Saving money takes practice, patience and discipline, but getting started might be easier than you think. Try these 5 simple steps to make saving money a little easier.
Make big goals, but start small:
What do you want to save for? Maybe you want to build an emergency fund, save up for a down payment on a house, pay down some debt or make a special purchase. Define the purpose for your savings and set a realistic, reasonable goal. Write down your savings goal and keep it in a place where you can see it.
After you have identified your goal, it's time to get started. Commit to saving a specific amount of money each week, and don't be afraid to start small – even just $5 or $10 is an excellent place to start! Once you get into the habit, you might find it easier to increase the amount you save each week.
One easy way to build up your savings is with our EasySaver® debit card round-up program. With this solution, every time you make a purchase on your debit card, the price is automatically rounded up to the nearest dollar amount and then the difference is deposited into a separate savings account.
Pay yourself first:
One of the best ways to jumpstart your savings is to pay yourself first. Here's how it works: every payday, deposit a percentage of your income into your savings account before you pay any other bills. The idea is that by making saving your first priority, you'll spend less, save more and stay on track to reach your financial goals. Instead of waiting until the end of the month to deposit whatever leftover cash you have into your savings, pay yourself first by setting up automatic transfers or splitting your direct deposit between your checking and savings account.
Define your needs and wants:
It's a fact of life: to save money, you have to spend less than you earn. That's why it's so important to create a budget that separates your “needs" from your “wants." Everyone's needs and wants are different, but generally speaking, your “needs" are things that you cannot live without. This includes monthly expenses for rent or mortgage payments, food, transportation, insurance and child care.
On the other hand, “wants" are those expenses that you could live without, but that make life enjoyable. Things like restaurant meals, entertainment, electronics and travel fall into this category. If you want to save more over time, cut back on some of these smaller, unnecessary expenses. When making a budget, consider following the 50-20-30 rule. With this budgeting method, all you have to do is designate 50 percent of your income to needs, 20 percent to your savings and 30 percent to your wants. The 50-20-30 rule makes budgeting simple so you can pay your bills, grow your savings and still have money left for fun purchases.
Cancel unused subscriptions:
How many television and music streaming services, magazines, subscription boxes and monthly memberships do you have? How many of these do you really use? While subscriptions services are convenient, these extra monthly costs can add up. A great way to save some cash each month is to pause or cancel some of your subscriptions. Chances are, you won't really miss them when they're gone!
Take advantage of coupons:
Don't worry; you don't have to be an extreme couponer to take advantage of the money-saving benefits of using coupons. There are several coupon websites and mobile apps that make couponing more convenient. With some apps, you can even scan barcodes in-store to ensure you're getting the best deal. Joining free customer loyalty programs for the stores you frequently visit can also help you save more on every shopping trip.
There's no doubt about it, saving money takes discipline. But saving money isn't just a good habit; it's a mindset and a lifestyle. Start by creating a savings plan and stick with it. With time and practice, saving will become second nature!
At Wright-Patt Credit Union, we're here to help you Save Better, Borrow Smarter and Learn a Lot about your finances so you can get where you want to go, faster. We have a range of savings account options to fit your needs and make life easier for you. See all of our savings account options here or visit one of our convenient Member Center locations to learn more.