10 Tips for building your savings
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10 Tips for building your savings

How to trim costs and keep more cash for yourself

With everything from the cost of food and utilities to service fees and interest rates on the rise, the idea of building your savings may feel out of reach. However, there are small things you can do to cut costs and pocket more cash without even feeling a pinch.

Of course, everyone has different priorities making some savings strategies more realistic than others. Here are just a few options to consider. The more you choose to adopt, the faster you’ll save.

 

  1. Eliminate recurring monthly expenses you don’t use

From streaming movies, music, and online publications to software, subscription box services, and gym memberships, we all have monthly costs that we once considered ‘must haves.’ However, if it’s been a while since you’ve watched a movie from a for-fee service or even longer since you thought hot yoga was, well, hot, it may be time to do an expense auditBy identifying expenses that no longer serve your needs, you can transition some of your old ‘must haves’ into ‘must go’s’ and funnel that money towards your savings. BONUS: you don’t always need to eliminate a service entirely to enjoy savings. Click here to learn more.

  1. Pay yourself first and automate your savings 

If you have auto deposit, structure it so that some money goes directly to your savings instead of all directly to your checking. You can always transfer money from checking to savings as needed, but putting it in savings first increases the chance at least some of it will stay there.

  1. Maximize the potential of three-payday months

If you receive a paycheck every two weeks, take note of the months when you get three paychecks (note: it happens twice a year). Consider allocating some of the money from the third ‘bonus’ paycheck toward paying off debt and building your savings.

  1. Commit to paying down your debt

Where possible, boost how much you put towards any existing debt. The sooner you’re free from paying interest on your debt, the sooner you can start putting more into savings.

  1. Leave your cards at home

Credit and debit cards make it all too easy to splurge and overspend. When you’re headed out to the mall, grocery store, or for a night of fun, take only the amount of cash you can afford to spend.

  1. Say ‘yes’ to rewards programs

If a business is offering you a way to earn money or savings when you spend with them, always say ‘yes.’ However, make sure you put any rewards earned toward things you really need, and not just what they’re pushing any given month.

  1. Shop smarter

Buying in bulk and using coupons are two of the easiest ways to save money on items you use regularly. Even if you’re well stocked with paper towels, if there’s a two for one coupon, seize the savings. Just don’t succumb to the allure of big savings on bulk items or high-ticket coupons for things you rarely use; especially if the item is perishable.

  1. Ask about member benefits

Whenever you’re booking hotels, rental cars, or even buying tickets to a museum or show, always ask about any discounts they may offer related to memberships. Organizations like AARP, AAA, and even many alumni associations have special pricing for members. And if you’re hesitant to inquire, just remember if you don’t ask, you can’t save.

  1. Power down to build up savings

While switching off the lights when you leave a room doesn’t seem like a big act, the truth is over time, turning off the lights and taking other steps to conserve power can add up to meaningful savings over time.

In addition to hitting the lights, be sure to power off all electronics—think your television, video game consoles, computer, etc.—when they’re not in use.  And if you have a lot of chargers—don’t we all—be sure to unplug them even when you’re not charging as they continue to draw power even when not in use.

  1. Maximize pre-tax benefits

If your job offers pre-tax employee benefits like a 401K or a Health Savings Account (HSA), strive to make the maximum contribution. These types of contributions are made with pre-tax dollars—meaning the money goes into your account before it gets taxed. Plus, with pre-tax contributions, every dollar you save reduces your taxable income by the same amount.

 

Again, even seemingly small changes can add up to significant savings and a big impact on your financial stability. The sooner you start, the bigger your savings.

 

DISCLAIMER: This article is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, investment or legal advice. 

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