Saving money isn’t as easy as some people make it sound. If it were, everyone would have the funds to make that downpayment on a car or afford a vacation. In reality, 40% of U.S Americans don’t have the cash on hand to cover a $400 emergency. It’s important to improve how you save your money now so it doesn’t become an issue later on. Here are 5 tricks to help you start saving!
1. Follow a Budget
- It’s the easiest way to understand what’s coming in and what’s going out of your account. Start with your regular expenses like rent, car payments, or your credit card. Recording your spending for two weeks, or even just one week, can open your eyes to unnecessary spending. From there, make a plan for where you want your money to go and how you want to save.
2. Choose one expense to cut back on
- Be honest with yourself. How often do you actually use that fancy gym membership? Can you go without your cable subscription that you use to watch 2 shows? It’s okay to spend money on yourself. There’s a lot that you spend good money on because you enjoy it and that’s great. It’s important to keep yourself aware of what your spending and what unnecessary luxuries can be eliminated.
3. Automate your savings
- If you don’t know what money you have available, you can’t spend it. You can arrange for portions of your paycheck to go into savings accounts or retirement plan.
4. Pay for things with cash
- This will make it easier for you to keep your spending in check. Credit cards can be great and building credit is important but they can also lead to overspending. You don’t want to spend money you don’t have.
5. Avoid impulse purchases
- It happens to all of us. We see that dress on sale, or we’re scrolling through social media and see an ad for a neat gadget and feel the need to have it. There’s a way to fight this temptation with the 24 hour rule. The next time you want to make a purchase like this, give yourself a day to think about it. Usually, the urge to make this purchase will go away and that money you would have spent can go to the bank.