It is easy to talk about how important it is to have a savings account along with the financial security it brings. But it is often much more difficult to put these wise words into practice.
If you would like to save for your upcoming wedding, your child’s future college expenses, your retirement fund, an emergency fund or any other big expense you know you will need to cover, there are a lot of different ways to do it. Some people think that they do not have enough money to pay all of their bills let alone start saving for anything else. While living on a strict budget is always tricky, making your saving goals one of your top financial priorities will put you on the path towards saving. Consider trying any of these nine every day money saving tips to finally start saving for your future:
Prioritize Your Spending and Separate Your Accounts
When you have come up with a budget for how to save for your desired financial goals, you will want to make sure you are giving each category the financial weight it deserves. For example, if your biggest financial goals are to save for retirement, your child’s university fund and a cushier emergency fund, then make sure these three buckets are getting proportionate amounts of your saved income. It may be helpful to open a separate bank account for your different goals so that the sums stay separate from your spending money.
Skip Cards, Use Cash
While it might have been all the rage to pay for everything by credit card in the past, today it is recommended that you shy away from the plastic if you are looking to save some money. Studies have shown that it is easier for people to overspend with a card than it is with cash, presumably because of the difference created by actually seeing your cash “disappear” and having access to much higher amounts of your money at any given time. If you use cash, then you are limited in your spending by the total amount you have in your pocket. For some people who worry about being stuck somewhere with no cash left, keeping an emergency credit card in the back of your wallet should calm your fears but hopefully still dissuade you from swiping your money away.
This is the age of technology. There is no reason for you to be left behind as new and more helpful forms of financial tech are released every day. If you are not already familiar with your bank’s online version, then become acquainted. Look into how many of your bills can be set up for automatic withdrawal so that you never have to worry about missing a payment (and paying those hefty fees) ever again. You can also probably make it so that a certain proportion or amount of your regularly deposited paychecks are divided between two or more of your accounts, so you will not even have the opportunity to be tempted to spend money that should be dedicated towards one of your future financial goals.
Start Playing the Points Game
If you have not already got a credit or debit card that gives you award points, then start looking into one. There are several different types available through dozens of banks, so odds are you can find a credit card that suits your needs. Credit card points can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in hotels, airfare, restaurant bills, transportation and many other activities once you have accumulated enough points. In most cases, credit cards with point benefits offer you a sign-up bonus and then allow you to accumulate more points by spending money on the card, with offers for extra points occurring rather frequently. It may take a little while to get a hang of how points work, but once you do you will be poised to save more than you expect. However, this tip will probably only be helpful for money savers out there with decent or good credit scores.
Levy a Luxury Tax on Yourself
One popular money saving method is to impose a sort of luxury tax on yourself. Any time you spend money on something you consider to be a “luxury,” you have to put an equal amount (or some other percentage) of funds into your savings account. In this way, you might think twice before spending money on something unnecessary or at least save a few extra dollars if you decide to go ahead with the purchase anyway. Another way to levy a luxury tax is to round up on all luxury purchases, putting the difference between the bigger number and the smaller number into savings. For example, say you spend $147 on a new outfit, so with this luxury tax you could round up to $200 and put $53 into your savings. You should choose whichever method works best for you. If you are a parent, learn money-saving tips here.
Save on Household Costs
There are tons of ways that you can cut back on your housing costs, starting by seeing how you may be unnecessarily wasting energy or water. Check your home for drafty windows and doors, leaky pipes, faulty air conditioners and whatever else you use regularly that could be blocked or otherwise prevented from working at full capacity. Switch your light bulbs for energy efficient light bulbs, which may cost more to buy but will definitely save you money in the long term. Along the same lines, putting sun protection on your windows if living in a warm climate or an extra layer of glass if living in a colder region may be able to cut down significantly on your overall heating or cooling needs. Also, consider not allowing energy to be wasted in rooms or parts of the home that do not get regularly used.
Look Into Your Subscriptions
Now that digital subscriptions have become ubiquitous, many of us find ourselves paying multiple monthly plans that we are unable to keep track of. Some of you may still be getting newspaper or magazine subscriptions mailed to your homes, material that could be received online at a fraction of the cost if not for free. If you have a traditional cable subscription for your television, then you probably are paying a lot more than you need to watch the few channels you regularly enjoy. You will probably find that you are spending money on subscription services every month that you and your family do not use. These are great opportunities to save some extra money every month without adding anything to your income portfolio. Discover other ways to minimize your daily costs here.
Consolidate Your Loans or Refinance Your Mortgage
If you have significant credit card debt or education loans, then consolidation may be able to save your family a great deal of money depending on the interest rates you signed up for when you originally received the loan and the current interest rates at the time of consolidation. Even when consolidating your debt does not save you a great deal of money, it makes paying your bills that much easier by combining all of your monthly bills into one regular payment. Along the same lines, those with a mortgage may want to consider refinancing their loan for a better interest rate or lower payments.
Get a Side Hustle
Do not underestimate the impact of a good side gig. There is an ever-growing number of people who supplement the income they receive from their primary jobs with money earned at a second job, otherwise known as a side hustle or side gig. If you have a bit of free time, then getting a side gig can be a fun and simple way to turn your hobby into a money-making machine or simply earn a few extra bucks every week. Whatever your aim, side gigs can also help you diversify your personal portfolio of experience and contacts, possibly setting you up for new work opportunities in the future. Find out how much money you should be saving here.
By Mathew Sams –