What would you do with an extra $100 a week? Would it make your life better?
Just by making some small changes you can make a big difference to your overall finances, your fun factor and things on your wish list!
We could all do with extra income each week, but if you had a floating $100 in your budget would you just waste it, spend it on yourself or put it to good use? This article is for people who would like to get more out of life but can’t seem to get enough saved for that holiday, or just can't pay off credit card debt in order to get on with life.
If you have debt to repay, $100 would be perfect to put towards this to get rid of it but if you’re lucky enough to have debt under control, where would you allocate that nice round amount instead of it dwindling away?
First of all, do you have $100 a week to experiment with? You’ll want to make sure you have a spare $100 to be able to put towards any goals or plans. You’ll need to know how much of your income you need to live and cover necessary living costs to know if you have the extra $100 in your income to do this. If you don’t you might need to lower your living expenses or cut wasteful spending and tighten up in areas to find the $100 you need to knock out some goals.
Where can you find an extra $100 in your income? If you’re aware of your spending habits, you’ll know if there are areas you can fix to achieve some goals instead. Look back over bank statements in your ‘spending’ accounts to see where your money is going and if any wasted. The common areas we might over spend or waste money on are eating out, alcohol, activities/hobbies, subscriptions, memberships and phone bills. Work through each area to see where you can cancel out payments or cut back.
If your household is a double income family I’m certain you can easily find that $100 each pay to use but if you’re like me and living off one income you’ll need to tighten up the budget a little to be able to do this.
Most of us have more than one financial goal in mind. Something that we want to achieve: pay off small debt, go on a holiday or buy something you can’t quite
find the money for. It’s frustrating if earning a good income but still unable to get ahead. It seems like there is always something to work towards or pay for. Wouldn’t it be nice to accomplish at least one of your goals over the year ahead with just $100 a week?
I always plan a few goals for the next year and have a few savings goals on the go at once. Usually a big purchase or more importantly a holiday! I know it sounds like a long time to wait to achieve a few things, but it’s not. 1 year goes fast and if you’re patient and always adding to each savings you can watch them quickly grow to keep you motivated to continue. With $100 a week you can easily tick off a few goals for the year ahead with a total of $5200 by the end of the year.
Divide and conquer!
The key is to divide your $100 and not put it all into one 'basket', but into many baskets. Yes, the saying 'don't put all your eggs in one basket' is a great metaphor!
By spreading your savings over a few baskets, or accounts you'll be able to easily monitor balances for each of them but most importantly always have the money there for the actual goal you planned. If putting one amount into one place for savings, you're more likely to dip into it when you want to. By doing this, you'll never achieve anything as you'll be going one step forward, two back.
Aiming to achieve one goal at a time is faster to tick off your list but I find this boring, not very motivating and an easier way to fail at saving. Imagine being able to achieve a few goals simultaneously and actually achieving your goals. What a pay off when you can!
I love dividing it up and sending it to it’s place to feel like I’ve spent some money and get that spending satisfaction we all want. I love seeing the balances grow each pay, knowing I’ll be able to achieve it and move on to more goals the next year …or another holiday, yay! Read my savings plans, actions and results to see my amounts and what I'll use each one for.
Instead of using $100 to dump into an account while you try not to dip into it, why not split it up to cover more than one. Even if you’re paying off debt you can do this and also achieve other small goals. Try splitting it 70/30, 70% towards debt and the other 30% towards a goal. Once the debt is paid for you can then use the entire $100 for as many goals as you want.
You will have saved $5,200 in just 1 year and an endless possibility of things you want to save for by using $100 and splitting it any way you want. There's not only the 70/30 goal plan, give one of these alternative splits a try:
50/50 for 2 goals
50/30/20 for 3 goals
30/30/30/10 for 4 goals
20/20/20/20/20 for 5 goals.
Work out which one would be the best for your income, debt and wants situation. We’re all different and only you can decide which would work better. Come up with your own split amounts to follow each week.
If you have one goal that is a priority, structure it so this is the highest amount each week. When this goal is achieved, that amount can then be put to use elsewhere (new savings goal) or to be put into the other goal amounts, increasing them and achieving the other goals faster. You can continually keep it rolling along like this until you’ve achieved all you need to and then plan for further foals in the future. Those possibilities are endless especially if one of your goals is to buy something that will make you even more money. Assets are the best purchase!
I suggest opening a few fee free bank accounts to keep your goal amounts separate. It doesn’t matter how many bank accounts you have to get the job done, open as many as you need. I used to use the envelope system and still do when I have small savings goals, maybe things due in a few weeks. I would put the different amounts of cash into their own envelope, counting the balance every now and then to see how far I was off my goal amount. You could also use money bags or even snack/sandwich zip lock bags.
We now to operate in more of a cashless society so many bank accounts would be an easier way. I’m saving up for bigger things these days and it’s too risky to leave these amounts lying around the house so I need many accounts. I do suggest the money bag or envelope system though for small amounts saved and for kids so they can actually see their money growing. It makes learning, understanding and saving easier and fun for them.
Think about yearly totals and remember the easy sums to inspire you to achieve your goals. It’s very easy to work out how and when you will achieve those goals just by knowing how many pays you receive each year and totals to save each pay to get the totals you need to achieve in debt repayment or savings. It’s simple maths we can all do:
$100 each weekly pay
X 52 weeks in a year
How many goals could you cross off your list with this total amount? One big goal or a few smaller goals?
If you don’t have a lot of smaller goals and just put away the extra $100 each week and not touch it, what could you do with your extra 5K at the end of a year?
Like everything, if you’re willing to put in a little bit of effort it will pay off!
Just by knowing what you need or want to achieve then making a plan and putting it into action, you will see your goals become achievements by your results.
YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN ;)
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