October 12, 2017 is the first annual National Savings Day founded by Capital One.
For many people, the hardest step to saving money is simply just getting started. To help get the ball rolling, we’ve listed some helpful steps you can take to start saving money.
Start Saving Today!
- Start by recording your expenses (all of your expenses.)
- Write down the monthly bills you pay that do not change (mortgage/rent, insurance, vehicle payments, phone bill)
- Next list the expenses you have daily, weekly, or monthly. Consider keeping a small notebook with you, and each time you make a purchase write in the notebook. Include all expenses or items that you purchase.
- Once you have your expenses listed, it’s time to organize them and create a budget. You can use a printed worksheet that we’ve provided, use an online budgeting tool such as com, or come up with your own system
- Now that you have a budget, the next step is to create a plan for saving money. Does your budget have a category for savings? The recommendation for savings is 10-15% of your income each month. If you cannot put that amount away, don’t feel discouraged and simply give up altogether. Review your budget again, and see what adjustments you can make to start saving something. Start off with as little as $5-20. You can always reevaluate your budget as time goes on and add more to your savings. Every little bit helps!
- Periodically review your budget and spending. Make sure to review your expenses and see where you can cut back. You may have had your phone plan or cable/internet package for years and could benefit from a cheaper plan. You may have services, programs or subscriptions that you’re not using. Perhaps you can employ some savings strategies by thinking outside the box.
- The best way to save money is to have a goal. Your goal could be to develop an emergency fund, save for a home or down payment for a car or saving for a child’s education. Once you have your goal, estimate the amount you will need and when you’d like to achieve this goal so you know how much you will need to save to meet your goal. If you need assistance figuring out the time frame you can use Bank of America’s savings calculator.
- You have a goal, but how are you going to save? It’s time to pick the right tools! There are a lot of different options for saving and investing your money for the future. Make sure to evaluate the tools that will best help you achieve those goals.
- Make sure your saving is automatic. Almost all banks offer automated transfers between your checking and savings accounts. You can often even choose a percentage of your check to be direct deposited into a savings account. An automated transfer is a great way to save since you don’t have to think about it and it may reduce the temptation to spend money.
- Lastly, watch your savings grow! Make sure you’re staying on track to achieve your goals. Checking your progress monthly helps identify any problems that may arise so you can address them quickly before you get off track.
The CESI Team is committed to helping you reach your financial goals. If debt keeps you from living the life you dream of, contact us for a free debt analysis today and get started on the road to a brighter future!