On the surface saving money seems like an easy concept, but in practice, it is much harder. Saving money is especially hard for people who don’t have a reliable or stable income. If you haven’t started saving for the goals in your life, these quick tips will help you.
Start Tracking Your Expenses.
The best way to know you’re spending too much money is by keeping track of how much you spend. Once you keep track of your monthly expenses, you can compare that to your income. If you are spending more than you bring in, your budget is off-kilter and needs to be fixed. You can use several online services to help you keep track of your income versus expenses. Mint is a popular service that’s free and helps automate financial management. Mint offers categories and budgeting tools to help you set a clear financial plan that can be automated by syncing with financial institutions. Other options include Goodbudget.com and YouNeedABudget.com, both of which are paid options.
Automation is Your Friend
Once you have started tracking your expenses and set up a budget, you should automate as much of it as possible. This is easier for salaried employees who can predict a regular pay schedule. You can automate deposits into your savings accounts and investment accounts. If you put anything on credit cards to take advantage of rewards cards, automate the monthly payment to take care of those charges.
Automation is one of the best ways to stay on track with a savings goal. Moving the money automatically means the savings builds each week without your active attention. As long as you budget each savings transaction, you’ll never miss it when it’s withdrawn every week automatically.
Automation can be your friend in helping you build savings, but remember to stay on top of it. If you have an unreliable income, a reminder to transfer money each payday may help you. Make adjustments to your automated savings strategy any time there are changes to your income. Remember to keep track of any recurring expenses, like Lawn Care Services.
Pay Down Debt
Once you’ve got your income and expenses figured out, your next goal is to get out of debt. Consumer debt restricts your cash flow and prevents being able to save for future emergencies and plans. If you are laden with debt, you pay thousands in interest to companies. That money could have been interest paid to you in savings. You should come up with a plan to get out of debt as quickly as possible. You will need to be disciplined to stay on track. Debt can linger for years, which presents plenty of opportunities to ignore it. Don’t. Pay your debt as quickly as possible.
Don’t be afraid to look at your finances regularly to make sure you’re saying on track. Just a quick 60-second glance at your finances while you drink your morning coffee will suffice. Consider this your money minute, and it is what helps you stay on track with short-term and long-term goals.