Spending is easy, saving is hard. That is a saying that is often touted. But does it really have to be that way? If you want to save up for something, do you really need to sacrifice your lifestyle? No, not if you follow a few simple steps.
1. Automate Your Savings
In financial planning circles there is a mantra, pay yourself first. In this case, yourself is your savings. Setting up an automatic amount each pay period to go into a savings account will eliminate the mental gymnastics you go through when deciding whether or not to save. If you can have your salary split into two accounts from your employer great. Otherwise, set up a direct deposit into your savings account that gets paid on the same day as your salary is deposited.
2. Cut Those Expenses on Things You Don’t Use
Are you signed up to 5 different streaming services but only really watch 3? Cancel the other two. Now this works best if you automatically add the amount of the canceled services to your automatic savings. Are you someone who pays a lot each month in bank fees? This can add up to hundreds per year.
Go through your bank statements and add up the fees you have paid. Then consider opening up a no-fee checking account to use every day, and always use an in-network ATM. Add the amount you pay each month to your automatic savings amount each pay period.
3. Windfalls – Money You Didn’t Have
We are not talking about lottery winnings here. Windfalls are things like your tax refund, a bonus, a cash gift, and anything that can be considered cost savings. A cost savings is something like refinancing a loan to a lower repayment – the difference from the current repayment is the cost savings. Add these amounts to your savings account. The jump in the balance will make you feel like you are on your way.
4. Save Your Coins and Bills
This one comes from my grandparents. Every night empty your pockets and purse of coins and small bills. Put them in a jar and when the jar is full deposit it into your savings account. You will be really surprised how quickly this adds up. In no time you will have $100 which will be a great addition to any savings account. There are many more things you can do to save money, that don’t have to totally sacrifice your lifestyle. Start with these four and you will be on your way.
5. Audit All Your Bills
Bills can add up to most of your expenses each month, leaving little money to save. Without cutting your bills or stop spending money all together (killing your current lifestyle), you can often negotiate prices with the bills and services you currently have.
You can also switch those services to another provider, saving tons of money in new customer specials or super. This is extremely helpful for things like tv, internet and phone bills. If like many people, you don’t have tv service, your for sure have an internet provider.
Learn how anyone can save on their internet bill, even without switching services.
Living Life the Same While Saving Money
Saving money can be fun, and once you develop the habit, it will help you reach your financial goals. No one likes changing their lifestyle overnight, so these are some simple, easy steps to start the process. The most important thing is to keep the things you truly enjoy.
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