When it comes to saving money, it can be very hard to get started. It is particularly stressful trying to save when you are an Army family. Many times the responsibility of the finances falls on the shoulder of the Army wife simply because your husband is gone so often. It always seems that something comes up that prevents you from being able to save. The best way to keep this from happening in the future is to pay yourself first!
That’s right – you pay yourself before any of your bills get paid. You worked hard for your money and you deserve to be able to reap some of the benefits from it. Now, let me say that I am not saying don’t pay your bills so you can put 10% up. You need to be sure your bills are paid in a timely manner. But paying yourself is important too.
Aim for 10% of your bring home pay as pay for yourself. The best way to accomplish this is to have your paycheck (or his) set up on direct deposit and have 10% automatically deposited into a savings account. That way you will never see it in your checking account.
What if you don’t have 10% of your paycheck to spare? If this is the case, you need to take a good, long look at your spending habits. Living paycheck to paycheck is no fun especially if all you are paying for is the essentials and there’s no “fun” money left at the end of the month.
Check out my articles on budgeting and then look for ways to start paying yourself 10%. You may have to start at a lower percentage and work your way up. But it is possible. Not only will you have a little money put up in savings, this also gives you peace of mind because you will have a reserve in the case of an emergency.
Many financial planners recommend having six months to one year worth of your monthly budget in savings so if an emergency arises or something unexpected such as a layoff presents itself. Saving six months worth of your salary can seem daunting at first but it can be done and you will feel enormous relief knowing there is a cushion if you need it.