Note: We receive a commission for purchases made through the links on this site. Our sponsors, however, do not influence our editorial content in any way.
Whether you are saving for a vacation or just want to have an emergency fund put aside, adding money to your savings account is possible (even when you think it’s not!) CNN.com recently reported that almost 76 percent of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck in the US. And, they have little to no emergency savings put away. How can you reverse that?
The first step is to set up a savings account. However, you’ll want to put some restrictions on using the funds in there. For example, don’t link your debit card it. That way, you can’t be tempted to make that frivolous purchase with your savings funds. Internet-based banks can also be a good thing because they are not as easy to pull funds from in an instant and often offer a higher interest rate, so you can make more money off your savings.
Do you really count every penny you spend? Probably not. Why not pay yourself first? Here’s how to make this work for you. Set up an automatic deposit from your checking account into your savings account. It could be for just $20 or $200 – whatever works for you. Schedule it to remove the funds the day you get paid. You’ll never miss the money in your account because you will not have a chance to spend it. Making saving automatic works to build your savings account.
Make it your goal over the next week to find 10 things in your home that you do not need and can sell. The money from those sales goes directly into your savings account. For example, do you have an extra TV in the basement? Sell it for $100. Do you have toys that your child hasn’t played with in a few years? Sell them. Extra furniture, electronics and children’s clothing all do well.
If you are a family of four, you likely spend $50 at a restaurant (if not more.) Just one night a week, put those funds into your savings account instead. And, do something inexpensive and fun so you don’t feel like you’re missing out. For example, pizza and a family movie together is much cheaper and much more enjoyable.
Instead of paying people to do things for you, learn to do them yourself. Learn to give your child a haircut and save $15 every few weeks. Learn how to change the oil in your car and save that $50. You can learn almost anything and pay yourself those funds instead.
Finding creative ways to save money doesn’t have to be a challenge, but you do have to put on your thinking cap. Whether you call your utility company asking for a lower rate or just drop that extra cable channel line up is up to you.