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Savings Strategies

You may think, "There's no way I can save any money!" But most people find they can save when they really put their minds to it. Here are some strategies to get you started.

  • Pay yourself first. Make your "savings bill" a part of your spending plan, just like rent or utility bills. When you pay your other bills, pay your savings bill by depositing the money in your savings account. Make this the first bill you pay each month.

  • Use payroll deductions. Have your employer deposit your savings directly from your paycheck into a credit union or savings account. If you never see it, you might not miss it. To see how quickly even small amounts of money can grow, see How $10 a Month Will Grow.

  • Save "bonus" money. Try to save tax refunds, overtime pay, gift money, refunds, and rebates and invest them for growth.

  • Pay installments to yourself. Once you pay off an installment loan (and if other loans are not overdue), continue to make payments by putting them into your savings account or invest the money.

  • Pay your credit card bills in full each month. Many families find they spend more than $1,000 a year on credit card interest. Make it a rule that if you can't pay the bill at the end of the month, you can't afford the item. Try limiting yourself to only one credit card.

  • If you must carry over a balance on your credit card, always pay more than the minimum payment. Paying your credit card(s) off should be your top goal. Then, save what you were wasting on interest. Also, see if you can find a card with no annual fee and/or a lower interest rate.

  • Comparison shop for insurance. There may be several hundred dollars difference in rates between comparable insurance coverage for your home and/or car. Be sure to check this annually. Save money on sales. When you buy an item on sale, save the difference between the sale price you paid and the full price you would have paid had the item not been on sale.

  • The family can work together. Family members can discuss ways to save money to reach family goals. For example, all members can choose to eat out less frequently to save for a vacation or set an amount each will save to help with a goal. You will be doing your children a favor by teaching them to set goals and save for them.

  • Be a comparison shopper. Compare prices and quality at three stores before making a purchase.

  • Be a coupon clipper. Use coupons for items you use frequently. Save more by buying an item on sale and using a coupon. Watch for stores offering double coupons, and combine manufacturer's coupons with store coupons for extra savings.

  • Save coupon money. Put aside the amount you save by using coupons at the grocery or drugstore. Add the amount you did not spend to your savings account.

  • Collect loose change. At the end of every week (or more often), empty your pockets and wallet and put the change in a jar. Every other week, or once a month, deposit the change in your savings account.

  • Have a "nothing week." Once in a while, have a week when you try not to spend any extra money: don't go to the movies, don't go out to eat, don't go bowling. Save the money you would have spent.

  • Break a habit. Every time you don't have a doughnut at coffee break or don't spend money in the pop machine, save the money you didn't spend. For another example, people who quit smoking can save this money for something else that will be a positive reinforcement of their new good habit. Sometimes we spend small amounts daily without thinking. Small purchases add up to big change.

  • Don't use an ATM card for withdrawals if you must pay a fee for using it. Banks may charge from 75 cents to more than $2 each time you use this card. Try to plan your spending so that you can withdraw the money you will need directly from the bank.

  • Save lunch money. Get up ten minutes earlier and make your own lunch instead of buying it. Save the money you would have spent on lunch.

  • Use a crash budget. A crash budget works just like a crash diet. You try to cut out all unnecessary spending, don't buy on impulse, and save as much as possible. This may work especially well for short periods.

  • The two-week rule. If you want something, wait two weeks to get it. This will help you become an impulse saver, rather than an impulse buyer.

  • Do not waste. Turn off the TV when no one is watching, turn down the heat at night, or turn off the air conditioner when no one will be home. Conserving energy also saves money.

Saving Strategies

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Information is provided for review and consideration only. Please consult legal and tax advisors for practical advice pertaining to your business and personal situations.

This page was last reviewed and/or updated on Friday, July 03, 2015 05:22 PM


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