Just like the flowers are beginning to bloom, you’re here because you want to see your savings account grow. With inflation rates at an all-time high and market volatility, there’s no better time than now to get creative and find ways to save.
Whether you’re trying to get by paycheck-to-paycheck or have some extra cash to spare, it is certainly possible to stretch your dollars out. This list of savings tips has been created to help you get started saving because oftentimes, that’s the hardest part.
Tips to Save
As with anything you set out to achieve, your first step should be setting your goal. This way, you have something concrete to work towards. When it comes to saving money, you can break down your goals into both short-term and long-term projections.
Let’s take a look at what this means in practice.
Short-Term (1-3 years)
- An emergency fund (this should be roughly 6 months’ worth of funds to cover living expenses, but can range from 3 to 9 months depending on your situation)
- Down payment for a car
- Funds for new furniture
- Car lease funds
Long-term (4+ years)
- Down payment for a home
- Retirement funds
- College fund for children
Depending on what you’re saving for, there are different types of investment options that you can also consider. While you always have the safe option of stowing your money in a bank, the upside of doing so will depend on interest rates. When interest rates are low, you may not see your money grow. For your long-term goals, it may be more doable to take a riskier approach since you may have more time to regain any potential losses over time.
Knowing how to manage and save starts with monitoring your money. It could be helpful to conduct your own audit and make a list of what you spend each month. This is different from creating a budget, but it will work towards helping you understand your finances. This exercise will also help you to develop your budget more accurately and reasonably. When you know where you are spending, you can know where you can make cuts to save more.
Debt creates extra expenses through the interest that you may want to avoid. If you’re spending money on a credit card, be sure that you try and pay them off in full every month. To do so, you’ll want to create a budget. Check out this post for tips on how to budget like a pro.
There are many automated tools that are designed to help you save. For example, you can use an app like Acorns®. Acorns invest spare change with its tool called Round-Ups. The extra change goes into a low-interest ETF (electronically traded fund) to control risk for its users. This is just one example of an app that you can use to save money without having to even think twice.
When it comes to healthcare costs, finding ways to save can seem impossible. It may seem counterintuitive, but consider getting your routine and preventative healthcare in order so that you can catch any issues before they advance (and end up costing more in the long run, too). Additionally, when you have to buy healthcare items or prescriptions, you can buy generic, which typically has the same ingredients without the brand name label. In turn, generic may cost less than their branded counterparts.
Utilize Utilities Wisely
Did you know that you could save roughly 5% on your energy bills for every 10-degree reduction in temperature on your water heater? And, by keeping blinds closed during the day, you can maintain a cooler temperature without having to run the air conditioner. Not sure how else you can reduce your energy costs? You can contact your gas and electric company for either a free or low-cost energy audit to find out ways that you can save on your utility bills. Summer is coming up fast, so now is a great time to get it done.
Employee Matching Programs
It’s never too early to start saving for retirement. Compound interest makes a lifetime of a difference, literally. Find out if your employer matches your retirement plan. Some employers may provide a retirement matching program, which means that whatever you put in, they put the same contribution on your behalf.
Check Your Insurance
It’s spring cleaning time. While you get rid of your old clothes or things you don’t use, consider setting aside some time to review what your insurance policies cover. You may be overpaying for extra coverage that you actually don’t need. By reducing your coverage amounts only to what you need, you can end up putting away that extra amount into a savings account or using it towards an emergency fund.
Dine In to Save Up
As mentioned, inflation is at a record high, which means that what you used to spend eating out has now undoubtedly increased. Make a conscious effort to dine more at home. Depending on how much you’re spending eating out, this can be a source of considerable savings. When grocery shopping to cook at home, make use of coupons or shop for sale items. If you have a big family, it often makes more sense to buy in bulk and potentially freeze the extras until you’re ready to use them.
As the saying goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s away.” Every little bit counts, especially if you invest your savings so that the compound interest works in your favor. Along with saving what you’re already earning, you can also check out these tips for how to make this year even more profitable!
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