With America Saves Week approaching (February 24-March 1) there’s no better time to reflect on your savings strategy. Last year, the average American spent about $2,000 on unexpected expenditures and emergencies. And while nobody can control when these situations happen, everybody can control their savings plan. Here are some tips to help you save more:
Direct Deposit Your Paycheck – Ask your employer to directly deposit your paycheck into a savings account; it’ll make it harder for you to spend it. Being more conscious about transferring your money from savings to checking in order to make purchases will help you be more aware of how much you are spending.
Track Your Goal – Make it a goal to review your credit card and checking account statements once a month. See where you’re spending money that could you could otherwise be saving.
The 24 Hour Rule – Don’t buy anything expensive on impulse. Instead, wait at least a day to think about it.
Develop Savings Discipline – Every time you indulge or spend money on something that is a nonessential, match the purchase by putting an equal amount into your savings account. If you can’t afford to move money into savings than you probably don’t need that $5 cappuccino.
Start With Short Term – Instead of focusing on yearly or monthly amounts to save, start with a weekly or daily goal. A short term savings goal keeps it relevant and you’ll be amazed how quickly even $10 a week adds up.
Dine In – Eat out one fewer time per month. Spending the $5 to eat at home instead of the $25 to eat at a restaurant once a month is an additional $240 a year that you could be saving!
Find Free Entertainment – Local newspapers and websites are always advertising inexpensive fun! Pay attention to those offers, as well as to free days at certain parks and museums. Taking advantage of these deals will allow you to have a good time without breaking the bank.
Avoid Unnecessary Fees – Make the effort to only use ATMs from your bank or credit union. While the fees on using other ATMs are often small, they can add up over the year and it’s money that can easily be saved.
Pot Lucks – Instead of 10 people going out to dinner and spending $200 on dinner, host a pot luck and save everyone the money. You’ll be surprised by the amount of great food you can cook yourself for cheap, and you may even surprise yourself by how good of a cook you are!
By integrating even one or two of these tips into your life, you can start saving for the future. For more tips and information about America Saves Week, visit: www.americasavesweek.org