Start Saving Now
When you are struggling to pay your bills it is hard to think about building a savings account. However, if you want to break the cycle of using credit for emergencies, you need to begin setting money aside for unexpected expenses. There are ways to save that won’t leave you living like a miser, but that will allow you to slowly build up a savings account.
It is important to make saving money a personal goal. Begin with a goal of having $300 in savings. This amount will allow you to pay for a basic car repair, deductible on your medical plan or an unexpected trip. To accomplish this goal you will need to set aside just $25 per month.
To find the $25 dollars, try the following:
- Save all of your loose change in a jar and deposit it every week.
- Stop purchasing coffee or soft drinks each day and place that money in savings.
- Take your lunch five times during the month and put the $5 you would have spent in savings.
- Pay yourself first when you get paid. Chances are once the money is in savings you will not use it.
There are many ways to save more money. Try tracking your expenses for thirty days. Keep track of each purchase or expense, no matter how small. You may be surprised to find out where your money really has been going. Tracking can help you find spending patterns that can help you change habits. For instance, when you purchase gasoline do you pay at the pump or do you add a coke and snack to the total cost? Just by paying at the pump you can save $3 to $5 at each fill up.
If shopping is your favorite pastime consider shopping at stores who offer cheaper prices for the same merchandise as full price department stores. Consider setting a spending limit for yourself and enjoy the hunt of searching out the best buy. Determine whether you can substitute another other means of entertainment for shopping. If you are deep in debt, stop shopping because nothing is a bargain if you are paying interest and finance charges on top of the price. Place the money you would have spent on shopping into your savings account and benefit from watching your balance grow.
To jumpstart your savings, use a tax refund, windfall or bonus for start up money. You can then add to this amount and begin to have real peace of mind. The secret is in having a savings mindset and not letting small setbacks keep you from moving forward. You can become a saver with just a small change in your current habits and lifestyle.
Content provided with permission from Money Management International, a non-profit community service organization that provides confidential financial guidance, free consumer credit counseling services, educational resources, and debt management assistance.
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This content was last modified on: 04/29/2011