Want to be a better saver? You’re in the right place. Here are four reasons you stink at saving and what to do about it.
Last week I saw a tweet from Adam at Money Savvy Daddy that said, “If you could teach your child just one money/financial lesson… what would it be?”
I love to learn what people are teaching their kids so I was eager to read the responses. Not surprisingly, many people said, “Save!” Saving is definitely important, but saving without context… how can that be successful? What are you saving for?
Back in March, we went on a road trip and J calculated how much we spent. I thought it was great for him to be able to see exactly how much a vacation really costs.
So when we went to Virginia Beach a few weeks ago, I wanted to have him calculate the cost again, with a few tweaks.
During the trip, we collected all receipts in a folder. We didn’t attempt to do any worksheets or calculating while we were away! A few days after we got home, we sat down and filled out our new and improved trip log (once all of the EZ Pass transactions posted).
This time, we divided all of our receipts into categories. We ended up with seven groups: gas, tolls, groceries, eating out/snacks, household items and lodging.
He labeled each green box with the category. Then he used a running total approach with the register. This involves:
Awhile back I came upon a question on Reddit — “What did your family teach you about money and finance?” I love these types of topics (almost as much as I love topics like, “Besides your main job, what additional income streams do you have?”). There is always a wealth of information, and it’s a great opportunity to pick up a new idea to try.
One Redditor mentioned that his family did driving vacations almost exclusively. By the time he and his brother were 10 or so, they were responsible for keeping track of the “trip binder” where they logged expenses into categories and maintained receipts. Their mom wanted them to appreciate how much things cost and think critically about if they felt things were worth the price.
What a great idea! I bookmarked it for the next time we took a trip, which was this past weekend. We went to Brooklyn for a family birthday party and to the Statue of Liberty the next day.
I put together a basic log and organized our preliminary expenses — the Airbnb that we prepaid for as well as the tickets for the Statue of Liberty. I knew we would be traveling on toll roads, so I even tried to research which tolls we’d incur (based on what roads we planned to travel).
All grand plans!
And it didn’t work at all.