Tips for Savings

Tips for Savings

When it comes to saving money, it seems everyone has advice. Some people say “pay yourself first,” While others say, “keep your change”.  In truth, there are many ways to save money, but they basically come down to one thing:

Not spending all of your income today and setting aside what you don’t spend for the future.

Here are some specific strategies and tips for saving money.  Perhaps one will provide an answer for you!

Automate your savings

If you have regular wages, consider directly depositing your paycheck and automatically transferring some of your money to a savings account each pay period.  You only have to make the decision to save once.  You will quickly adjust to those dollars being deducted from your paycheck, and before you know it, you’ll have a sizeable savings account.

Warning:  If you are at risk of garnishment, you may want to think twice before using and automatic transfer for savings.

Do you or someone you know need help setting up a savings account? Visit Bank On South Alabama to learn how we can help you!

Save a percentage of your income

Rather than saving a specific amount, save a percentage of your income.  Ideally, over your lifetime, you want to set aside 20 percent of all of your income in savings.  If you can save more, great!  If you can’t save 20 percent, save a smaller percentage.

Round up

If you write checks, trying rounding up to build savings.  How does this work?  Every time you write a check, round up the amount of the check in your check register.  This “tricks” you into savings.

 Debit Description   Amount   Balance 

 Round up Amount

 Round up Balance

1000.00

100

Rent

685.00

315.00

700

300

Groceries

98.25

216.75

100

200

Field trip fee

7.50

209.25

10

190

Gasoline

35.72

173.53

40

150

Pet food

18.35

155.18

20

130

Dry cleaning

14.20

140.98

20

110

 

Amount “Saved” 140.98 (actual balance) – 110 (round up balance)

$30.98

 

Over a few weeks, this amount can add up quickly.  You’ll also never bounce a check because you are rounding up your balance!

Save Your Change

Every few days, empty your pockets, purse, or wallet of change.  Put it into a jar.  Once a month, put the contents of the jar in your account, load it onto your pre-paid debit card and transfer it to the savings feature, or keep it in the jar.  Over time, this amount will grow.

Save Part or All of Your Tax Refund

If you get a tax refund, use it to build savings.  Even part of your refund will make a difference.  When you file your taxes, consider filing form 8888, which allow you to split your refund and direct it to accounts for saving.  You can even buy a U.S. savings bond using this form.

Save Your Raise

If you get a raise, and don’t need the additional income for necessities, save those additional dollars.  Most people allow their lifestyles to rise with their incomes.  Interestingly, the amount of debt they take on also seems to rise with their incomes.  Reverse this trend.  Put any raises you get into savings.  Use direct deposit and automatic transfer to make this happen automatically!

Sell Things

Hold a garage sale or yard sale, or sell things on one of the many online sites.  Use ALL of the money you make from selling things you no longer want or need to start or build savings.  Then add to it using one of the other strategies.

Convert Debt Payments to Savings Deposits

This one takes a little self-control, but if you manage to pay off a debt, keep making that payment to your savings.  You have already lived without spending that money.  Now, instead of using the money to pay a debt, use it to build savings.  If you have accounts at a or credit union, you can just set up an automatic transfer to savings.

Cut Spending

There are as many ways to cut spending as there are items you spend your money on.  See if you can cut back on some of those items:

  • Groceries
  • Eating out
  • Entertainment
  • Utility bills
  • Cell phone plans
  • Television and Internet plans
  • Transportation costs

But remember, you must move any savings from cutting costs into a savings account, into your pre-paid debit card, or into your sock drawer to create actual savings.

Reduce Exposure to “the Joneses”

Often, spending stems from trying to keep up with the Joneses.  No one ever admits they do this, but everyone does.  Reduce your exposure to the Joneses by limiting the amount of time looking at and listening to media that leaves you feeling dissatisfied with your life.  This may mean limiting your time on:

  • Social media
  • In front of the television, consuming both television programming and advertisements
  • Reading glossy magazines
  • Looking at catalogs

These media have an infinite number of ways to make you feel that something is missing from your life that is only a purchase or two away.  You will save more if selectively consume media.

For more ideas on saving money, visit America Saves or MySmartMoney.

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