Making Sense of Saving Cents: How YOU Can Start Saving TODAY
Last week, we discussed a few reasons why people find it difficult to save money. Are you one of those people that
Save a Little at a Time
Remember putting all of those coins in your piggy bank as a kid just to save up for that new toy you wanted? The same can apply to your savings account. Transfer $10 a day into your savings (about the same amount as that bagel and coffee at Starbucks) and by the end of the year, you’ll have saved $3650. Or maybe you automatically have $100 from your paycheck each week. Take your savings goal, divide it by 365 days or 52 weeks and start saving.
Coupons, Coupons, Coupons
There have never been more places to get coupons. You can find them in the Sunday paper, on store-sponsored apps such as Target’s Cartwheel, and on websites like Groupon. Take advantage. Believe it or not, those small discounts can add up quickly and what you save can be set aside for a rainy day. (Hint: You can actually ask your favorite companies to actually send you more coupons if you have specific brands you prefer.)
Sustainability Goes Both Ways
If you haven’t been paying attention, sustainable energy has been a big topic among politicians and scientists alike. No matter which side of the climate change argument you are on, sustainable energy can also help you have sustainable financials. Adding a solar panel to your home, for example, can help bring down your electric bill. In fact, if you live a sunshine filled area, you could be creating so much energy that the electric company will have to pay you back.
Research: Know What You Want and What You Need
This goes back to the question, “Do you need that new iPhone?” Say, maybe you do need a new phone or computer. Make a list of everything you really need for your next big purchase and maybe set aside a few things you would just love to have like a good camera or a responsive keyboard, Now, do the research. More than likely, there’s a much better, more inexpensive option that will help you save for the future.
Make a Budget and Stick to It!
Finally, the best thing you can possibly do is make a budget and stick to it! Use an app like Mint to help you keep track of your spending habits and warn you when you’re going over. You can’t start saving efficiently if you don’t have a plan. (Hint: If you’ve tried and failed with budget apps in the past, try an envelope budget. Write yourself a check and cash it. Put that cash in an envelope and write “groceries” on the front. That is all you’re allowed to spend. Sometimes, physically seeing your budget will help you realize what you can afford to spend.)