Tips For Increasing Your Savings
If you are like most people then you live paycheck to paycheck. It doesn't have to be this way though and if you can start regularly putting money into your savings account each month then you can break this habit. Yes, I know it is easier said than done, but I have lots of ideas to help you increase your savings - without even missing the money.
Most employers use direct deposit to pay their employees. The chances are good that if you have a set dollar amount deposited directly into your savings account each pay period that you won't even miss it. You can start small and then build it up over time so that you get used to it. Another idea is to start the deposit when you get a raise. Then you really won't miss the money, but yet your savings account will grow and be a cushion for emergencies or help fund a need or want that you otherwise would not have had the money for.
Do you have a plan for your money? Otherwise known as a budget this plan will help you know exactly where your money is going. If you budget $100 for gas purchase this pay period and you end up only spending $90, transfer the extra $10 to your savings account. At the end of each pay period you can compare what you spent with what you budgeted and transfer any remaining money to savings. An alternative is to decide a set minimum to keep in your checking account. At the end of each pay period, before the next check, you can just transfer anything above the minimum you prefer to keep available. This would be less time consuming I think.
If you pay for things with cash then you should save your change. I am always amazed at how fast my lose change adds up each month. We have a jar we keep it all in and once every month or so we roll it and deposit it into our savings.
Have you analyzed your utility bills lately? If not, take an hour and contact companies like your phone, cable, internet or electric company and see if you can negotiate a lower rate. Many companies will offer a lower rate (sometimes temporarily) just because you asked. Our heating bill (we are on a budget billing plan) recently was lowered by $49. Over the course of the year that is almost $600 extra in our savings account. Even if you can get just one bill lowered by $10 a month that equals $120 a year that you can now put into your savings account.
Do you get bonuses, tax refunds, rebates, monetary gifts or other extra money? Make a plan to put a percentage of this type of extra money directly into your savings account. I won't tell you to put it all there, but even if you just put 10% into your savings it would really add up each year.
Most financial gurus will tell you to have your savings set up on automatic deposit and that you should always pay yourself first and to put money into savings each month. Of course this is ideal, but there are so many other ways to add money to your savings account. Things I have mentioned here are often overlooked and when they do occur people consider it as more money they can spend each month, rather than more money to save each month. Change your mindset and start looking for little ways that you can save money throughout the month and year and I guarantee you will be amazed at how fast it adds up.