When it comes to saving money, you may want the secrets to saving more, and fast. But, though there are tried and true ways to do so, each person may save money in different ways, then focus on what works for them. If you’re thinking, “But I’m not saving anything right now,” there are easy ways to save money each monthto get you started. Below, we spoke to a couple of experts to find out, so, soon, instead of dreading having a $0 balance in savings, you’ll be able to see results.
1. Automate Your Savings
If you’re not automating your savings — having a set amount of money go from you checking to your savings account each week, month, or what have you — it’s never too late to begin. Plus, with so many money management apps out there, there’s no excuse not to start saving. “Automating your savings is the simplest way to stay on track,” says Uri Pomerantz, CEO and co-founder of John Hancock's Twine, a collaborative saving and investing app launched by John Hancock. “Using an app like Twine keeps money management and savings always on in the background, so you don’t have to think about it.”
2. Eliminate Extraneous Expenses
Chances are, you’re paying for things you don’t even realize, such as subscriptions to services you don’t or rarely use. Going through your bank and credit card statements is a great way to find these extraneous payments, and eliminate them once and for all. Natasha Rachel Smith, Personal Finance Expert at TopCashback.com, suggests looking at your monthly bills to see where you can trim expenses. “Do you pay for a subscription you don’t need, or a gym membership you barely use,” she says. “If so, consider putting those on a temporary hold or cancel them altogether to save some cash. You can also look into carpooling, cutting back on your daily coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts, or cooking at home to reduce costs and increase savings.”
Once you do what Smith suggests, you can put all that money you were spending on other things into your savings instead. When you think about it, a $3 cup of coffee per day adds up to $15-21 per week, and that’s the beginning of your savings account right there.
3. Create A Budget
Once again, money apps, like Mint, can come in handy when you’re trying to see where your money is currently going — and then you can determine where you’d like it to be going, i.e., your savings account. “In order to save money, you need to learn how to prioritize your finances,” Smith says. She suggests adopting the 50/20/30 rule. “Make sure you can afford rent/mortgage and any additional expenses, such as cable, etc., and spend no more than 50 percent of your take-home pay on essential expenses, like rent, transportation, food, and utilities,” she says. “Twenty percent should go towards a strong financial foundation, such as retirement contributions, savings, and debt payments, and 30 percent should go towards lifestyle choices, such as cable, personal care, going out, shopping, and traveling.”
4. Save In Smaller, Consistent Amounts
Pomerantz advises to save in smaller, consistent amounts. “It’s more successful, and far more predictable,” he says. “In reality, how often do we receive large sums of money at once? Relying on a yearly tax return, holiday bonus, or birthday gift to reach financial goals will delay crossing the finish the line.”
5. Save Your Change
Along the lines of saving in smaller, consistent amounts, saving your change can help your savings grow, too. “Whether you throw coins in a bucket at the end of the day or save all your $1 and $5 bills, it will add up fast,” says Smith. “Make it a habit by having a separate change purse in your bag to make sure loose change doesn’t get lost; at the end, of the day dump what you collected in the bucket. Then, to give it enough time to grow, wait at least six months to a year before you move your accumulated change from the bucket to your savings account.”
6. Become A Smarter Shopper
Another everyday way to save money is by bundling your savings and getting more for your money by using rebate sites, coupons, and promotions. “Whether you’re buying holiday gifts or shopping for new clothes, always compare prices,” says Smith. “It is easier now more than ever to research and compare discounts and deals online to get the best price on any item. Plus, double-check for any additional coupons, sales, and deals to lower the price, as well as shop through a cashback site, such as TopCashback.com. By bundling deals, you’ll save even more.”
7. Refinance Your Loans
These days, most people have student loan and/or car payments, but are you getting the best deal in your payment plans? “There is nothing wrong with refinancing loans, and it can save you a lot of money in the long run,” says Smith. “Refinancing student loans allows you to consolidate any existing private or federal loans into one loan with a lower interest rate. Review your options to see what best fits your lifestyle. Note: In order to be approved, you must have a great credit score and a steady income.”
8. Always Negotiate
Negotiating may not come to you naturally, but it is an essential skill to have when it comes to saving money. “One of the best skills to master is negotiating,” says Smith. “From mortgages and rent to appliances and exercise memberships, you can receive an additional discount if you just ask!”
9. Don’t Just Save Money, But Invest It, Too
Investing your money is just as critical as saving it. “This is where we get actionable,” says Pomerantz. “Give yourself more by not just saving your money, but investing your money — of course, you want to be smart about it. In general, for short-term goals, it’s usually wise to save in cash or use a very conservative investment portfolio that is unlikely to dip in the short-term, while betting on long-term growth with more volatile investment portfolios can help you rake in more money for those things later down the road.”
What are some easy ways that you save money? We’d love to hear them! Comment below!