Most people have a vague notion that they need to start saving more, but often have a hard time putting these thoughts into practice. Setting a specific savings goal is one of the best ways to translate those good intentions into positive results. Once you're focused on saving for retirement, a new home, a vacation or any other large ticket item, you can chart your progress and get closer to achieving your goal.
To help you arrive there faster, let's take a closer look at some savvy savings tips.
The art of smart saving
If you've ever struggled to meet your savings or budget goals, you're in good company: 60-percent of Americans don't have enough savings to cover a $500 unexpected expense without using a credit card.
Fortunately, there are some smart, everyday savings techniques you can employ to help boost your bottom line. These include:
- Paying yourself first. While it sounds simple, this is a tactic that has proven to be highly effective. You simply treat your savings and investment accounts as bills that must be paid every month. This simple psychological switch can have significant behavioral and financial benefits.
- If you buy something small or non-essential, take an equivalent amount of money and route it into your savings. Not only is this a painless way to save, you'll be surprised just how quickly is adds up.
- In the same vein, set up an automated transfer of a small amount of money from your checking account to your savings account every week or two. Automatic contributions have been shown to have a powerful effect on savings.
- Open more than one savings account. You can use the first for long-term saving and the second for purchases. Once you haven't touched any of the money in the long-term account for six months, roll it over into a money market account, a CD or your investment portfolio.
Why part of smart saving involves wise spending
It's exceedingly difficult to save effectively if you don't have your spending under control. Online shopping, in particular, is a real budget buster. It's also become staggering popular over the last few years, with most Americans doing the majority of their shopping online.
To help you keep your spending in check, consider these tips:
- Don't pay for things instantly. Instead, leave them in your checkout cart overnight. You may decide it's no longer worth it once the moment passes, or you may forget about it altogether.
- Check online for coupons or money saving apps. Many retailers also now feature their own dedicated online coupon apps that can help you save money.
- Sell your unwanted goods on eBay or Craigslist for cash, and route the extra money to your savings.
At KeyPoint Credit Union, we want you to reach all of your savings goals successfully. Part of that is setting up small, everyday ways to save money that pay off over time. By following the advice above, you can start making serious progress toward achieving your most important savings milestones.
Reach out to us today for more information about how we can help meet your savings goals.