It seems that every day you turn on the TV there is a doomsday analyst telling you the economy is failing and to stockpile money under your mattress because you’re going to lose your job, retirement, house and car. It’s hard to get away from the topic of money, finances, stocks, jobs, and real estate.
Saving money is always a good idea. People generally got away from the idea of saving and became consumers to the core. We bought big screen TVs, SUVs, big houses and decided we could use a credit card as an emergency fund.
Getting into the habit of saving isn’t easy. It is a habit. It is a choice. You need to choose not to buy that TV and sock money away for the rainy day. There are a few different techniques you could try to make saving automatic and habit forming.
Most employers offer direct deposit. With this option, most will allow you to designate your paycheck into more than one bank account. Consider opening a high interest money market account and designating a percentage of your paycheck to go into it. You can’t miss what you didn’t have in your check to begin with. The hard part is not withdrawing the money from savings.
Another option would be to start paying cash for stuff. (Now for those who are addicted to credit cards, cash is the currency issued by the United States Government.) The idea here is that money is tangible. Swiping a credit or debit card doesn’t give you the realization you are spending money. You are less likely to spend money if you have to physically give it away. Another benefit to using cash is that the change left over can go in a jar. This can add up to a significant savings over time.
Some people recommend treating savings like a bill. Input it into your budget and pay it at a specific time every month. I haven’t had a whole lot of luck with this because I don’t have the willpower to do it. Something always comes up that needs to be spent on and I can figure I’ll save twice next month.
Lastly, a good way to fund your savings account is to sell stuff. While you are streamlining your finances, de-clutter your life as well. Go through your house and set aside everything of value you haven’t touched or don’t need. You may be tempted to hold on to things if you are a pack rat. Once you have sold the items on eBay, CraigsList, Amazon, etc, immediately put the money in savings.
Bottom line, it doesn’t matter how you save, just that you do.