Time to Save
While some of us are spenders, others savers, most of us fall somewhere in between. Can you account for where your cash goes, or do you frequently find yourself wondering exactly where your money goes each month? The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do to save money starting today.
Here are just a few of them.
- Decide what you’re saving for. It’s a lot easier to forego lunch out, or an impulse buy if you have your end goal clearly in mind. If you are saving for retirement, a trip, or just financial freedom, spend some time visualizing your goal and giving it some specific details so that you have clear motivation to stick to a budget.
- Have money automatically deposited into your savings account. If you don’t see it, you won’t miss it. Start small and ramp up as your goals change.
- Take advantage of any retirement plan benefits your employer may offer. If your employer matches 3% of your savings, be sure to save at least 3%, or you’re leaving money on the table.
- Set a reachable goal, such as $20.00 a week. Hitting that goal will give you the confidence to continue toward your larger goals.
- Don’t disregard change. Start a piggy bank for your loose change or use your bank’s rounding-up process, where all purchases are rounded to the nearest dollar, and the leftover change is placed in a designated account. You’d be surprised how quickly this adds up.
- Stop buying things on impulse. If you see something you absolutely have to have, wait until tomorrow. Chances are that item is no longer as desirable as it was 24 hours ago. If it is still top of mind the next day, see where it fits into you budget.
- If you typically spend $10.00 for lunch three times a week, that adds up to more than $1,500 annually; $2,500 if you eat out every day. Keep one day a week for eating out and bring your lunch the other days.
- Same advice goes for dinner. It’s so easy to have takeout rather than making an entire meal after a long day at work, but if you commit to eating dinner out less, you’ll have a lot left over for that dream vacation. Consider preparing meals in advance, so it’s less tempting to grab food out.
- Use coupons. If you don’t have to pay full price, don’t. Coupons are everywhere – take advantage of them.
- Examine all of your credit card statements to ensure that everything is accurate. Credit card companies are good at reversing erroneous charges, but you have to bring it to their attention first.
- Take a look at your billing statements for hidden fees. Cable and cell phone bills in particular often have numerous fees included. Make sure that any fees included in your bill are accurate.
- Make sure your home is saving you money as well. Keep the blinds or curtains drawn during the day to keep the room cooler and save energy in the process. Make sure your windows and doors are weatherproof. Keeping your home a little warmer in the summer and a little cooler in the winter will also significantly reduce energy bills.
- Consider walking, biking, or using public transportation instead of your car, if feasible. You’ll save money on gas and parking fees, while keeping mileage down.
- Stop smoking. Not only will you save your lungs, you’ll save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. And your breath will be a lot fresher.
Whatever your goal, why not start saving today?
*This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. Individuals involved in the estate planning process should work with an estate planning team, including their own personal legal or tax counsel. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a representation by us of a specific investment or the purchase or sale of any securities. Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets. This material was developed and produced by Advisor Websites to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. Copyright 2021 Advisor Websites.