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Five Strategies to Save for the Unexpected

by:
Alan McQuarrie

I once asked my wife, “What does the expression mean, ‘saving for a rainy day’?”  “It means that you had better be prepared to face the stormy side of life,” she said.  But what if that expression means something else?  What if ‘saving for a rainy day’ means having funds to do something great when the weather won’t let you go outside? Fear sells, fear motivates people, and fear is a lousy way to live your life.  

I prefer hope. Creating a budget that includes positive reasons for setting aside funds could be better motivation. So here are five strategies to save for a rainy day and make your life better. 

  1. Focus on a positive goal.
  2. Many people say, “I don’t have any money so how can I save?”  Saving is not about how much money you make.  Saving is about how you think.  If you choose to think negative and helpless thoughts, you will not be motivated to change your behaviour.  Saving begins with changing your thinking.  By seeing the rainy day as an opportunity to do something special, you are creating value.  By saving the few extra dollars in your pocket, you are allowing that opportunity to become a reality.  You need to change your focus from one of helpless negativity to one of hope.  Tell yourself, “I can make my future better by putting a few dollars away right now.” If you need professional help you can contact our credit counselling services to help you better manage your money. 

Develop a strategy and make it realistic.  Dieting and saving are similar behaviours.

  1. Think differently than the crowd.  Most people believe that if you have a dollar in your pocket, you should spend it.  We are bombarded by advertisements urging us to spend.  Our culture says we should have the best and have it right now.  Most people spend what they earn and then go into debt to spend even more.  The chances are, if you tell close family members that you are saving, they will pressure you to spend.  In order to be a successful saver, you have to think differently than the crowd.  You have to be able to say “yes” to saving now for something better later. 
  2. Develop a strategy and make it realistic. Dieting and saving are similar behaviours.  They require careful planning and an effective approach in order to work.  Your strategy should involve setting a reasonable weekly goal, paying yourself first before your expenses, and putting your savings out of reach.  It would be hard to walk past an ice cream sundae every minute of the day without taking a bite.  Similarly your savings should be out of easy reach until you need them.    
  3. Make a budget that includes some savings and stick to it.  It should include debt payment planning (for help repaying your debts please refer to our debt consolidation program). 
  4. Avoid impulse buying just to make you feel good.  When you save for a rainy day you will be able to make much larger purchases that will have a much greater impact on your happiness.  A new car, world trips, or a Saturday at the Farmers Market with your granddaughter are goals worth saving for. 

Setting aside funds for a better tomorrow can help you turn a rainy day into an amazing, unforgettable positive experience.  

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