I love saving money! But it hasn’t always been that way. I used to spend every dollar I made, and then some (UGH!)
What changed? God blessed me with a friend who helped challenge my views of personal finance. Matt was plugging along on his Debt Free Adventure. We met at church and had an instant connection. I loved his passion for personal finance. Probably his biggest influence on me was my realization that the best way to avoid future debt is to save money.
That was almost two years ago. My wife and I are currently saving by building our emergency fund and also are saving for vacations, home related expenses, and for our auto expenses. The more I save that happier I become with my life.
Now that I am a saver I want to share some great ways to save more money.
One of the best ways to start saving is to budget for it. A budget should be one of the first steps of any personal finance plan. Include the amount you want to save as an expense in your budget. Pay yourself first! Start small and build over time.
Make it automatic
Once you have budgeted the amount the amount you want to save, automate it. If you are working for an employer, they probably offer direct deposit, use this feature to save with every pay check. If your entreprenuer or your work doesn’t direct deposit set up automatic transfers via your bank.
Making savings automatic makes it a habit, before long you won’t even miss the money you are saving.
I am a big believer in segregating savings into the virtual buckets that have their own purpose. I have a checking accounting for paying bills and I have a savings account for each of my goals. I currently use ING Direct because they make it simple to open multiple accounts under one master account.
Increase over time
Over time increase the amount of money you save with every month. Here are a few suggestions to increase your savings
- Raises – Whenever you get a raise save it. Be it some or all. Every dollar helps!
- Sell your stuff – If you don’t use it any more, sell it! Make it work for you via compounding interest instead of collecting dust!
- Reduce expenses – Every dollar of expenses you cut is another dollar you can save
- Unexpected – Any time you get money that is not expected in your budget, save it!
- Earn more income – take on a second job, pursue an entrepreneurial outlet