These seven ways to increase your savings can give you the direction you need to meet your goals.
If you have not already taken the steps to open up an interest-bearing savings account, do so immediately. You may find competitive interest rates close to 1 percent with online savings accounts. Talk to your bank to see if they offer similar rates or can match offers from other banks. The bottom line is making sure there is some return on the money you are putting aside for savings.
Set up Automatic Transfers
You can ensure that your savings account is actually growing by setting up an automatic transfer of funds from your checking account to your savings. Even just $25 a month will add up over time and allow you to have a cash cushion for emergencies.
Another benefit of automatic transfers is your bank may waive annual fees for the accounts you hold once you sign up for a transfer program.
Eliminate Late Fees
Allow yourself the freedom to put money into savings by reducing any extra fees that you incur from careless errors like forgetting to pay bills or sending payments late. Paying your bills promptly will keep you from paying more than you need to or facing increased interest rates.
Evaluate Cellphone Costs
Increase your savings by reducing the amount you are spending on your phone. This is not to say you have to downgrade your phone or cut back your minutes. Instead, look at other places to save. Could you settle for a smaller data package? Are you regularly paying for the newest phone or a new cellphone cover whenever a fun color or design comes out? Do you constantly find yourself buying new chargers because you always lose yours? Rethink how much you put toward your phone on a monthly basis, and reallocate this money to savings.
Pay for Groceries in Cash
Switching to a cash-only diet can be a major task. However, making a change in just one area is easier. Force yourself to plan your grocery list ahead of time, and then take cash with you to buy only what you need. Knowing you will not allow yourself to exceed a cash limit will keep you from buying extra items and using money that could go to savings.
Make a Sacrifice
While paying for groceries in cash may sound like a sacrifice, it is more a lesson in controlling your spending. Take the initiative to sacrifice a luxury in your life, which could provide $10 or more a month for your savings. For the next 10 months, freeze your gym membership, Netflix account or movie theater spending. You will have $100 more in savings at the end.
As your savings account grows, you will have the freedom to make major financial decisions that will provide security in the future. Years of savings can pay off, so that you can buy a car, purchase an annuity to fund your retirement or put a down payment on a house.
The little bit of discipline you put into savings today can provide great leverage for the financial choices you make tomorrow.
Alanna Ritchie is a content writer for Debt.org, where she writes about personal finance and little smart ways to spend (and save) money. Alanna has an English degree from Rollins College.
Category: Saving Money