A testimony from Sue who blogs at SueSundstrom.com
About 2 years ago, while I was working full time, my husband and I decided to put aside a regular portion of my salary toward a savings fund. Although it was tempting to spend the money, we knew it was a responsible and right thing to do to make sure we had a good sized ‘emergency fund’ in place.
So a few months into 2013, we set aside £1,000 (about $1,560) every month into this savings fund. By the end of the year, we’d done it! We had £10,000 in the fund.
In 2014, after finishing my work contract, I found myself thinking about something I’d wanted to do for years – to become a coach, as I have a passion for helping people. I found a very comprehensive course, which involved a fairly large investment of both money and time, but would enable me to become a qualified transformational coach.
If it weren’t for the savings that we had built up, I would not have been able to take that course, and probably wouldn’t be a coach today!
We paid cash for the course and I started it in August 2014, completing it end of January this year.
We achieved our goal by doing a number of things:
– We set a specific goal to have £10,000 (about $15,600) in our emergency fund by the end of the year, and tracking our progress kept me motivated.
– We set up a direct debit so transferred the money straight into a separate savings account as soon as my salary had been paid. This was crucial – if the money was left in our current account, we would have found something to spend it on!
– I did weekly meal planning and bought only the groceries we needed for that week. It reduced the habit of buying things just because they caught my attention – that would result in spending more than I intended. I would buy only the items on the grocery list created for the week’s meals. Also I often ordered groceries online, and this reduced impulse buying.
– During that year I read very few magazines, kept no catalogues in my home and barely ever went window shopping. Magazines have many adverts and images in them that cause us to ‘aspire’ to get more. Same with catalogues. Window shopping makes you aware of all the items on offer and makes you want things you don’t need! I am a person who gets drawn by ‘shiny’, new things, so curbing those distractions by not feeding myself with them via magazines and catalogues really helped me stay on track.
– I read blogs and books on personal finance which inspired me to keep saving rather than spending. Goals help me to keep going when the initial excitement of something wears off and the going gets tough.
It felt so good at the end of that year to know that we’d achieved our goal!
Sue Sundstrom is a coach for women who want more out of life. She is on a mission to help women achieve their goals and live a life of significance, all whilst enjoying a sense of adventure and fun! She can be found blogging on parenting, family fun, productivity and goal setting at SueSundstrom.com.
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I thought the 10000 was supposed to be an “emergency fund” not a “go take a course fund.” So now they are back to zero in emergency fund? Maybe Im missing the point here.
Sue Sundstrom says
Thanks for reading and for the comment – and no, we’re not back to zero, happily – we used a portion of the fund. The point of the fund was for unplanned expenses and/or opportunities that came up – rather than a ‘long term’ savings fund for retirement/child’s education etc. But thanks for pointing out the distinction, perhaps my wording could have been clearer. We are building the fund up again 🙂
Reelika @Financially Wise On Heels says
Congrats, well done! I always admire people who stick to their goals and do anything to achieve them. Your last tip is SO important, because books are always adding value and teaching something new. I wasn’t much a reader before, but lately I try to read as much as possible, especially about personal finance, entrepreneurship, growing my net worth and inspiring life stories.
Thanks for sharing your story!
Sue Sundstrom says
Thank you Reelika for your kind words. I love books 🙂 And so true, they really help us gain knowledge we didn’t have before – I also find when I read books on the subject/area I want to improve, it helps motivate me (aka kick me in the rear-end!). xxx