Helpful Tips to Save Your Money and Time
Saving can seem like a pipe dream for many of us at the best times and can be the hardest thing to start saving money. While you may not have control over the economy, you do have control over your actions. You mean well and try to spend less, but something always comes up. Life somehow always gets in the way, this could be in the form of new tires for your car, braces for your child, home repairing and maintenance along with utility bills, saving money takes a back seat.
The truth is, you don’t need everything to magically line up perfectly before you start saving money. Spoiler alert: If you wait for the “right time” to roll around, it’s never going to show up. The best time to start saving is right now. Here are some things you can do to boost your chances of successfully saving money.
Budget for savings
At the heart of any savings plan is a budget. Budgeting helps you prioritize your expenditure and find a balance between spending and saving across a whole year. Once you have an idea of what you spend in a month, you can begin to organize your recorded expenses into a workable budget. Your budget should outline how your expenses measure up to your income so you can plan your spending and limit overspending.
Be sure to factor in expenses that occur regularly but not every month, such as car maintenance. It’s advisable to update your budget at least once a year. Or more frequently if your circumstances change significantly, for example, getting or losing a job, having a baby.
Clear all debts or loans
Monthly debt payments are the biggest money suck when it comes to saving. Debt robs you of your income! So, it’s about time you get rid of that debt. The fastest way to pay off debt is with the debt snowball method. This is where you pay off your debts in order from smallest to largest. Once you’re free from paying interest on your debt, that money can easily be put into savings. A personal line of credit is just one option for consolidating debt so you can better pay it off.
Set saving goals
One of the best ways to save money is to set a goal. Start by thinking of what you might want to save for, perhaps you’re getting married, planning a vacation or saving for retirement. Then figure out how much money you’ll need and how long it might take you to save it. If you’re saving for retirement or your child’s education, consider putting that money into an investment account such as an IRA or 529 plan. While investments come with risks and can lose money, they also create the opportunity for growth when the market grows, and could be appropriate if you plan for an event far in advance.
Open a savings account
By restricting access to your money, savings accounts can give you a higher interest rate than a basic transaction account. Savings accounts are somewhere you can put some or all of your discretionary income, the amount left over after paying for personal necessities and tax, and any windfalls. You can ward off the temptation to spend this discretionary money by setting up automatic, scheduled transfers from your main account to your savings account.
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