How to Create a Cash Cushion
For many of us, the idea of saving in any way, shape, or form is a daunting thought, at best. Most folks are looking for more creative ways make more money, and saving is not on the average person’s mind. However, creating a saving mindest is key to creating a cash cushion in the first place.
It’s All about Me – Pay Yourself First
One of the oldest tricks in the books to create a cash cushion is to pay yourself first and leave everything else to fall in place thereafter. By setting aside a small amount of money each pay period and doing this first before you pay a single bill, it will build a cash cushion to be proud of. If it helps, put that cash cushion out of reach – somewhere that really is a nuisance to get at – so that the temptation to pick is unattainable as well.
This is how I saved up enough money to take my girls to Disney World last year and how I’m doing it again. I put a specific pre-planned amount away out of each paycheck. It went in an envelope in the safe at work. Of course, not everyone has that option. But, figure out a place to put it and forget it so you don’t get tempted to use it.
Saving Money to Save Money
There really is no better way to save money than to actually start saving here and there on little things. Something as simple as breaking down and learning how to pump your own gas will save you a few bucks at the end of the year. Cutting coupons can add up as well. The most important thing about saving money, however, is not to simply just save and walk away. Instead, create a jar or an envelope where you discipline yourself to putting that money every time you save.
For example, if the gas station takes two dollars per week to pump your gas for you and put it on your credit or debit card, start pumping yourself and pay cash. Immediately take that two-dollar savings and put it in the jar. It may seem small and insignificant, but think about a buy one/get one free sale or double dollar coupon days. If you saved $25.00 in one week’s shopping trip, take that savings and put it in the jar. You will be amazed and happily surprised at how much saving can turn into an addiction for creating a cash cushion.
Creating Additional Income
If you are fortunate enough to find a part-time gig or make extra money doing overtime at your regular job, take that additional money and put it into a savings or cd program. You will be amazed at the end of the year how that additional income shows up as extra cash, if you discipline yourself not to touch it.
There are many ways to create a cash cushion; however, it is up to you to put in the discipline necessary to create it. If you need to, have your spouse or a best friend be your accountability partner. Every little bit helps.