With the rising costs of healthcare, housing, groceries and transportation, it is no wonder why the average American has trouble saving. Even a vente mocha at Starbucks has topped $5 per cup. By following these simple tips, you can learn how to save money regularly no matter your income or debt level.
Set Up Multiple Savings Accounts
Too many people try to pile all their money into a single checking account and then spend around the part they want to “save.” Opening multiple accounts is an easy way to visualize how quickly certain pots of money are growing or how quickly they are melting away. The process also prevents a person from robbing one future goal in order to fund another. Savings accounts can be established for emergency funds, housing down payments, Christmas gifts, vacations or other major purchases. Money may stay in one account only a few months but grow in another account for years.
Know What You Need
Developing a budget can help you see how much you spend each month versus how much you bring in. If you spend more than your net income, you may need to get a part-time job or pay off high-interest credit card debt before you can start on an emergency fund. If you spend what you make, you may be able to forego the trips to Starbucks or the monthly massages and tuck that extra cash into a savings account. Pay yourself $10 every time you choose to eat at home instead of at a restaurant. Saving just $10 per month can leave you with an extra $10,000 by retirement.
Good goals are specific and achievable. Developing a plan to set aside $250 a month does nothing for your life if you starve yourself on Ramen noodles for a couple of months and then quit saving altogether. Instead of going all out, start slowly. Save $25 out of each paycheck for three months. Then, increase the amount to $35 or $40. Stretch yourself to do what you never thought you could and watch your bank account grow.
Save on Autopilot
You won’t miss what you don’t see. Establish an automatic payment system into your savings accounts. The best option is to ask your employer to send a certain amount of money to your checking account and the rest into savings. If you cannot split your paycheck, set up an automatic bill payment to transfer money from one account to another on the first of each month.
Stash Extra Cash
Tuck away gifts, workplace bonuses and even pay raises as they come along. If you can live within your budget currently, then any extra money can be sent directly into a high-interest savings account. If you absolutely must celebrate your windfall by spending it, use 10 percent as play money and stash away the rest.
Look for Savings Opportunities
You don’t have to deprive yourself to make saving a habit. The process can actually be fun. See how low you can make your grocery bill by clipping coupons. Buy in bulk and watch how long the supplies last. Throw parties at home instead of going out. Learn a craft and then make birthday gifts. You can find endless ways to save money painlessly.
Keep It Simple, Saver
Anyone can save money with the right amount of effort, but effort is also the enemy of long-term success. For the best chance of putting aside cash on a regular basis, automate the process, cut out unnecessary distractions and make the whole process an integrated part of life. By taking a “set it and forget it” approach to money management, you will reach your savings goals in no time.