Do you ever feel you have enough saved up? Life isn’t easy unless you’re lucky enough to be wealthy. Of course, people do say wealth does not buy happiness. But a little financial stability does buy comfort. That’s what the rest of us average people try to do. We save up for a new car, home, or even retirement. But with incomes falling and expenses rising, significant savings can often seem impossible. And opportunities to save, like jumping on some great Cox cable deals, can only do so much.
So, is there a way out of this quagmire? The short answer is, yes. If you approach savings correctly. Want to find out more? Read on for some specific tips about boosting your savings and getting to your goals faster.
Define a Goal
To get somewhere, you need to be going somewhere. Meaning, you can’t save consciously unless you have a specific goal. People have different reasons to save. Some want to buy a new coffee maker. Others may be trying to save up for a down payment on a new home. Some people may be saving up for a college fund. Many others may need the money for a medical procedure their insurance doesn’t cover.
All savings goals are valid, for the most part. They remind you of why you are foregoing your desires now. To save any significant amount, you will need to sacrifice correspondingly. Having a clear idea of the objective will help you stay on track.
Strictly Budget Income and Expenditures
Managing household budgets and expenses is a life skill. Unfortunately, many struggles with it, even as they grow older. Creating a budget is a great way to prevent your expenses from eating into your savings. Budget your monthly or weekly income with savings as a top priority. Until you’ve saved up enough, you need to prioritize your expenses. In other words, you should focus on spending on basic needs. These can include utilities, internet service, groceries, medical bills, and commuting. The fancy cars and designer sneakers can wait a little bit. For now, you need to divert as much of your income as possible to your savings.
Get Your Partner Onboard
Saving up is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it is a strong display of being a financially responsible adult. However, it can sometimes be difficult to hold on to that fact. For example, you may be married or live with a partner. It could become embarrassing if you keep saying no to eating out. Or to a romantic getaway. Or to something your partner really wants.
That’s why you need to take your partner on board. Be honest about your savings goals with them. Remember, there is no shame in giving up on your wants now for something better down the road. And since saving up is no joke, you will need your partner’s support instead of antagonism.
Resist Frequent Impulse Buying
Impulsive buying upsets the whole savings exercise. If you’re a frequent impulse buyer, you may need to curb those impulses for a bit. Unnecessary, unplanned spending is the bane of every budget and savings goal. More often than not, the product itself is not something you need, or even really want. The only reason you buy it is because of smart advertising. And the only thing it does is harm your cashflows.
Automate a Savings Deposit
Do you keep forgetting to save up early on? That tends to happen, but it can be dangerous. The idea is to deposit your monthly savings into a savings account as soon as you get it. That tends to nip the temptation to overspend in the bud. The longer the money stays within reach, the riskier it gets. Automated deposits are a great way to prevent this. Your bank will automatically deposit a designated amount from your checking account to your savings account. This should help keep your spending at bay.
Assess Your Progress Against Budgets
Every month, examine how much you earn, spend, and save. This isn’t just about making sure you’re on track. It should also help you measure the increase in savings. All that sacrifice seems a bit more bearable when you can see the impact in dollar signs. You may even identify areas where you can save a bit more and squeeze the most out of your budget. Of course, as your income increases, you should also increase the portion that goes to savings.
Reward Yourself on Special Occasions
Saving up for the long-term like a home or a retirement fund is hard. The reward can be far in the future. And you may start to lose sight of your goals. Rewarding yourself and your loved ones on occasion can keep you on track. You’re only human. Sometimes impossible to say no to a night out with friends after a rough week at work. Or to buy your kids the presents they want on Christmas. Or to show gratitude to a supportive partner. Be a saver, not a miser.