When you have a summer vacation that stretches for months at the end of every school year, having an account with savings is a total blessing! Most people save for a rainy day, but whether you are aiming to have savings for a wedding, long and lazy summer activities to keep the kids busy, or for those emergencies in the home, you still need to know how to save your cash. A lot of people fall at the first hurdle of savings, especially those on a budget, but all you need to have is a goal and it will all fall into place. It takes some willpower, but when you have something to aim for it makes saving a lot easier!
When you are looking for clever ways to save your cash, you need to start by sitting to do the math. No one likes to talk or think too deeply about finances, whether it’s to do with managing your debt or saving your small change. The thing is, if you don’t think about the cash that you currently have, then you cannot possibly create more opportunities with your disposable income. The best thing you can do for your disposable income is portion a percentage out of it and commit it to a savings account every month. If you’re the sort of person who cannot help but dip your hand in the cookie jar, then it’s probably better to have a savings account that you can lock down and keep safe until your goal is met.
Building an emergency fund is something that every able person should concentrate on doing, especially if there are children in the family. You could use your emergency fund to replace a kitchen appliance, to pay for a vacation or even to replace a boiler that breaks if you own your home. For some, it’s an absolute necessity to have at least six months of expenses squirreled away, just in case of a job loss. It isn’t possible for others, but at least a month of expenses put by can really make a difference. It may sound extreme, but this is a particularly clever way to ensure you are secure when the worst happens. So, how can you get a handle on your savings so that you have the funds there when you need it? We’ve put together some awesome tips for you to get you started on your rainy-day fund!
- Be Realistic. You need to be able to get a spreadsheet together like the examples here so you can start keeping track of your income. On initial calculation, you may find that your disposable income feels higher than you are used to, but that’s because you probably haven’t been tracking the little things that come out – a coffee here, a shirt there. They all add up! It’s time to be very realistic over what goes in and out of your bank. Track for a month or two so you can get a good idea of your expenses.
- Split Save. We’ve mentioned savings for a vacation as well as savings for a new appliance or boiler. Having two separate savings accounts is a smart idea; one for emergency funds and one for fun savings. If you keep your emergency savings somewhere that is too accessible, you’ll be too tempted to dip into it. Keep your fun savings to hand but your emergency money in a locked account where you can pay in and not take out until you hit that goal.
- Make Saving Fun. Saving up doesn’t appeal to a lot of people as they want to spend their cash, not save it. But if you have a goal such as paying off debt and you want to get a small loan to condense this, you could use your savings to pay that loan off a lot quicker. This not only builds your credit and your trust rating with lenders, but it will mean you can give yourself a target to hit. Being motivated can help you make saving fun, so get into competition with yourself for the thrill!
- Be Creative. One of the ways people save is to do it in small pieces. There’s no use committing to a few hundred dollars a month if you can’t actually save that up. If you make it unattainable you’ll fall behind quickly and give up! So, whether you choose to sell the things you don’t need, or you open a garage sale once a month, you need to get creative. At the end of each day, move your surplus money in your bank account to your savings – round up or down to the nearest ten dollars and save those few. You’ll be so shocked how quickly that builds!
- Automate! One trick to saving quickly is to set up a monthly payment the day your wages go into your bank account. This way, you never miss the money as you didn’t see it in the first place as it moves into your savings – kind of like taxes! If you can do that, you’ll see your savings quickly build.
- Don’t Stop. This sounds like an obvious one, but never stop saving. If your disposable income goes down in any way, just change the amount you save. Once you stop saving your money, it’s very easy to just spend the cash and can help you fall into bad habits.
Once you achieve a savings goal, you can easily maintain it as long as you aren’t tempted to access it! Keeping your eye on the prize and ensure that you don’t give up on it – you could be saving for anything in your life and as long as you have an income, you can manage to keep going. You will be able to set yourself up for a less stressful life by establishing an emergency line of money for those moments when things fall apart. Your finances may feel stretched at times, but there will always be a savings account waiting to cushion you and there will always be a way to book that vacation!