A Micro Saving Plan Anyone Can Manage
A straw a day makes a bale of hay.
Follow this easy and accessible weekly savings plan to save over £650 by the end of the year with almost no effort.
There are lots of ways to save money, from the cash sweep to the transaction roundup. Each has advantages and disadvantages, and I tend to draw attention to those that trich you into saving without having to make any ongoing conscious decisions.
This method is different. It requires you to make a conscious effort to save a little bit of money in a pot every week for a year. It’s a common and popular method because it’s easy to understand, it’s even easier to keep track of, and you do it with physical money rather than some savings account.
If you follow this advice, then you will have £689 sitting on a box in your home by the end of the year.
Ready? Here we go.
An Incremental Savings Plan
This is a savings plan that starts very easy and get slightly less easy as you go through the year. At it’s very hardest, it will require you to find £26 in one week.
First let’s start by finding a box to keep this money in. Make sure it has a lid, and make sure you have somewhere safe (and out of reach of children) to put it.
To start, take 50p and put it in the box.
There. That’s the first week’s savings taken care of. It cost you less than the price of a chocolate bar.
Every week you will put 50p more than the previous week in the box. That means you have until this time next week to find £1.00. The week after, you’ll need to find £1.50. This carries on for 52 weeks until, during the last week of the plan, you’ll have to put £26 in the box. That last £26 will bring the total in the box to £689 exactly.
Not only will this allow you to save money by spreading out the pain, but it will give you the time to gradually figure out how to free up this cash every week. Since it starts gently and gradually becomes more challenging, you have plenty of time to adapt.
It’s very important that you keep track of your progress. That’s how you motivate yourself to keep going.
To help you with this, there’s a very simple printable sheet you can use, which you can download from the link below.
The first sheet is a set of instructions. The second sheet shows the calculation to get to £689 and the final sheet is a simple tracker you can pin to your noticeboard or fridge. You can cross each week off this board as you advance.
You should resist any temptation to count the money before the end of the year. In fact, the box should only come down from its safe place, and should only be opened, when you put money into it. Then you should quickly close it and put it back in it’s home. You can count the money when you’re finished. Something to look forward to if you’re into that kind of thing.
Why It Works
This kind of savings hack isn’t about distracting you from the effort. It works because it makes the savings goal an achievable challenge you can rise to.
It can be made to work better if you already know what you’re going to buy with the money. Visualizing your goal, thinking clearly about what the money will be spent on, is a strong motivator.
You should (of course) not spend the money until you have finished saving it. Only after the challenge is over should you consider the money to be a spendable resource.
If you’re interested in Financial Independence, then you should also consider putting that money into a savings account at the end of the year so that it can add to your total and shorten your path to freedom.
By making the entire exercise deliberate but not too hard, you can trigger a sense of achievement as you progress to your goal. That sense of gradual success has a strong influence on our behavior, and if we can learn to enjoy it, we can use it to discipline ourselves and to stick to a plan.
I’d love to know how you get on, please feel free to drop me a message or comment below if you use this hack.
Here is a downloadable file you can use to track your progress towards the £689 savings goal.