Everyone wants to save more money, but it can be difficult to know how. if you’re stuck in a money rut, the following tips will help you pinpoint ways to save money and prepare for your future.
What Kind of Saver are You?
Do you enjoy saving money? Do you find it easy or difficult to set money aside? Some people find it easy to count and save their pennies, while others see that little extra and want to spend it now.
Before making a plan to save, a little self-reflection is in order. How active do you want to be in saving money? Is it better to ‘hide’ money that you’re saving so that it’s out of sight, out of mind? Or, do you want to keep an eye on every penny? Identify your spending and saving style, and plan accordingly.
Prepare for Emergencies
Figure out how much money you would need to live for months if you lost all sources of income. All of your initial saving efforts should go toward setting up an emergency fund. It is exceedingly satisfying to have an income safety net tucked away in the bank.
Create a Budget
How much do you make each month? How much do you spend? Where can you find places to spend less? Make a budget and stick to it! Not a numbers person? The great news is, there are all sorts of online and mobile apps that are designed to help you manage and save your money easily.
Find a Budgeting App
According to online reviews, these are some of the best budgeting apps:
- Digit (https://digit.co/)
- Personal Capital (https://www.personalcapital.com/)
- Mint (https://www.mint.com/)
- You Need a Budget (YNAB) (https://www.youneedabudget.com/apps/)
- Goodbudget (https://goodbudget.com/)
- Acorns (https://www.acorns.com/)
- PocketGuard (https://pocketguard.com/)
- Wally (http://wally.me/)
Learn About Saving Money
If you are interested in learning more about money, there are more outlets than ever to help you do so. Blogs and podcasts are a great place to start. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Financial Samurai (https://www.financialsamurai.com/)
- AmericaSaves.org (https://americasaves.org/)
- Dave Ramsey (https://www.daveramsey.com/)
- The Balance (https://www.thebalance.com/)
Find Savings—Large and Small
There’s always a way to save! Do you eat out five times a week? Try to cut down to three times. Get rid of expensive cable and opt for Netflix or another less-costly provider instead. Invest in a good coffee pot and travel mug and skip Starbucks. Do you have the same cell phone plan you had five years ago? Chances are you could save money by switching plans. You can even take a more significant step and refinance your car and mortgage loans. Savings are everywhere!
Pay Yourself First
If you haven’t already done so, set up a Roth IRA or 403(b) and contribute money every month directly from your paycheck.
If you feel like you are constantly depriving yourself by saving, then you will soon give it up. Set up small, medium, and large goals for yourself, and when you meet them, reward yourself. Just be careful that you don’t spend all the money you’ve saved on rewarding yourself!