5 Simple Tips for Saving Money

This past spring I started working at a bank and it amazes me how many grown adults have no idea how to manage their money. I grew up always having a savings account and I assumed everyone else did too, but as it turns out, this is far from the truth. We frequently go through trainings at my job about how we can help people to better save their money because over half of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.

 

This leads me into my first point - if you don’t already have a savings account, now is the time to get one! Nearly every bank offers a free savings account that allows you to grow your funds at your own pace. Having a savings account is a good back up because you never know when an emergency might come up or when there’s something you will really want to do, but don’t have quite enough money in your checking account.

 

Here are 5 simple tips to help you build those funds and get your savings up to par, while still doing all the things you enjoy:

 

  1. Plan a Budget

It’s all too easy to swipe your card and not realize how much money you are truly spending, but as I’m sure we’ve all experienced, these swipes add up quickly. Take some time to sit down and figure out a monthly or even weekly budget of how much you can truly afford to spend. If you have a hard time following your budget, feel free to do it old school and physically write down all of your purchases to ensure you are keeping track of your spending.

 

2. Buy Off-Brands

Nearly all large chain stores have their own line of off-brand products when it comes to groceries and other household products. Most of these items are comparable to the name-brand at a fraction of the price. Aldi is one of my favorite places to score great deals on off-brand food items. Even if it’s only a few cents cheaper, that little bit of money you save from buying the off-brand adds up over time.

 

3. Use Coupons

No, you don’t have to be one of those extreme couponers or anything like that, but using coupons on items you already planned on buying is an easy way to save some money on your purchases. There are plenty of coupon apps you can use to save money without having to cut out physical coupons. Shopkick, RetailMeNot, and Target Cartwheel are just a few of the most popular coupon apps. With a bit of research, you will surely be able to find a coupon app that works for you!

 

4. Cash-Back Credit Cards

If you’re already making the purchase anyways, why not earn some cash back on it? Cash-back credit cards are an excellent way to help you save a little extra money. Although most rewards credit cards come with a 1% cash back rate, do some research and you might be able to find a card that offers 1.5% or even 2% back. What’s nice about these types of credit cards is that you can easily use your cash back to take off a portion of your monthly bill.

 

5. Automatic Direct Deposits

At my job, we encourage people to try and stick to the 90/10 rule. This means that from each of your paychecks, you should be putting 10% into a savings account and using the other 90% for bills, groceries, gas, and other expenses. If you can do more than 10%, that’s great, but just remember to pay YOURSELF first by putting that 10% into your savings. Most employers offer direct deposit, which allows you to easily divide up your paycheck and get a portion of it put into your savings account right from the start.

 

I hope these 5 tips help you to be successful in building your savings, without having to make any drastic life changes. With these tips, you can still go about your normal routines and make your everyday purchases, but still save some extra money while doing it! Every little bit you save will add up and soon you’ll be on your way to a savings account you can be proud of!