Virtually all financial experts set an immense importance on saving money. There is simply no way to get ahead financially without creating an emergency fund and then additional savings beyond that amount. However, this task can seem arduous if not impossible if you struggle just to make ends meet and every penny is needed just to keep your head above water. Thankfully, there are ways to build a savings, even when your budget is incredibly tight, and it is outlined below:
Focus on What You Can do, Not What You Can’t Do
Instead of examining your budget and looking at what you don’t have available, look at what you can do. Even if you can only save a few dollars at a time, it will add up, eventually. According to Erin Lowery, who is a personal financial expert who created the Broke Millennial, “The point of saving, even if it’s just a few dollars, is to the start, building the habit.” Don’t aim to save $10,000, instead aim for $100, and then when you get there, you will be encouraged to keep going. Just remember, creating a habit of saving, even a few dollars is better than not saving anything.
Look at Saving as a Challenge
Make saving a fun game. Look for ways to save money, and then put that freed up money in your savings. For example, pack a lunch, instead of purchasing one at a restaurant, and save the money you would have spent. Other things you can opt to forego could include cutting off a streaming service, gym membership, magazine subscription, etc. Get creative with how you can save. Ensure that you are counting every $5 and not allowing any amount of savings to be considered too small.
Make it Automatic
Many of us have the best of intentions when it comes to savings, but the reality is our best of intentions often do us no good. We plan on saving, but then something comes up and suddenly, there is no money left to save. Instead of allowing this, make your saving automatic. Set up a direct transfer from your regular account into your savings. You set the amount and the time it is transferred.
There are many apps that can help you do this and will allow you to increase your savings automatically. Just make sure you are accounting for that money being withdrawn, so you don’t accidentally spend too much out of your regular account. For the best results, schedule your savings withdrawal for immediately after your paycheck hits the bank, this will make it seem like that money never was there in the first place and help you miss it less. If a real emergency does arise, you can always pull money from your savings, but at least this automation will make the act of savings easier.
Honestly Evaluate Your Current Spending
Let’s be honest, even though most of us feel we can’t rub two pennies together, there are some areas we can cut out to create money for savings. As briefly mentioned above, there are things you can live without, at least temporarily. Honestly evaluate your current spending and find those items that need to go. Set yourself a savings goal and know once you get there, you can add back some luxuries. This will help you stick with the process, knowing it will end eventually, once you have achieved your ideal savings goal. Happy savings!