For today’s guest post on increasing your savings, please welcome back fellow blogger Anum Yoon.
In today’s world, there are endless opportunities to make money, but not all of them are the definition of reliable. Unless you have a sizable, stable income, it can be difficult to build a hefty savings account. It can be intimidating to start putting your money away for the future, especially if you aren’t sure what’s the right way to do so. Thankfully, there isn’t just one way to save!
Increase Automatic Savings Just a Bit
Don’t attempt to save money in big chunks at first. It will be discouraging to see the money drain from your account so fast when you’re not sure what your new budget will be. Give yourself a small goal, and let it grow bigger with time. For example, start saving 1% of your monthly income, and, after six months, increase it to 2%. The time frame can be whatever you need it to be, but the gradual saving will build your account quickly.
Focus on Your Retirement Savings
If you’re young, retirement might not be the first thing on your mind. You might want to save for car or a vacation instead, but it’s smart to get a head start on your retirement funds. On average, if your household earns $80,000 per year, you’d need to save 15% of your earnings to live the same lifestyle in retirement. Look into a (tax-free!) ROTH IRA if you don’t have one already and start saving.
Get Yourself an After-Tax Savings Account
An after-tax savings account is basically a regular savings account, but one you specifically designate for emergency expenses or a future purchase, like a house. The benefit of opening an after-tax savings account besides your normal savings account is that the money will grow faster, there are no income limits and you’ll be able to access your money at any time.
Tip: Open this account at a bank where you don’t have a checking account. You won’t be in the routine of going there to withdraw money, so your savings will be extra safe.
You can save a decent amount of money by switching your lightbulb brands or turning off the lights when you leave the room, but have you ever considered using solar energy? The cost of solar power tiles for a house has decreased drastically since 2009, and, after installing them, you can save an average of $44 to $187 per month during the first year.
As traditional electricity costs continue to rise, you’ll have a stable cost to your bill, ultimately saving you more money in the long run.
Eat at Home
Eating out frequently costs everyone money that could easily be saved, especially if you have a big family. Instead of going out for a big sit down dinner, throw some easy ingredients in a crock pot. Your savings could average $50 a week, and, if that’s put directly into an account for the future, you’ll have an additional $200 per month put away. Easy as pie!
Cut Those Credit Cards
This is a great thing to pay attention to if you know that you travel a lot. Credit cards can save you money depending on what company you get them from. Some companies will offer free checked bags if you book a flight using one of their cards, and it’s always worth it to use a card for purchases when withdrawing cash at an ATM will cost you extra money, like when it’s not affiliated with your bank.
The key is to know your limits. Use the credit card to save you money, then put it away where you won’t think about it. This way, you’ll be smart with your money and won’t drain your savings.
Gone are the days when your only options to sell something were the newspaper or Craigslist. People sell belongings all over the internet now. There are hundreds of apps and websites you can use to connect with people who are looking for what you’re selling, and then you’ll be able to keep in easy contact with them to talk about price and shipping.
Selling what you don’t need is a great way to build your savings account when you don’t have a big income. If you don’t think you have a lot to make money off of, try going to thrift stores to buy items at a discount and then resell at their current value. Any money you make will be a great addition to your savings account. Just be aware of malicious schemes people might try on various sites to try and rip you off.
You can quickly build your savings by learning financial lingo and taking advantage of things like interest, or you can save cash by starting small and focusing on bigger things in the future. Saving money might seem impossible now, but there’s always a way to start. No matter the size of your contribution, you’ll thank yourself later!