It really isn’t until you find yourself in a bind and need cash quickly that you realize you should have saved that extra $30 on those shoes you didn’t need, or that extra $3 on your morning coffee. Here are just a few tips of how you can save some extra loot and build up your savings:
- If you don’t already have one, OPEN A SAVINGS ACCOUNT! Don’t save in your checking! Your more likely to spend your “savings” if every month when you balance your checkbook you see this “extra” money in there. Online banks, such as ING Direct, tend to offer better savings rates then your local banks. Before you open the account, be sure to check for monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance requirements, and although they can change at any given moment, why not shop the rate? The higher the rate the more money you earn. Who doesn’t love “free” money?
- Savings should be your priority! Pay yourself first! Set your savings goal, determine the purpose of saving.
- It’s time to figure out what you can afford each month to contribute to your savings. Saving 10-15% of your paycheck is a good place to start. But in these trying times you may not be able to do so. And that’s okay. If you are living on a fixed and very budget friendly pay you too can save. Even if you can only deposit $20 a month, $5 a week, that’s $240 a year! Might not sound like much, but $240 could get those new brakes on your car you end up needing. What’s $5 a week? If every morning you go get a coffee from one of those oh so expensive coffee shops (no names), don’t! Brew it just one day at home and there’s your $5!
- Once you’ve determined what you can afford to save every month have it automatically deducted from your paychecks or checking account. This way, its money you’ve never seen or money you have to deduct from your checkbook in order to avoid bouncing a check.
- If you receive a bonus from work or pick up some extra cash from a side job, try to deposit if not all of it, at least half of it. Most of the time its money you don’t “need” or were relying on anyway.
- After saving for a few months, its always good to reevaluate the situation. Maybe you could find an extra $5 a month to deposit. It’s okay if you went a little conservative the first time around.
- In the midst of saving, make sure you do reward yourself. Don’t strip yourself completely of extra curricular activities. You may have to watch a movie in instead of out at the theater, but you should always treat yourself. Or else, you may eventually find yourself on a shopping binge spending everything you have. Everyone should be rewarded for they’re accomplishments. And an accomplishment is saving some dough.