Categorize your expenditures
- Enter the amounts you spend in each category
- Prioritize necessary expenses
- Eliminate the expenditures that are of little benefit
- Redirect unnecessary expenditures to the Savings category
- Continue to keep an eye on how you may add to your Savings
- Test out new ideas for the potential of making a better income.
- Be vigilant in weighing benefits against the cost of doing business.
- Track the growth of your savings account.
- Celebrate Success!
Today’s insights are provided to help you achieve the Smooth Sale!
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