You don’t need me to tell you that saving money can be really tough — but it doesn’t have to be. The truth is that it can be done without too much hardship if you put your mind to it.
Money expert Clark Howard says the problem in many cases is that people just don’t make saving money a priority.
“There’s pretty much not anybody who couldn’t come up with extra money by taking the time to go through your expenses and seeing where you can cut,” Clark says.
If putting aside cash is an issue for you, we’ve got just the thing: A simple worksheet that walks you through the steps of saving for a specific thing.
The way this works is that you have to come up with a personal rule — one that you promise to abide by.
Save With This Simple Worksheet
A hat tip goes to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for sharing this method, which we’ve tweaked just a bit. Here are the three steps to do it:
1. Set a Specific Goal
This can be a rainy day fund, a summer vacation plan, or anything else that’s important to you.
The Account part is flexible, depending on when you’re going to need the money. It could be a:
- Checking account
- Savings account
- Certificate of Deposit
- Retirement account
- Under the mattress
Tip: If the kind of account you choose allows it, set up a direct deposit so that the money is automatically put into the account each pay period.
2. Create a Rule to Live By
This is what will help you achieve your goal.
I will save $:_____________________________ per (week, month, etc.)____________________________
I will save ____________________________% of my income every pay period
3. Promise Yourself That You’ll Achieve Your Goal
Commit to yourself: “I will use my rule to improve my finances by saving money.”
With that, you’ve made a resolution to yourself that you will follow your personal rule to save money. Now, take action!
Here is CFPB’s worksheet that you can print out to use when you want to get started.
Here’s the thing: You can do it! Clark says a good place to start is to take an in-depth look at your finances.