A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

Monday, January 23 at 12:25 PM
Category: Personal Finance
Savings can help you achieve financial goals. Whether it’s a comfortable retirement, a down payment for a house, or a new car or laptop, you can get there by setting money aside. And best of all, you can have what you want without getting bogged down in debt.
However, if you’re like most people, you don’t save as much as you’d like to. Or, you don’t save at all. Americans spend more than we earn. Today’s high energy, home and food prices may make saving seem less possible than ever. But, the time is now. With a little forethought and effort, saving money is possible.
Make Saving a Priority
You’ll be more likely to save money if you make it a priority. Sit down and figure out what you’d like to save money for – retirement, a house, car, college, dream vacation – and how much it will cost. Then make your plan:
  • Set a timeline for when you’d like to reach your goal.
  • Set a schedule by dividing the total goal amount by the number of weeks, months or pay periods between now and your goal date.
  • Be vigilant by treating your savings contribution just like any other must-pay expense, such as rent or groceries.
Find Money to Save
While it may seem difficult sometimes just to make ends meet, chances are you have extra money you didn’t even know about. Here are some ways to find it:
  • Keep track of everything you spend for a week. You might be surprised what you’re buying, and what you can do without.
  • Make purchases with cash. This can help you stick to a budget and avoid impulse purchases. Simply decide ahead of time how much you want to spend and then set aside that amount in cash before you go shopping.
  • Lower your bills. Many creditors will give borrowers a lower interest rate if they’re asked. Also, conserving electricity and gas can make a big difference.
  • Rank your nonessential expenses. Keep the ones you like the best and cut the items on the bottom of the list.
  • Pack a lunch or cook more dinners at home. Eating out at restaurants can eat up a lot of money that could be saved.
Pay Yourself First
You're probably inclined to pay everyone else first – whether it’s your landlord or your grocer or the electric company. But it’s vital to start paying yourself first by saving money. Once you’ve made a contribution to your financial longevity and well-being, then you can divide up your money to cover everything else. Don’t worry. You'll more than likely have plenty left over to cover everything you need.
In fact, most banks make this easier. You can have them automatically transfer funds from your checking account to your savings account. You might also check with your employer. Companies will often deduct savings from paychecks if asked.
When you make saving a priority, look for money to save and pay yourself first, you set yourself up to meet your savings goals. 
Information courtesy of Arvest Money Skills. 

Tags: Budgeting, Financial Education, Savings
Shedrick Jones on 1/28/2017 at 6:24 PM
Great article. Very helpful!

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