Try adopting a few of these helpful habits.
1. They Automate
The dollar you never see is the easiest one to save. Effective savers use the resources at their disposal to automate the savings process. Have a standard portion of each paycheck diverted into a savings account. Or, roll up your purchases and deposit automatically using WECU’s Save the Difference. By automating your savings, you, 1) build your savings at a nice, regular pace, and 2) never have to let out a groan as you transfer from fun spending accounts to seemingly boring savings accounts.
2. They Find A Strategy That Suits Them
Everyone is different. Feel free to “spit out” savings advice that does not sound like a good fit for you. Take the time to try some strategies that match your personality, paying careful attention to the types of motivation that work for you. Make the way you save your own.
3. They Create and Fill “Buckets”
Say you have a $1,000 vacation goal. Now visualize it as a $1,000 bucket to fill. Each dollar is a drop. Saving money can be a joyless grind if you don’t connect with why you’re doing it. Create a series of savings goals with definitive finish lines. An emergency savings or a car down payment are other common and worthwhile buckets to fill.
4. They Prioritize
In every household budget, we must make tough decisions. It’s not fun, but it is better than the alternative (hint: it’s stressful, indecisive and a financial mess). Effective savers understand the need to prioritize.
5. They “Step-Down” When Appropriate
Imagine that through your budget you discover you need to cut spending $200 a month. So, you do obvious next step of looking for one $200 expense: no more piano lessons for Suzy!
It’s true, to save more you almost always need to spend less. However, in cutting expenses, there’s a human tendency to fixate on finding one expense item that completely accomplishes the savings goal. Don’t fall into that line of thinking, instead “step down” multiple monthly expenses. Rather than radically altering your financial habits, step-down spending requires only that you reduce your existing expenses by degrees. You still dine out, but you dine out less. You still carry car insurance (of course), you just shop for a better rate. Small, incremental changes stick easier than major overhauls.
6. They Maximize Their Money
Saving is more than simply not spending. Effective saving also involves making the most of the money you’ve already saved. This means looking into alternate savings vehicles and creating a savings/investment plan that maximizes your money’s potential while also helping you achieve your goals.
7. They Create Routines (Not Obsessions)
Eventually, when everything comes together, you’ll rarely find yourself actively thinking about saving money. It will just be something that you do. How awesome is that!
It’s like exercise. When you build a routine that works for you, you just do it, without a lot of fuss. The same goes for saving money. The act of saving will be no-big-deal, but the effect on your life will be.