When it comes to balancing your budget, paying off your debt and building your savings are two of the most important things to think about. Let’s talk about saving today!
I’ll be the first to admit that I used to be a HORRIBLE saver! Maybe it just never occurred to me that I might need that money one day for something bigger, something more important. After digging my way out of credit card debt, I vowed to myself that I’d be better at saving not just for emergencies, but for other things that mattered to me, so I’d never have to feel the weight of debt on my shoulders again. Blogging for BudgetSimple has only turned saving into more of a strength for me, and for that, I’m incredibly grateful. I’ve learned so much about my finances, and I learned how to be smarter about spending and saving. I wanted to share a few of my favorite tricks with you with the hopes that you’ll feel just as confident about your saving abilities as I do about mine!
Make it automatic. Set up your paychecks to direct deposit a portion into a separate savings account, preferably one that’s not easily accessible. I started doing this a few years ago in an effort to bulk up my emergency fund. Having that money taken out before my pay actually hit my checking account made it seem like the money wasn’t even there – out of sight, out of mind. I then only worked with what I had left after that for my monthly budget. By doing this, I was able to pay for my maternity leave after the baby was born without having to sacrifice much else.
Divide and conquer. Most banks will allow you to have multiple savings accounts, and using this method is a great way to separate your savings, allowing you to avoid spending money that was meant for something else in particular. PNC has always been my favorite for this – I can divide my savings account into different “goals” that I’m saving up for, which are generally things like vacations, college funds for future littles, home repairs, etc. I’m able to see what’s available for spending in each category, and I don’t have to worry about using my emergency savings on something frivolous by accident.
Bank anything extra. Do you get a yearly raise, or did you happen to come into some extra cash from a side job? Instead of using it as extra spending money, add it to your savings!
Just a reminder! Set up your calendar to alert you when a savings goal deadline is near, or to remind you to check on your progress and keep you on track.
Make it fun. Compete with a partner to see who can save more and spend less each month. Reward yourself for meeting a savings goal with a small treat. If it feels less like a burden, you’re more likely to be excited about growing your savings. Just think of how glad you’ll be later on.