Who wants to take money out of a paycheck and put it away where it won’t be used for months, years, or even decades? Starting to get into the habit of saving can be tough. For those living paycheck to paycheck, it can seem like savings squeezes a family’s income too much. For those with enough, it can be hard to get into the habit of delaying gratification and putting some money away. Regardless of the situation you are in, there are some tips for taking the first steps towards savings.
Even pennies count when it comes to saving. If the idea of tucking a sizeable amount of money away seems overwhelming, start small. Set up a bowl, a jar, or even a piggy bank for all the extra change. Each day, empty out your pockets or your purse and dump the change in. While each day that amount saved is small, most people are surprised to find out how quickly it adds up.
Get Everyone on Board
It helps to have everyone in the house on board with the plan. For those living alone, it can be helpful to have friends and family members start a similar plan for saving. Aside from the accountability that it adds, it can be nice to have someone to talk to about the money saved and someone to lament with when you just don’t want to hide your money away in a savings account. For an added benefit, consider setting a goal with someone else. When you reach a certain dollar amount in savings, you can treat yourself to something using a portion of the money in savings.
If you can’t trust yourself to save, consider letting your bank do the heavy lifting. Most banks allow customers to set up an automatic transfer from one account to the other every week or month. You don’t need to approve this transfer. Instead, it is consistently handled on a certain day. You set the amount and you set the date.
According to MSN Money the harder money is to access, the more likely a person is to leave the savings account alone. It’s possible to set up instant transfers from one bank to another. When this happens, you could be surprised when you take a look at your savings account balance in just a few short weeks or months.
Don’t Be Discouraged
After saving up money for months, an unexpected expense could put you back to a zero balance. Instead of being discouraged, think about how that money helped you avoid a financial misstep like adding to your debt or borrowing money. Then, start over. Even if you go back to pennies in the jar, you’re putting away money for a rainy day. For more tips on keeping up your savings, check out a helpful source such as Money Tips.
Each person is different when it comes to savings. Some will start out with a passion, cutting back on every single expense while others will start more modestly. It is important for you to find a way to save that works for you. If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to abandon the idea and move onto something else.