When trying to save money, it is often difficult to know where to begin.  Whether your goal is to build an emergency fund or a financial goal, such as buying a house or starting a business, it is important to create some money-saving habits that will help you save money and live on a budget.

Most importantly, it takes a little work and a lot of discipline.  Here are some ways that you help you budget and save money:

  1. Make a budget – Get an idea of how much you spend every month and visually organize your income. Use any type of document or an excel spreadsheet.
  2. Record your expenses – Write down all of your monthly expenses on the budget you created and subtract them from your income. This will give you an idea of how much money you have left over to save.  This will also show you where you cut back on spending to allow you to save more.
  3. Start saving – Once you have reviewed all of your expenses and decided where to shave off some money, you can now begin saving!
  4. Find a reason to save – It is often hard to save for no reason at all and it helps when there is goal in place.  But, if you have a purpose to save or a set amount that you are trying to save, it will be easier to achieve.  You will also be more disciplined in your savings knowing the purpose.
  5. Cut back on unnecessary spending – When you are saving, you may start to frustrated.  Think of ways you can cut back on your spending such as bringing your lunch to work instead of buying lunch every day and by-passing the coffee shops.
  6. Open a separate account – When you have figured out the amount you will saving monthly, you should remove that amount from the “active” account that you regularly use.  Putting it in an account that you do not use, will deter you from spending it – OUT OF SITE, OUT OF MIND!
  7. Stay focused – You will often get the urge (or convince yourself that you NEED) to use the money you are saving.  Try hard not to use this money – which takes discipline!!  If will be tough, but you can do it!
  8. Revisit other savings tools – Once you have saved a substantial amount (i.e., $1,000 or more), it is a good idea to look into other savings options that could yield more interest for you (i.e., dividend income).  These options are a high-yield savings account or a CD (Certificate of Deposit).
  9. Direct Deposit – Another way to help with disciplining yourself when it comes to saving money is to allocate your direct deposit option at work to both savings and checking.  For instance, if you have 100% of your money being deposited into your savings account, you can change the option an have a percentage of your check to be deposited into your savings account.
  10. Watch your savings grow – With determination and discipline, you will watch your savings grow.  BE PROUD OF YOURSELF – Just don’t spending more money celebrating! LOL  These savings techniques will get contagious and you will start looking for more ways to save!

 

Good Luck! 😀

Valerie Y. Waller, PhD

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