It’s good sense to save for a rainy day. But sunny day savings are for achieving dreams. Here are 6 steps to make financial goals to achieve your dreams!
I remember a day when saving money was simply impossible. We were barely making ends meet.
It was a stretch to have enough food to eat at the end of each month. Not being able to save for a rainy day was scary. Saving for a “sunny day” wasn’t even on our radar.
But as we’ve gained traction with our finances and have increased our income over the past couple years, it’s been exciting to see our sunny day savings become a reality. We’ve finally begun making financial goals to achieve some dreams, rather than needing to spend all our money just to get by.
What is “sunny day” savings?
Most people are just not saving, not even for a rainy day. While there are families who truly do not have the money to save, others are living beyond their means instead of saving.
While it’s important to save for a rainy day, it’s motivating to be able to save for a “sunny day” as well!
Sunny day savings are for achieving dreams.
Our Sunny Day Savings
When our firstborn was still a toddler, I heard about a new school that was starting in our town–a university model school. This type of school combines aspects of private education with part-time homeschooling. I knew I wanted my daughter to attend.
But at the time, we didn’t have any extra money to save.
With the dream to send our little girl to this school by the time she started kindergarten, I started this blog.
Guess what? It happened!
When I drove our little girl to school on her first day of kindergarten, I had a huge smile on my face. I had taken many long hours and hard work, but I had achieved my financial goal!
How to save for a sunny day:
1. Save for a rainy day first.
Dave Ramsey recommends putting aside $1,000 for an emergency fund and then at least three to six months (and some financial experts recommend up to 18 months!) of living expenses in the event of job loss or financial tragedy.
The $1,000 is for smaller emergencies, like a car breaking down, etc. We try to keep the $1,000 there at all times. So if we spend $300 on a car part, for example, we build that $300 back up as soon as possible afterwards.
Being able to save for a sunny day is possible and less stressful when you know your rainy day is already taken care of.
2. Make financial goals for sunny day savings.
This is the fun part! I knew when my daughter was two years old that I wanted to send her to the university model school. That gave me four years to make a plan to earn this extra income and save it!
When tough days came, and I wanted to give up, keeping my eye on this financial goal helped me to persevere.
For your family, it might be something completely different.
Perhaps you want to pay cash for a new-to-you vehicle.
Maybe you want to take your children on a big family vacation.
Perhaps you want to save up enough of a down payment to avoid PMI (private mortgage insurance) when you buy a house.
A friend recently told me that her financial dream is that her family will stop living paycheck-to-paycheck, so they can help other families in need. Since increasing our income, we’ve experienced so much joy in being able to give more.
Whatever your financial goals are, make sure they line up with your family’s values!
3. Make saving for your sunny day a part of your monthly budget or take on an extra job(s) to earn the income needed.
If you have enough income to meet your basic needs, put aside a little extra each month just for your sunny day dream.
If you do not have enough income, brainstorm ways to increase it in order to meet your goal. (Here are 40 ideas for making an income from home!) You can either take on a side job like teaching through VIPKID or even start your own business!
4. Put aside the money until your sunny day is a reality.
When you’re saving for your sunny day goal, it can be tempting to spend some of that money. Keeping your eye on the end goal will help you to continue to build on the savings and not touch it!
When I first started blogging, I thought it might very well take me the entire four years to save enough money to send out little girl to the school.
It didn’t take that long, but instead of spending the amount I knew we needed to send her to the school, I kept it “untouchable,” so I would have the money when school registration day arrived!
5. Pay for your sunny day in cash.
I love reading the “We Paid Cash” stories on Money Saving Mom.
If you have to pay for your financial dreams with credit, it takes the fun out of it and creates the stress of knowing you will have to pay it off later.
Imagine the freedom of being able to enjoy a vacation (or a school year or your new car, etc.!), knowing that it’s already completely paid for!
6. Enjoy your sunny day!
Once you’ve achieved your financial goal, enjoy it! And then start saving for another sunny day!