Having readily accessible cash on hand is one of the most important things that you can do to protect yourself in the event of an emergency or loss of employment. Unfortunately, due to growing costs of monthly bills, saving often gets put on the back burner. If you find yourself having difficulty putting away money for when you need it most, or to save for your future goals, try the tips listed below.
Set Up Your Savings Account
You may be less inclined to save without having an established savings account. Many banks will now allow a low balance to maintain a savings account so get one started even if you don't have much to put in. We like using online banks like Discover, yes the credit card company is also a FDIC insured bank! They even offer a higher interest rate (5X the national savings average!), no balance requirements, and no monthly fees.
Schedule Automatic Deposits to Your Account
Putting money away before you have access to it is the easiest way to facilitate savings. Set a specific amount of your paycheck to deposit directly into your savings account even if you can only part with a small portion each week. Paying yourself first should be a priority! Treat this savings just like your retirement contribution.
Savings is very difficult if you don't have a proper budget. Create a budget that includes all your expenses as well as the amount you want to put away into savings each month and stick to it no matter what. This is most likely the hardest part to accomplish, but we have a great online tool to use called MyPFO. It aggregates all of your financial accounts so that you can keep track of your expenses as they occur. Check out our video about MyPFO here.
Find Ways to Cut Costs
There are numerous ways to cut costs in your home and during the course of your daily life. Make sure to conserve energy when you can by unplugging unnecessary electronics and reduce your energy costs by practicing energy conservation techniques. Or use public transportation instead of using Uber or Lyft to get around. A favorite cost cutting tip of mine is to find inexpensive or free entertainment ideas like local music festivals or art fairs. Also, you can cut out expensive lunches at work by packing your lunch, this can also be an easier way to eat healthy!
Ditch Unnecessary Memberships
Think a gym membership will pay for itself? Think again. Seemingly unnecessary memberships like this can add up to a significant amount of money throughout the year. While there are many free ways to get the exercise you need, for the amount you spend annually on memberships you could afford to purchase a piece of exercise equipment to get you through the winter months when outdoor activities may be prohibitive. Check out other subscriptions to see if you are utilizing them every month, has it been awhile since you used your hulu, netflix, or spotify account? It may be time to ditch those services to save a bit more!
Do It Yourself When You Can
Many of the minor home and vehicle repairs you may encounter can be easy to do yourself. Research fixes that are easy and safe for you to do and take care of these minor issues on your own which can save hundreds of dollars in maintenance calls and repair charges. Check out YouTube for how-to videos, this can also be a fun inexpensive way to learn a new skill!
Don't be afraid to look for a bargain. When shopping for items like clothes you will find that you can get up to five times the number of pieces for the same price as one outfit by shopping at garage sales and thrift stores. The added benefit is that if your clothes become damaged, you will not be upset about the loss of money.
Take Advantage of Reward Plans
There are reward plans available for almost any type of shopping. Gas stations, grocery stores, online shopping and clothing shops almost always offer some free reward program just for signing up. While these savings can seem minimal at first, they can add up over time. Check out your credit card rewards to see if you can take more advantage of your monthly spending habits. Just be mindful of how much you spend each month so you can always pay off your bill at the end of the month.
Put Away Your Loose Change
Oftentimes loose change is forgotten or discarded due to its low value. But if you sit down and think about how many times you get a few cents here and there, you may realize those pennies can add up to a lot over time. Designate a place for your change and once it is filled bring it straight to your savings account. This is an easy way to save every month especially if you have decided to try a cash only diet on a monthly basis. Get a mason jar and see your savings grow!
Plan Your Meals
Planning your meals can help you save money in a number of ways. First, you will be able to reduce the number of trips you make to the grocery store and secondly you will be able to buy more items in bulk which will account for a lower per piece price. Another added benefit of meals is you are less likely to spend money on take-out when you can't think of what to have for dinner.
Grab hold of your savings destiny by trying some of the tips above to help grow your savings to prepare you for an emergency, a loss of wages, or just provide you with savings to start planning for your future.
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.