Well, i’m feeling down that I haven’t blogged since last Friday. That’s almost a full week! It seems life is getting in the way of our FIRE-y activities. Our side hustle efforts this month have been minimal. We’ve been tracking budget items in YNAB, but reducing expenses has been tough in advance of the Christmas holiday.
In an effort to prevent this post from becoming a blog pity party, let’s talk about Savings Rates! Last month was abysmally low after doing the calculations. Today I tried out a new podcast called Afford Anything. Which I quite enjoyed! The first episode I tackled was an older episode from 2016 – “Habits we Rock to Kick Ass and Grow Wealth“.
Hosts Paula and J. Money go over some of their favorite financial habits that have been contributing to their FI success. One that peaked my interest was the 1% rule. Paula encourages her clients to try to increase their savings rate by 1% of their income per month to help them reach savings goals. Rather than freaking out and saying “HOW do people save 50% of their income to achieve FI!??!” and just giving up, the suggested method is instead try to gradually increase the amount you save in small increments. For example, if you make 2,000 a month, save an extra $20 this month. Next month, save an extra $20 on top of that. If it’s not feasible, try 1% every 2 months. Starting small is still starting.
As a family, we saved about 6% last month. This includes retirement savings, RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) for the kiddo, Emergency savings, and sinking funds for things that will eventually need to be purchased. With a bit of effort we should be able to easily bump this up to 7% for November. Granted, YNAB tells me I have no extra money for this, so we may have to try and side hustle our way to an extra 1% in the next 9 days. Alternatively, we could find something else to cut from the budget to reach the goal, such as deferring some Christmas gifts or pushing out that new furniture purchase.
I’m going to bring up the idea of the 1% savings rate in tonight’s family planning/budget meeting to see what Hubs thinks of the idea. Unfortunately we haven’t met since early October, despite me scheduling us multiple times on the calendar. Something else always comes up, or we forget, or maybe neither of us seem particularly keen to force him into it. I’m going to break out the cookies and hot chocolate in the hopes of enticing him! Except we’re on a health kick as of yesterday, so we’ll need to have “healthy” cookies and low calorie hot chocolate-flavored-water.
So, how can you increase your savings rate by 1% of your income this month? Tell me your ideas in the comments!