I know there is a lot of advice on how much savings you need to have put aside, but more and more I don’t subscribe to the percentages, ranges and so forth. I just think it’s important to save and that it will always be that way. You may need to save more if you have less in your savings account, or save less if you have a lot, but we should all be saving, always.
It’s sounds like an excuse, but sometimes I find it difficult to save because of unplanned expenses for our family. However, when we’re saving consistently, it’s not really about the expenses, but about discipline. Expenses, especially unplanned, are part of life and will always occur.
I think being disciplined about savings and making it a priority forces you to figure out other ways to deal with expenses, such as reprioritizing them, delaying them until later or truly considering whether or not they’re necessary. There have been many times I thought we needed to cover an expense, but in hindsight, it wasn’t really all that important.
Anyway, I’ve outlined 6 sure-fire ways I believe that will help anyone save more money, even if you don’t think you have much extra to save each month. These tips provide ways to save consistently, and perhaps discover money that can be allocated to your savings goals.
Ways to Save More Money
1. Budget savings - I don’t think it’s possible to achieve savings goals unless you have that monthly goal written in your budget. If you don’t have a savings goal listed above other priorities you’ll likely be unable to attain them each month as many other expenses are always going to come up.
2. Save consistently every month even if it’s not much - Not everyone is able to save a lot of money each month. However, I do think just about everybody can save something. So, even if it’s as little as $20, don’t be afraid to set that money aside as it will eventually add up. It will also help you practice the discipline of saving.
3. Automate your savings and keep it out of your checking account - I also think it’s important to automate your savings by setting up any auto deposit of your paycheck to your savings account, or an automatic transfer each month. Doing Out of sight, out of mind!
4. Cut unnecessary spending back to get a good start - A lot of people may think they can’t save money each month, but often times it’s a matter of spending priorities. Take the time to track all of your spending every month for two months using a software program like YNAB. Then take the time to review your spending habits as a percentage of your net income. You’ll quickly see where you’re spending all your money and if it’s on entertainment, clothes or other things that may not be essential each month, reduce spending to help fund your savings goal.
5. Set a savings goal - Speaking of goals, it’s definitely important to have a savings goal to achieve and motivate you to save. Write your goal on a note card, tell others about it and reward yourself when you achieve it. You might even consider breaking that larger savings goal down into monthly goals. Often the larger goal can seem too large to achieve and a monthly goal seems more manageable. One step at a time!
6. Increase savings with increased pay - Finally, if you do receive a pay increase, make sure you increase savings contributions each month as well. It’s easy to take that extra money and spend it each month, however, make sure you’re setting aside a certain percentage to help increase funding of your goal.
I certainly don’t have it all figured out. I’m curious to know if you have any ideas or tips to save more money. What have you found that works? When are you saving the most money? And do you believe we should always be saving, no matter how much money is in our savings account?