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How To Save Money as Police Officer or Firefighter Family

Being a first responder is a noble calling, one of service and sacrifice. Unfortunately, often this sacrifice can spill into one's finances as well. Low pay, city council not wanting to give raises, union negotiations that seem to go nowhere and result in very little pay. This is not the way it should be for those who risk their lives, but unfortunately this is the reality. Even though your income might not be as high as you would like it, there are still ways to save money.

  1. Know your income and expenses. Before you can decide how much to save each month, you need a picture of your finances. Know how much you make each paycheck, your expenses including bills, fun, debt payments, etc. Everything you spend money on needs to be accounted for. Creating a money plan or budget allows you to see where your money is going each month. Once you have a snapshot of your finances then you can see where to start in terms of savings.

  2. Budget for savings. Ideally, you want to pay yourself first each month. When you get paid, it would be best to put money aside before paying any bills. It is easy to automate this so the savings comes out automatically on the same day you get paid each month. It keeps it from getting spent on other things. If you are in a financial situation where once all your bills are paid there is nothing left each month then we need to look at how to increase your income. This is an area where being a first responder can be beneficial. There are often many opportunities for overtime! Assign this overtime money to go towards savings and don't spend it on anything else. This will allow you to begin growing your savings.

  3. Pay off your debts. Most people have large amounts of debts hanging over their heads. Car payments, credit cards, student loans. For most people these combined debt payments could be well over $1,000 per month. Imagine how quickly you could grow your savings when your debt is paid off!

  4. Make a plan. It's great to decide you want to start saving money, but you need to make a plan. Let's say your goal is to save $10,000 in one year. You would divide $10,000 by 12 months and know you would need to save $833 per month. If you get paid bi-weekly, that would mean you need to save $416 per paycheck. That might be one overtime shift for that pay period. Now you have a plan. Your plan would be to work one extra shift per pay period and to automatically transfer that money to savings.

Now that you know the steps to start saving money, it's time to make a plan and get started. If you could use some extra one on one support with your finances, please sign up for a free financial coaching consultation to see how I can help you reach your money goals and reduce financial stress.

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