Tips & advice on getting your finances back on track.
If saving money is a goal you struggle achieving every month, you are not alone! Saving is something we often put off doing because we do not recognize it as an immediate need. Sometimes we find ourselves consumed with current expenses, needs and wants and tell ourselves that we will worry about saving money when we have less expenses or a higher income. This mindset is unhealthy for those of us who aspire to establish and/or build savings accounts. The longer you put it off, the further away you become from achieving your goals. There is no time like the present to begin committing to your future!
Here’s some advice:
1. Determine how much you can save
You will need to compare all of your monthly expenses to your income, and then decide how much you are able to put aside into savings each month. You want to be sure to first establish an emergency account, as this will enable you to stay on track should any unexpected expenses arise. Once you have a stash for emergencies, you can start focusing on saving for a particular goal and/or retirement. Determining how much you can save and what it is you are saving for will keep you motivated to stick to your savings plan.
2. Look for ways to increase your saving potential
Sometimes, it may be necessary to make changes to your budget to increase the amount of money you have at the end of the month to save. This may involve cutting back on miscellaneous expenses such as clothing, entertainment or dining out. You could also consider possible avenues to increase your monthly income such as picking up more hours at work or getting a part time job. Maybe you have a creative hobby that could earn you some money. You can even try getting rid of things in your home you no longer use by selling them on the internet or having a garage sale.
3. Automate Your Savings
Automating your savings is an effortless and efficient way to save money. Find out if your employer will split your direct deposit into a checking and a savings account. Money will go right into your savings every pay check without having to think about it! If your employer does not offer direct deposit splits, you can go directly to your bank and set up automatic transfers from your checking account into your savings account. You can arrange the dates to correlate with when you get paid so you will be sure to pay yourself first.
4. Increase Your Savings Amount
You just paid off your credit cards? Great! Put the money you were paying on your credit card into your savings. You got a promotion at work? Congratulations! Make sure to increase the amount you are saving each month. You got an income tax refund? Awesome! Get that money right into savings! Whenever your financial situation changes, be mindful of where your money is going, making sure your savings account is a top priority.
Lauren Lovett has been with Navicore Solutions for six years serving as a Certified Credit Counselor and Grant Writer. While in these roles, she has witnessed the positive impact that the organization’s counseling services has on improving the money management skills and economic security of individuals and families in need.