Managing your money is nearly impossible without a plan and the right tools to help you along the way. While you’re working to build your savings, here are some helpful tips to consider.
1. Create a Budget
A budget is the foundation of every informed financial plan, as it holds you accountable for every purchase. While you shouldn’t get discouraged if you don’t end up following your budget perfectly, it should be used as a guide to keep your spending habits in check and to evaluate your progress along the way. A budget should be a comprehensive plan for your finances. It should include your monthly income, as well as all expected monthly bills, expenses, and amounts earmarked for savings.
2. Open a Savings Account
It’s important to have a dedicated bank account for your savings. In fact, some people have multiple savings accounts for their different financial goals. Not only does a savings account keep your money separate from your “spending money”, but it allows you to earn interest on your funds as well. While it’s true that many savings accounts have very low interest rates, there are high-interest accounts out there as well. Many online-only banks offer higher-than-average rates since they don’t have as much overhead as traditional brick-and-mortar banks. When looking for a new savings account, just be sure evaluate the account details to ensure it will be a good fit. Keep in mind any minimum balance requirements or monthly fees, and double-check to make sure that the bank is FDIC insured.
3. Use a Grocery List
A grocery list is an unexpected but highly useful financial tool. Not only does it ensure you get the exact items you need, but it can also keep you from overspending on unnecessary impulse purchases. Check your budget beforehand to see how much money you have earmarked for groceries. Then, make a list before you head to the store, estimating the costs of each item to ensure your shopping trip will not exceed your budget. When at the store, try your best to follow your list so you won’t have to re-adjust your budget later. Sticking to a budget for groceries can result in notable savings, especially since trips to the grocery store occur every week or so. You can then put that saved money toward other financial goals.
4. Save Your Spare Change
Cash isn’t used as frequently as it was in the past, but almost everyone ends up with some loose change in their pockets on occasion. Try throwing those leftover coins and dollar bills into a jar and you could be surprised how quickly it adds up. Every time the jar gets filled, deposit the money into your savings account so you can earn interest on it and grow your savings faster.
The more time you put into budgeting and saving, the greater your results will be. It can be difficult to stick to a budget, but doing so can help lead you to a brighter financial future. For more help reaching your savings goals, check out our handy financial calculators and learn more about our high-interest savings accounts and CDs.