Try these creative solutions to boost your saving power
Saving more money is a goal many of us share, but getting started can be the hardest part. Here are some practical solutions to help you put your plans into action.
1. Automate your savings
“Set it and forget it” can be a great approach to saving money. There are lots of tools available to help you automate your finances, from direct deposit to automatic bill pay and beyond. Apart from setup and occasional maintenance, these tools generally require minimal ongoing attention from you, which may make it easier to stick to your goals.
2. Try a savings challenge
If you enjoy a little healthy competition (even with yourself), try a savings challenge to jump-start your savings, either on your own or with a friend or loved one. There are plenty of options to be found online, so do a little research and pick one that appeals to you.
3. Reduce your debt
Paying off debts can help you reach your savings goals more quickly, since you’ll be lowering your monthly payments while also saving on interest. There are many different strategies for paying off debt, so experiment with what works best for you. For example, you might want to maximize efficiency and pay down your highest-interest debt first, or you may choose to build momentum by paying off your smallest debt first. Once your debts are paid, you can redirect that monthly payment toward savings and watch your balance grow!
4. Track your spending habits
One of the best ways to get started saving money is simply to pay closer attention to what you’re spending — even without trying to make changes right away. Tracking your spending helps you get a more realistic understanding of where your money goes, which can help you identify wasteful spending habits. Sometimes, just being aware of the issue can help you cut down.
5. Create a budget
Once you’ve gotten the hang of tracking your spending, you’ll have a head start on planning a budget. Creating a realistic budget will help you think more concretely about your spending and savings, which will help you stay on track to reach your financial goals.
6. Identify your priorities
Speaking of goals, knowing what you’re saving for can be a powerful motivator, especially when you’re tempted to overspend. So take some time to think about what your priorities are, and keep them in mind when deciding whether to spend or save. Whether you’re saving for a big purchase, a college education, a dream vacation, or simply to be prepared in case of an emergency, having a specific goal in mind can help you keep your spending aligned with your priorities.
7. Check your impulse buys
If you’re prone to checkout aisle whims or online shopping sprees, these types of purchases could be eating into your budget and slowing your progress toward your savings goals. However, simply swearing off impulse buys may not be a realistic goal when the temptation is strong, and it can backfire; instead, just resolve to wait 24 hours before making any non-essential purchase so you have a chance to cool off and make the decision with a clear head.
8. Designate a weekly no-spend day
Try setting aside one day each week as a no-spend day, and do what you can to avoid making purchases on that day. Even if you wind up shifting some spending to another day of the week, you may find that certain expenses are eliminated altogether. Plus, it can be a fun way to get creative and explore new ways of doing things!
9. Conserve energy
Reducing energy waste isn’t just a good for the environment, it’s good for your bank account, too. While it’s easy enough to ignore a drafty window or a rattly old air conditioner, heating and cooling loss can be a constant financial drain — especially in extreme weather. Take steps to reduce your energy spending and your wallet will thank you.
If you’ve spent years with the same providers for things like your cellphone, internet, car insurance, or credit card, you may be able to reduce your payments simply by asking for a better rate. Especially if you started with an introductory rate that has since expired, or if you are on a plan that has been discontinued, you may be paying more than you need to. Before you call, it’s a good idea to shop around and get an idea of what other companies are charging to help you weigh your options.
The information provided is general in nature and may not apply to your specific situation.