A good rule of thumb is that we all should have a rainy-day fund that can cover about 3-6 months of normal daily living expenses. And saving for retirement is also a great idea. The hardest part is just getting started.
Here are some ideas to help you jumpstart your savings plan.
One small thing you can do is sign up for WECU’s Save the Difference program. When you use your WECU debit card, you can set it up so the change in the transaction is automatically transferred to your saving account. This can add up.
Cut Recurring Costs
Subscriptions like Netflix, Hulu, Blue Apron, Pandora, and your gym are examples of popular reoccurring costs for many of us – and they really add up over time. Try limiting as many subscription-based costs as possible.
Dollar Bill Challenge
When you walk in the door, take all the dollar bills from your wallet and put them in your “one’s jar.” This is like a change jar except the money in that jar adds up much more quickly.
If You Pay Something Off, Keep Paying
If you pay off a loan, or your car, or something else you’ve been chipping away at over time, take that money and either put it towards another chunk of debt, or put it in your savings account.
Save Your Surplus
Most of us will have random times throughout the year where we have little infusions of cash. Instead of spending this money, put it in your savings account or towards paying down debt.
Only Go When You Have a Discount
Plan when you’re going out for dinner or lunch. Then, make a rule for yourself that you’re only going to go out if you have a discount. Check out Living Social, Groupon or Foursquare before you decide where to eat and make sure it’s a good discount.
Don’t Buy Things Until You’ve Saved Up the Money for Them
Some people buy things on credit, again, because smaller payments are less painful than larger ones. We’re a credit union and obviously we believe in credit, but don’t use it if you’re purchasing things you don’t need.
It’s December and you want more Christmas decorations, wait! In January you’ll usually be able to get the same decorations 50% off. Make sure you make a list of the things you want to buy ahead of time and put a date on the calendar for when you plan to go.
Saving Can Be Easy!
Start somewhere and build from your successes. Soon enough, you’ll be on track to a more secure financial life.