Starting to save can be intimidating at first. However, by structuring your money saving process, this will make you capable of managing your daily spending and hitting your financial goals. Here are our top tips to help you get started on saving:
Our thoughts - what we think we need or want - are incredibly influential in our financial decisions, so your mindset is essential for saving money. It’s easy to think of money-saving methods as “restrictive”. However, saving money doesn’t mean you’ll quit spending all together, it just means you’ll need to prioritize your spending. A great way to adopt this mindset is by identifying financial goals and priorities. Start by answering this question: Why do you want to save money? Some reasons might be:• Building an emergency fund
When you make a clear distinction between what you need and what you want, it becomes challenging to separate yourself from your money. Recognizing what’s important will put you in a natural state of mind to save more money and will help you become a smarter consumer.
Examining your expenses is vital to saving money. Knowing where you stand in regards to your spending habits will give you a clear overview on what steps you need to take to begin saving. To examine expenses, begin with these steps:
• Research previous bills and credit card statements.
• Identify your greatest expenses and your smallest expenses.
• For each expense, ask yourself if these were necessary purchases or if they can be eliminated or reduced.
Once you’ve identified your expenses, the next step is to find areas to reduce spending. Are you paying for a subscription for a service you no longer use? Do you buy coffee or order take out frequently? Finding areas to reduce spending is different for each person and varies on their financial goals. However, Team Clark identifies various areas to help inspire reductions in your spending habits.
A serious commitment to saving requires setting up a budget to live by. As mentioned before, it’s important not to view this budget as “restrictive” but rather as a framework for making easier financial decisions. A common budget plan is the 50/30/20 rule. The plan goes as follows:• 50% of your income will go towards needs.
The needs portion of your budget should cover necessities such as housing, food, and transportation. The wants portion of your budget should cover expenses that you desire, but are not essential to living or working such as entertainment, ordering take out, or vacations. The savings and debts portion of your budget will go towards your financial goals such as building an emergency fund, paying off debts, or saving up to buy a new car or house. To help you determine how to divide up your income, NerdWallet provides a helpful budget calculator to get you started.A budgeting app that we recommend is Empower, which can automatically keep track of your budget in real time.
A dedicated savings account is a great place to store your cash and will get you closer to your financial goals. In addition to safety and growth, having a savings account allows a separation between your savings and your active funds. This separation has shown to have psychological benefits because we tend to spend money we have on hand. Steps involved with opening a savings account are as follows:• Do your research: compare banks by reviewing interest rates, fees, and find one that meets your financial needs.
Savings accounts keep your cash safe. Cash can easily get stolen or damaged when left in an unsafe place. But in a savings account, your cash is insured by the federal government, minimizing the risk of losing your cash. Additionally, savings accounts pay you interest on the money in your account. Depending on your interest rate, banks will routinely make small contributions to your account allowing your funds to grow.
An app that can help you with savings that we recommend is Empower, which can grow your money far faster than the 5 biggest banks in the US, without the usual banking b.s - no account minimums, no overdraft fees, no insufficient funds fees, unlimited withdrawals.
Saving can be an intimidating task at first. However, having a structure will make your money saving process smoother. The tips above are designed to help you reach your financial goals easier and make managing day-to-day spending much less stressful in the long run. If you’re interested in learning how to grow your wealth through investing, check out our blog on investing for beginners.