Friday, August 26, 2016, AM | 1 Comment
We all talk about planning for our future, which includes saving money for a home purchase or putting enough money away to retire.
Unfortunately, saving money can be difficult. You may not feel like you have enough every week to put the smallest amount away, but there are ways to save at least a few dollars from every check.
Learn How to Budget
Budgeting your money is one of the most important skills you can learn. Sit down and track your spending each month.
Write down how much you pay in utilities, car insurance and groceries. These are mostly fixed amounts that you’ll have to pay each month.
After you’ve added those up, switch to those purchases you make that might not be necessities.
Things like buying lunch at work, heading out to happy hour after work twice a week or the five coffees you buy a week on your way to work.
All of those non-essentials add up during the week. It’s best to start limiting these sort of purchases.
Avoid Impulse Purchases
Imagine you’re out with a friend for lunch, and you decide to head to the local mall to window shop.
You see the perfect sweater, but it’s slightly expensive. You buy it anyway. Later, you regret the decision because you didn’t really need it.
We have all made impulse purchases we regret. It’s vital that you stick to items you’ve planned on purchasing.
If you need a new sweater, make sure you’ve planned for it by saving the money. When you see an item you want, wait for a full 24 hours before buying the item.
Make Smart Purchasing Decisions
Whether it’s groceries or a repair for your vehicle, there are times when you absolutely have to make large purchases. This is the time to make smart decisions.
Check the local paper for coupons for the grocery store. They can have ads for local repair shops or deals on certain services.
Never make a purchase without checking to see if there are deals to be had. It’s also better to shop online where you can get better deals on items.
Research the prices of items to be a more informed shopper too. When you’re in the store, you’ll know if the prices are a good deal or not.
Open a Bank Account
Once you start cutting down on your spending, you’ll have money to save.
This money should be kept in a savings account where you’re less likely to spend it. If it’s there in front of you, it’s easy to spend on little items like expensive lattes before work.
Professionals, like those at a credit union in City Creek, know that when you put that extra money in a savings account, you’re accumulating a bit of interest too.
Later, you can decide if you’d like to open a retirement account, which can earn you more interest.
Pay Yourself First
Another way to save money is to pay yourself first. Instead of waiting until the end of the week to see what’s left over for your savings account, figure out your budget and whatever is left over goes into the account.
When you pay yourself first, it’s like the money never existed. You won’t miss it when you’ve paid all your bills and put money aside for saving.
It doesn’t take huge sacrifices to start saving money for your future. You can do it with a little planning as well as cutting down on unnecessary items.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter and Facebook.