Quick Ways to Save
When it comes to personal finance, saving is always at the top of the list. Whether you are saving for a house, emergency fund, kids college funds or for other reasons, putting away the necessary can seem difficult. Below are some easy ways to save and not even realize it.
- Have your check automatically deposited. This way you never see the money yourself. You cannot miss it if you never see it.
- If you can, have your check deposited directly into your savings account. Studies show that we find it hard, psychologically, to take money out of our savings accounts than our checking accounts.
- If you can, split up the way your check is deposited. For example, automatically deposit half your check into savings, 1/8th into an emergency fund, 1/8th into a college fund and the rest into your checking for bills.
- If your bank allows this, set a continuous transfer from your checking to your savings at a certain money amount. For example, once your checking account has $150 in it, you transfer $50 into your savings.
Credit Card Tips
- If you are looking for a credit card and know that you are going to be able to pay off your balance at the end of the month, go ahead and pick the card with the higher interest but no annual fees. If you do this, make sure you can continue to pay the whole balance at the end of the month.
- Try to pay the balance at the end of the month. Do not spend excessively. This will only get you into debt.
- Take a look at your credit card interest rates. When paying down debt it is best to pay the most you can on the card with the highest interest rates and continue to pay the minimum on the others. This way you reduce the amount of interest you pay overall.
- If you pay your credit card bills on time, have a low to no balance and are a good customer, give the company a call and ask nicely if there is a way to reduce your interest rates or annual fees.
- Create a budget. By using a budget you will know exactly how you spend your money. You may not realize that you are spending $20 a week on coffee.
- Put spare change into a jar. Piggy banks with an electronic counter are great since they keep track of all that you have put into it. Instead of giving the change at the counter, add it to your jar. Set a goal for yourself, like have $100 in the jar.
- Keep receipts, bills, and other paperwork organized. This way you know where your money is going, changes in fees, and can have everything ready for tax season.
- Use online programs, such as mint.com, if necessary. They can really help keep track of your money.
- When shopping, write down a list. If you know aisles, write those down. This will reduce time spent in the store looking for your items. Only bring enough money for what you need on that list. Use coupons on items that you are already getting, not something that you want after seeing the coupon.
- Eat before going shopping. That way you will not crave something while shopping due to hunger.