A poll released by GOBankingRate last year revealed 69% of US citizens have under $1000 in savings. And 45% of the respondents said they had no savings at all.
A few of the main reasons why many people find it difficult to save:
- Most people are living paycheck to paycheck
- Some have an overwhelming amount of debt
- Others are not keeping track of their monthly outgoings
- While an immense portion value spending money over saving it
To get your savings in order and begin creating a cushion of money to fall back on when you need it, here are 16 tips and tricks that can make saving easier.
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Once you get your paycheck, it may be tempting to spend it straight away and think about saving some after. However, this way of thinking can cause your money to wither away quickly, which will eventually leave you with nothing left over to save at the end of the month.
Instead, it may be better to prioritize saving before spending by setting up a standing order to a savings account.
Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving. – Warren Buffett
This way, a lump sum of savings will be automatically transferred from your paycheck each month. In turn, removing the temptation to spend all of your money.
Use Savings Apps
There are plenty of mobile applications out there that can help you save money. For instance, Digit uses algorithms to work out, based on your bank’s income and outgoings, how much you can comfortably afford to put in the Digit savings account.
Any savings are automatically moved to the Digit banking account and build up over time.
Record Savings Goals
Your savings goals could be anything from small savings aims like saving for a new TV. Or larger goals, like saving for the kid’s college fund.
Alongside your goals, think about and note down why these savings goals are important to you. Setting yourself reasons to save will give you the motivation to work towards your goals.
Also, record your goals somewhere you can see them to remind you what you’re saving towards and why. Most banking apps allow you to create savings goals, with an amount and time frame to save towards.
As you edge closer to completing your financial goal, you’ll be able to see the progress recorded on the screen. This often makes people feel accomplished and gives them the drive to carry on putting money away.
Join Cashback Sites
An easy way to save money as you shop is by joining cashback sites such as;
You can sign up to these sites for free with your email and a bank of your choosing.
Whenever you need to buy something, you visit the cashback site to see if the retailer you want to buy from is offering cashback.
You then click on the retailer on the cashback site to make your purchase. The cashback site will record your transaction and eventually upload any cashback you have earned to your account.
Cashback sites are ideal for occasions like Christmas when you need to buy lots of gifts. And any money you make back, you can add to your savings fund.
With overwhelming debts and not enough paycheck to cover your outgoings, saving money may seem like a distant dream.
If this is the case for you, bankruptcy could be an option worth considering. Bankruptcy is a big decision to make. And so, sourcing legal help on this matter is wise.
Without paying off or getting rid of your debts, saving is difficult to do. To begin a path toward saving money, bankruptcy might be a beneficial step for you to take to eliminate previous debts.
Low-interest rates make saving money look bleak. But if you do your research, you may be able to find a good savings account.
Venture beyond your current back and compare savings accounts online to see what’s on offer. Sometimes, accounts requiring a regular monthly minimum payment for at least 12 months provide the most decent rates.
If you find it challenging to save. Making money from your existing savings is a great incentive to reap the benefits of how your savings can make you free money.
Unexpected Lump Sums of Cash
There may be an unforeseen occasion when you receive a lump sum of money, such as a tax rebate, inheritance, or a refund from your energy provider.
If this happens to you, while it may be tempting to spend it, consider keeping it in a savings account.
This extra cash will give your savings cushion a real boost. And chances are you won’t miss the money once it’s banked because you’re accustomed to living on your monthly income.
Sell Unwanted Belongings
A quick and easy way to make money to bump up your savings account is by selling your unwanted belongings.
What you may think is junk in your attic, others will think is worth paying money for.
Here are a few platforms you can list your things and begin making some extra cash to add to your savings pot.
- Facebook Marketplace
- Ruby Lane
Setup A Side Gig
Setting up a side gig is a great way to amp up your income, giving you a lump sum of money you can stash away for a rainy day.
Below are a few things you could try;
- Sell handmade goods online
- Online tutoring
- Virtual Assistant
- Mystery shopper
- Dog walker
- Be a blogger.
- Create a youtube channel
Make A Plan Before You Shop
Whether food shopping or heading to the store for some new clothes. Make a list before you hit the shops, a budget for each item, and a plan of which shop(s) you need to visit. This will help you stay on course when shopping and only get what you need.
Browsing gives rise to temptation, which can cause you to buy extra things that you don’t need. But, if you make a list before every trip to the store, you’ll save a lot of money each month.
Curb Impulse Buys
To prevent spending outside your budget so that you can save money. Ask yourself these questions every time you go shopping; Do you need it? And could you borrow it from a friend?
By answering these questions, you can stop unnecessary impulse buying, which, over time, costs you a lot of money that you could be saving.
Sell One Vehicle
We’re a part of a nation that is mostly devoted to having two vehicles on the drive. But when you think about how much you use them both, is having two necessary? Or could you save a lot of money by letting go of one car?
If you’re unsure whether you can live without a second car, try committing to just using one car for two weeks. And see how it works with getting to work and dropping the kids off at school etc.
If it’s feasible, it may be worth selling the second vehicle. In turn, you’ll save money on insurance, tax, petrol, and maintenance fees. And you can redirect this money each month into a savings account.
Locked Savings Accounts
So there should be a lump sum of savings you can easily access in case there’s an emergency. But, beyond that, think about piling any extra savings you make into an account that’s difficult for you to access.
In doing so, if you feel tempted to dip into savings, the process of doing so will be very challenging. And you’ll more than likely lose the motivation to close your entire savings account for the sake of drawing out, for example, $20.
Phone contracts, much like leasing brand new vehicles, have become the norm.
It’s common to buy a brand new phone that costs over $700, spread over a 24-month agreement, with interest and an expensive phone plan piled into the monthly fee. And then, when the contract is over, we often upgrade to the next model and pay the same amount, if not more, all over again.
But, think about how much you could save if you bought a decent smartphone outright. Perhaps one with a lesser-known name that still provides all the features you want.
Or chose not to upgrade at the end of your contract and purchased a monthly sim contract instead. You’d save hundreds of dollars every year!
This tip is worth considering if you want to make more room in your income each month to save money.
With the tips and tricks above, saving money is easier to do. And when you begin to see your emergency fund, holiday fund, or deposit to buy a new home build-up, it will give you the motive to carry on.
Savings will allow you to live a financially secure life and gives you peace of mind when an expensive, unexpected incident arises. And that kind of comfort and reassurance is priceless.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.