Everyone should have a plan in place to save more of every dollar you earn. When you start earlier in your life to save, you can create habits to find the best ways to save more money. Saving money should be a top financial priority for everyone -whether you need to start an emergency fund, save for retirement, or save for a big purchase. Why is it often so hard for people to save? Unfortunately, saving is generally an afterthought for most people, especially if you don’t understand your current spending habits or have goals in place. However, there are tools out there to help make saving money a habit, and pretty soon you won’t even know how much you’re saving until you see how big your savings account has grown.
“If saving money is wrong, I don’t want to be right!” ~William Shatner
Create Habits to Save More Every Day
There are some easy habits to start now that can help you save money. The best ways to start are to set goals and start living below your means. When you set goals, you will identify how much you want to save every week or month. Goals also help you see what you are saving for, whether it’s an emergency, retirement, college fund for your kids, or even a vacation or new car. In addition to goals, you also need to start living below you means. If you are constantly spending more than you earn every month, you will quickly end up in over your head with more bills and not enough income to support your lifestyle.
Ways to Help You Save More
There are some great ways that can help you start saving today:
- Live below your means. If you are constantly spending more than you make, you will never be prepared for life’s unexpected events, and never be able to save and be financially independent.
- Set goals. Without goals, you won’t know how much to save every week, month, year. Identify how much you want in your emergency fund or dream vacation fund or just an amount to put towards savings every month.
- Pay yourself first. Make sure you have part of your budget allocated to savings.
- Automatically fund a savings account. Open a savings account that is dedicated to one of your goals and have a portion of every paycheck automatically fund that account.
- Track your expenses. If you have a good understanding of where your money is going, you can find ways to reduce your expenses and save even more. Mint.com offers a free tool to track your expenses, as well as put a budget together.
In order to develop a good habit of saving money, you need motivation and self-discipline. However, just like starting any new habit, starting small will make it easier. If you just start saving $10 or $20 of every paycheck automatically, you will start to see progress. If you get a raise, bonus, or save money on a large expense, put it in the bank. Remember that all the effort you make now, will pay off in the end. Good habits yield awesome results. What habits have you implemented in your life to help you save more?
“Saving requires us to not get things now so that we can get bigger ones later.” ~Jean Chatzky