Are you frustrated watching your money never add up? It seems like every paycheck disappears as soon as it hits your account, and eventually you push the idea of a growing savings account to the back of your mind. We know how critical savings can be — we want to help you reach your saving goals.
In order to bank the big bucks overtime, you have to make saving a habit.
No matter what your income or financial state, there are some simple life habit changes you can make to start seriously saving today.
Habits That Make Saving a Breeze
The first step is to actually start following that budget you made months ago. This step is absolutely crucial to reaching your savings goals. If you have never made a budget, it can feel overwhelming, so start small. Start tracking your savings: figure out how much of your paycheck each month actually goes to bills, food, or fun. Once you know where your money is going, it will be easier to redirect it.
Another tip to creating a successful budget is figuring out what your financial priorities are.
Once the bills and other necessary spending are budgeted for, what is the priority for the rest of your income? In this case, your financial priority is to save that money — by putting it immediately into your savings account. This can be as easy as depositing $10 a month into your savings account for the first few months. Making specific, attainable goals increase your chances of success. It is okay to start small to be successful in the long run. Not to mention, most banks offer savings account interest rates that help build even more money over time!
So how do you make sure that the money you want to put in your savings account doesn’t “accidentally” miss the transfer and get spent somewhere else? There are two parts to this answer, depending on whether or not you use online banking.
If you use online banking, you most likely have your paychecks directly deposited into your checking account.
There is an easy trick with online banking to help build your savings account.
With your employers permission, set up split direct deposit for your paycheck. By splitting your direct deposit between your checking and savings account, you can have 10% (or whatever number you have decided) of your income automatically transferred to your savings account and the rest put in your checking for regular spending.
If you do not use online banking, putting money in your savings account is just as easy: pay yourself.
By taking the amount you want put into savings out of your paycheck, you are paying yourself by investing in your future.
Without the convenience of automatic transfers, discipline and habit are important. Every time you are handed a paycheck, take the amount you want put into savings and do not include it in your monthly spending budget. Thinking of this as “paying yourself” will help make the smaller spending budget feel less stressful.
Needs, Wants, and Rewards
The next step can often be the most difficult. If you are struggling to find the extra money to build up a savings account, it’s time to think about cutting down on excess spending. Obviously this does not mean sacrificing electricity or food just to put money into savings. Think more along the lines of all those nights during the week that you go to a restaurant or stop for an overpriced latte in the morning.
Temporarily decreasing the amount of unnecessary money you spend allows you to put more money in savings now.
Never eating at a restaurant again is nearly impossible to ask. That’s why occasionally rewarding yourself is as important as limiting spending. But you have to be careful here — excess spending disguised as rewards does not a growing savings account make.
If you don’t want to give up your luxuries, but still want to grow your savings account, it may be time to look for a second job to help make ends meet until you are financially back on your feet.
No matter how you choose to go about building your savings account, these easy tips are a great way to start. Nothing is going to happen overnight, but with careful planning and dedication, you can start saving today.