Get Serious About Saving!

1. Set a goal

Your goal should be realistic, measurable, achievable and timely. Follow these guides to prevent you from setting yourself up for failure. Calculate your savings goals.

2. Choose a savings account thoughtfully

Savings accounts can vary greatly when it comes to interest, fees, and minimum balance requirements, so do your homework and find the account that is best suited for you.

3. Save Automatically

We all have weak moments when we have good intentions but something comes up. Make your contribution automatic by establishing direct deposit from your payroll and avoid your savings plan becoming derailed. You can also have it automatically drafted from your checking account into your savings via your online banking tools.

4. Establish an emergency fund

What would you do if you lost your job or were in an accident that created extended hospitalization? Do you have enough money to get you through if you were off work for several months? While your savings account might be for a major purchase – like a new car or even a down payment of a new home – an emergency fund is an account you fund and do not touch unless there is an actual emergency. Experts say you should have four to seven months’ worth of expenses in your emergency fun.

5. Monitor what you are spending monthly

Keep detailed records of your expenses for one month. Track every single purchase down to the cent. This will provide you a sense of control by knowing exactly where all of your paycheck is going, and it will provide a guide to set a realistic budget with. This exercise will allow you to find ways to adjust your spending behaviors in order to increase your savings.

6. Now it’s time to set your budget

You now know where all of your money is going, so setting a realistic budget will be easier. You may have to make adjustments to figure what will work best for your lifestyle. You won’t have to cut out all of the fun stuff, but sticking to your budget will help you reach your savings goal.

7. Be a wise shopper

Look for ways to save. Sign up for rewards or loyalty programs, shop at the warehouse and club stores, clip coupons and plan your trips strategically to take advantage of the best offers. When shopping online utilize price comparison websites.

8. Get App savvy

You can find an app for just about everything. So look for apps that will help you be a better saver. There are budgeting apps, ones that help you find the best local deals and apps that will assist you to sell your old items to other people. Find one or two apps that will help you save and then use them regularly.

9. Save your windfalls.

Every time you receive a windfall – maybe a bonus or a tax refund – put a portion into your savings account.

10. Monitor and Reward

It is important to check on your progress. Establish a set day of each week to review how you’re doing. If you derail from your plan, just regroup and get back on track. When you hit your savings goals don’t forget to reward yourself a bit. Savings is all about self-control, but not completely cutting out everything you enjoy, when you reward the milestones you reach you are less likely to abandon your saving plan.

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