Wrtten by: Lisa Castle, ®
While we would all love to win the lotto or have a hefty salary or even pick the right combination of stocks to beat Wall Street, there are ways that we can keep ourselves focused and spend less and save more. Small steps can add up and here are a few small steps to help you along the way!
- Start now and start small! Putting it off until your salary is bigger is not the answer. This is mostly because the more money you make, the more money you tend to spend. Even if you could save $50 per paycheck, that will add up faster than you know!
- Make a simple budget and write down specific goals. Sometimes seeing things on paper gives you more motivation. Need a vacation, write down a pledge and you will be more likely to save the money needed for it.
- Separate accounts for each goal. Now that you have written your goals out, you need to set up separate accounts for these items that way you can track your progress.
- Participate in employer retirement plans. Why not take advantage of your employers retirement account. If they do a match, then be sure to be putting enough away to take advantage of it. Not taking the employer up on their retirement match is like throwing away free money!
- Save your change. I know this sounds silly, but grab a large jar or bank and put your spare change in it. You will be surprised how fast you will have saved enough for your holiday spending or other small goal you may have.
- Eat in more. Try to take your lunch to work more often. Reward yourself by putting the money you would have spent on lunch in an account.
- Pay off an item, keep writing that check! After you pay off a loan or bill, put that same payment in an account to build up.
- Emergency Fund – this is a very important part of savings. The general rule of thumb is to have at least 6 months of your expenses saved in an account that is easily accessible in case of an emergency. Life can be unexpected and having this will eliminate a lot of stress when an emergency happens!